Special 26 Review

Special 26 Movie Review by Indicine critic Joginder Tuteja

Expectations met

Brilliant. Simply brilliant. This is what you end up saying even before end credits start rolling for ‘Special 26’. A film that goes beyond expectations, ‘Special 26’ is what ends up as a highly entertaining film that keeps you on the edge of the seat (many films promise that, this one does) right till the very finale. In the times when one continues to draw parallel with Hollywood films when it comes to heist thrillers and con games, ‘Special 26’ turns out to be an indigenous piece of cinema that manages to create it’s own space.

Special 26 Review
Special 26 Review

What worked

In this endeavour of director Neeraj Pandey, his ‘special’ actors completely go with his vision. Akshay Kumar underplays his part, Anupam Kher changes colour like a chameleon while Jimmy Sheirgill doesn’t mind taking a step back but still stay in the game. In the middle of them all, Manoj Bajpayee creates a zone for himself. With an eclectic mix of characters contributing to the script, Pandey ensures that the roller coaster ride keeps the audience guessing without confusing them.

It is this very fun element that ensures that you do chuckle, break into loud laughter and at quite a few places, especially in the second half, even come up with claps and applause. Whether it is the sequences featuring raids or the entire recruitment drive that Akshay and Kher come up with or the ‘Indian Idol’ kind of auditions that happen for the open CBI posts or the manner in which Bajpayee gets his sleuths in place to prevent a robbery, you are totally glued to the proceedings while also ignoring any distraction whatsoever.

What could have been avoided

What does distract though is the entire love track. Completely unwarranted and only turning out to be an interruption, especially in the first half where a couple of back to back songs as well as few ‘almost silent’ scenes featuring Akshay and Kajal bring the pace down, they could have been better off the film in entirety. Thankfully Pandey manages to keep it all short instead of filling in this space.

What keeps the momentum on

To his credit though, he ensures that the space and platform provided to him is well utilised. ‘Special 26’ is one film which can well be tagged as a true blue period film. 80s is reflected beautifully, right from the hoardings to the traffic on the roads to the billboards to the political references to communication channels to the offices to the whole language, milieu and overall surroundings – Just awesome!

A major player in this whole game who keeps the momentum up is the background score that has been composed by veteran Surender Sodhi. He elevates the film to a different level altogether with an eclectic 70s style score that reminds of Amitabh Bachchan’s ‘The Great Gambler’, ‘Parwana’ and ‘Don’ to name a few.

Special 26 Review
Special Chabbis Movie Review

The ‘special’ actors

Actors make sure that ‘Special 26’ never gets into a frivolous zone even once. Akshay never ever allows his stardom to come in the way of the film in even a single scene. Anupam Kher, despite an experience of around 350 films, can count this as one of his Top-10 performances till date. Manoj has a huge role to play and he does exceedingly well, as is expected from him. Jimmy justifies his presence and is important to the film. Kajal is fine in her limited part. Rajesh Sharma and Kishore Kadam provide support as the script demands. Divya Dutta has just one dialogue that she repeats throughout and that too for a reason.

The final word

Right from the opening sequences where a raid is conducted at the house of a politician to a similar, but highly effective sequence that follows in Kolkata, you know that director Neeraj Pandey is playing his game well. He teases the audience, engages them, indulges them and keeps the door open for the story to even demand a sequel.

Oh yes, we are waiting for the story to unfold further, like it was yesterday. Bring it on Neeraj, Akshay, Kher saab, Manoj, Jimmy and the team!

As for the commercial returns, ‘Special 26’ comes with the kind of strength and power which should allow it to see major growth on a day to day basis. Even though the film’s opening isn’t in line with the likes of a quintessential biggie Bollywood entertainer, it has in it to follow the route of the likes of ‘OMG – Oh My God!’ & ‘Kahaani’ and in turn emerge victorious.

Rating: ★★★★☆

Do post your Special Chabbis Reviews in the comments section below. We’d love to know your thoughts on the movie.



  • Great review. The romantic angle was totally irrelevant to the premise, but great movie overall. Worth watching….

  • Special 26 makes your wonder why Akshay opts for movies like Khiladi 786. He is superb in S26, a special performance that deserves many awards.

    It is a better movie than OMG and will win many awards this year end. Mark my words.

  • Special 26 was good not great.. the entire first half is predictable and drags some parts.. last 30 mins is the soul of the movie

  • Special 26 is a huge let down. 1st half vague. 2nd half clueless. Perfect example of good promo but a disappointing film.

    2/5 stars

  • Songs were waste, love in between was unnecessary.. remove these two elements and the film would have been a masterpiece. Why are songs mandatory for Bollywood movies?

  • Gripping, fun and has twists. Good change from Rowdy Rathore type Akshay! Jus the love story out of place! Special 26 was truly special

  • One of the finest movie on CHOR POLICE Bollywood has produced. All the characters are brilliantly cast and pasted in the frame and they did awesome work, you can’t resist without witnessing it.

  • Neeran Pandey has a winner in Special 26. After so many days, Akshay Kumar got a good story and he is superb… Anupam Kher and Manoj Bajpayee are excellent.

    Direction is brilliant. A must watch..

  • This movie, directed by neeraj pandey, after 3 yrs,was expected to deliver a punch and it did.! from the outset,this movie grips u,makes u feel the pace,avoids unnecessary dialogues and u can really feel the time of the 80’s.speaking of the direcion part,neeraj pandey has done a commendable job and one can notice that even if we try to catch the slightest faults at any moment in this movie,we’l find ourselves to no avail.speaking of the acting,manoj bajpayee,known for his extraordianry performances,surely delivers an expected art,anupam kher,as always,doing his part the best,no other can do like him,jimmy shergil was good and speaking of akshay kumar,he has once again proved that he is a versatile actor,be it comedy,action,romance or serious role like this,he has always recieved appreciation and this time also he does.overall, an unpredictable plot, makes this movie a must watch, special 26 is really special. :)

  • Very happy that a big star like Akshay is showing courage to do such films. I hate him when he does movies like Rowdy and Housefull. Let’s hope people will accept this movie.

  • Watched the movie.. but thought the plot is inspired from 1973 Hollywood movie Sting (Paul Newman and Robert Redford)

  • Special 26 is indeed a very special film. Neeraj has written an outstanding script and executed it well.

    Really loved the performances by Anupam Kher and Manoj Bajpaii. Superb…

  • Great movie. Gripping and interesting plot. Akshay rocks once again and he has shown that he can do a variety of roles and still be a superstar. Manoj Vajpayee is superb. Kajal is beautiful.

  • wow wow wow. excellent yaar. 1000 times better than cheap remakes and fake love stories. it is winner all the way. mark my words. thank you indicine for honest review

  • Glad it is getting positive reviews all over. Hope it will smash records.Akshay must do more sensible movies like this.

  • brillianttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttt

    mustttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttt watchhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh


  • outstanding piece of cinema!!!! no word to describe the brilliance of this movie!!!! one of the best movie to come out of hindi cinema. perfect direction, amazing performances, brilliant art direction and fantastic story. akshay must bag national award for this movie. Anupam kher best comedian award and manoj bajpayee best supporting actor.. all awards and rewards only to s26 this year…truly a classic and a masterpiece movie from neeraj pandey… he is gonna give other so called directors (crap) a run for their money… keep it up the good work mr. pandey!!!

  • This is the movie what indian cinema is need…very good story good acting and specially direction….this is one of the few movies which we can proud that this is hindi movie…awesome just briliant…my rating 4/5

  • watched the movie today… it’s simply awesome…… brilliant.. this movie is a lambi race ka ghoda…. everyone will like this movie…. a must watch….

  • its a SLAP on the face on to all Akki haters!!!!!!!!never ever underestimate him…he has proved that in the past in AANKHEN, WAQT, SANGHARSH,PATIALA HOUSE and now S 26!!He will do it again…still its sad to see some retards criticizing them. this role is tailor-made for akki in the whole bollywood, only he could have done it. national award jury members..listening???????

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