Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Neeraj Pandey|
|Produced by||Shital Bhatia
|Written by||Neeraj Pandey|
|Based on||1987 Opera House heist|
M. M. Kreem
|Edited by||Shree Narayan Singh|
|Distributed by||Viacom 18 Motion Pictures|
|Running time||143 minutes|
|Budget||420 million (US$7.1 million)|
|Box office||1.03 billion (US$17 million)
Special 26, also known as Special Chabbis, is a 2013 Indian thriller heist film directed by Neeraj Pandey. The film stars Akshay Kumar and Kajal Aggarwal in the lead roles with Jimmy Shergill, Manoj Bajpai and Anupam Kher in supporting roles. The film is inspired by a real-life heist on 19 March 1987 where a group posing as CBI officers executed an income tax raid on the Opera House branch of Tribhovandas Bhimji Zaveri in Mumbai.
The film opens on the date 18 March 1987, where a walk-in CBI interview is taking place, held by the characters of Akshay Kumar and Anupam Kher. The film then goes into flashback.
Ajay Singh (Akshay Kumar) calls a local police station to obtain more manpower for a CBI raid. He speaks to SI Ranveer Singh (Jimmy Shergill) who agrees to send the required number of support officers. Ajay, along with accomplices P.K Sharma (Anupam Kher), Joginder (Rajesh Sharma), and Iqbal (Kishor Kadam), meet the support officers and conduct the raid.
Following the successful raid at a minister's house, it's revealed that Ajay and Sharma are fake CBI officers, along with their two accomplices. They then move to different parts of the country from which they're from and merge into their everyday lifestyles. Ajay's love interest, Priya (Kajal Aggarwal), an about-to-be-married teacher is introduced here. The crew meets again in Chandigarh at the behest of Sharma for his daughter's wedding.
Ranveer with his senior officer meet the minister of the earlier raid, who reveals that he doesn't want the news to appear in the public domain because he wants to protect his image. The senior officer suspends Ranveer with his colleague Shanti (Divya Dutta) for being irresponsible.
CBI officer Waseem Khan (Manoj Bajpai) is introduced, who lives with his wife (Neetu Singh) and child in New Delhi. He apprehends a criminal named Gupta, which gives an insight into his character. A disgraced Ranveer meets Khan, and they decide to join hands to apprehend Ajay and his fellow criminals.
Meanwhile, the next raid planned by Ajay is conducted on a traders' business in Bara Bazar in Kolkata posing as officers from the Income Tax Department. Following the more difficult but successful raid, Khan insists that this should be reported in the newspaper, despite nobody coming forward to report it themselves, as black money is involved. Upon seeing this in the newspaper, Ajay and Sharma decide to conduct their "big job", a final raid in Mumbai.
After the second income tax raid, the story briefly focuses on Ajay and Priya, with the latter's marriage being planned. She insists to go with Ajay for the final job, but he tells her to meet him at the airport at 4 pm on the day.
Meanwhile, Ranveer finds information about Sharma, and Khan orders wire-tapping his phone. This is successful as, when Sharma is talking to Ajay on the phone, Khan procures several details about them, including the names Joginder and Iqbal and 'Ajju' (Ajay's nickname). As a result, under Khan's orders, officers successfully track the crew to Mumbai to a hotel in which they're staying. They plan to raid and hence rob a big jewellery store.
Now, Ajay, followed by a CBI officer, goes to a newspaper to advertise for "50 dynamic graduates" with details of an interview stated. Khan decides to embed his officers among the candidates and they are selected. Khan finds out the details of the training process, which includes a mock raid. It is stated that, on the day, the candidates will be trained and then led out for the mock raid in the afternoon. However, the undercover officers point out that no details about the raid have come to light.
To find out more, Khan and Ranveer go to the hotel and force their way into Sharma's room. He divulges the information about the raid, following a threat of violence. He also mentions that Ajay is taking revenge on the CBI for not appointing him. Khan orders Sharma to make sure everything proceeds as normal.
On the day of the raid, Khan takes charge of the jewellery store, and replaces the jewellery with fake jewellery, with the originals being moved to the jewellery store's nearby workshop. Also, he is given constant information about the activity of the crew and recruits. Ajay informs the recruits that he will come in a different vehicle to them. Sharma leaves with the recruits in a bus, but leaves the bus at police headquarters, telling that he will arrive with Ajay. He also states that nobody should leave the bus until they arrive, and that he is going to verify the paperwork for the raid. In reality, he goes to meet Ranveer Singh. Together with Ajay, a raid of the workshop is carried out. Ajay then goes and meets Priya at the airport.
Meanwhile, at the jewellery store, Khan is informed that the raid was conducted at the workshop and all jewellery in the workshop along with the jewellery that were moved were stolen. Khan works it all out for himself, realising that Ranveer was part of the gang and he wasn't a real police officer at all and they were set up right from the beginning. Khan starts laughing loudly and applauding the entire robbery. Later, Khan receives a money order for Rs. 100 that Ajay had taken from him with the message that he could not steal the honest earnings of an officer. The film ends with Khan being told over the phone that the CBI has information about the perpetrators. At the same time we see Ajay Singh and P.K Sharma enjoying a cricket match happily, at the Sharjah Cricket Association Stadium with their wives along with Joginder and Iqbal.
- Akshay Kumar as Ajay Singh / A.K Vardhan / Ajju
- Kajal Aggarwal as Priya
- Manoj Bajpai as Waseem Khan
- Anupam Kher as P.K. Sharma
- Jimmy Shergill as Ranveer Singh
- Divya Dutta as Shanti
- Kharaj Mukherjee as CBI officer Mukherjee
- Rajesh Sharma as Joginder
- Kishor Kadam as Iqbal
- Neeru Bajwa Cameo in song "Gore Mukhde Pe"
- Deepraj Rana as Rahul
- Tiku Talsania as Jewellery Shop Owner
- Neetu Singh as Waseem's wife
Manoj Bajpai was signed to play the CBI officer, and Anupam Kher plays a vital role in the film. Kajal Aggarwal plays a specially-written role of Mon Singh's love-interest . Ajay Devgn & Abhishek Bachchan were reported to have been considered for the lead role. However it went to Akshay Kumar as he was Pandey's first choice. Kajal Aggarwal is playing the role of a school teacher. Akshay Kumar slashed his fee by half for Special Chabbis.
The theatrical trailer of the film was released online on 20 December 2012. The first promos of Nautanki Saala and Chashme Baddoor were attached to Special 26. The movie was distributed all over India by Viacom18 Motion Pictures and Wide Frame Pictures. Akshay Kumar, along with the rest of the cast of Special Chabbis, were scheduled to visit the crime spot of the incident that inspired the film. A special screening of film was held for CBI officials on 6 February 2013.
Special Chabbis released on 1575 screens in India. In Mumbai the film has been sold for around 120 million (US$2.0 million). The producers have 500 million (US$8.4 million) investment on Special Chabbis, as the film has fetched around 350 million (US$5.9 million) from sale of the territory rights across India. Special 26 was made on a budget of around 30 crore (US$5.0 million), with a P&A (Publicity and Advertising) budget of around 12 crore (US$2.0 million).
Special 26 received mainly positive reviews from critics.
|The Times of India|||
Anupama Chopra, writing for Hindustan Times, gave the film a rating of 3 and a half stars out of 5, calling it one of the best films of the year and praising its attention to detail, its character building, the plot's steady but sure sense of immediacy and urgency, and the elaborate cat-and-mouse chase between the conmen and the police. She criticises the unnecessary addition of the love angle in an otherwise gripping script, along with the unconvincing nature of its climax.
Taran Adarsh of Bollywood Hungama gave the film a score of 4 out of 5, and said "Special Chabbis is an intelligently woven, slick and smart period thriller with its subject matter as its USP. It's sure to get listed as one of the most gripping heist dramas based on real life occurrences. "
Saibal Chatterjee of NDTV gave it 4 out of 5 stars, while and wrote, "Special 26 is an intelligently scripted, superbly acted, enthralling and believable heist film that is more than just that". "
Kaushik Ramesh of Planet Bollywood gave the film 8 out of 10 and summarised, "The unfolding of each scene brings with it certain unforeseeable surprises, course changing and effective.The adrenalizing screenplay makes you spontaneously acknowledge the genius in the director Neeraj Pandey who clearly emerges as the hero to watch out for. "
Resham Sengar of Zee News rated the film 4 out of 5, stating, "Very rarely would you come across a logically scripted and intelligently-directed drama thriller churned out from the good ol' Hindi cine factory these days. And here’s a promising Neeraj Pandey for you who is back with a bang (and bang on target) with another awe inspiring film ‘Special 26’.
Rajeev Masand of CNN-IBN gave the film 3.5 out of 5, saying "Special Chabbis works on account of its meaty, realistic plot and nicely fleshed out characters. This is solid, assured filmmaking, evident in the meticulous detailing of its 80s production design. The film charms you with its subtle humor, through characters played by Jimmy Shergill and Divya Dutta".
Madhureeta Mukherjee of The Times of India gave the movie 3.5 out of 5 stars, while adding,"Special 26 doesn't stun you with a social message like Pandey's 'A Wednesday!', but it grips, excites and ahh...climaxes too! And no ... you can't fake this one! Catch it for pure cinematic orgasm."
Newstrackindia stated that Special 26 is a no nonsense film from Akshay .
Special 26 opened at 30% occupancy on Friday morning but it improved steadily till the evening shows to 60% due to mostly positive reviews. The film netted 57.5 million (US$970,000) on its first day and further grow to make 231 million (US$3.9 million) in its first weekend. the film collected around 37.5 million (US$630,000) nett on Monday. The film netted around 387 million (US$6.5 million) in its first week. In its second weekend it has a collection of around 92.5 million (US$1.6 million) to bring its ten days figures to around 480 million (US$8.1 million) nett. In its second week, the film netted 179.9 million (US$3.0 million) taking its total business to nearly 567 million (US$9.5 million) in India. It eventually netted around 657 million (US$11 million) with a distributor share of 318 million (US$5.3 million) in domestic market. The worldwide gross of Special 26 stands at 1.03 billion (US$17 million).
Special 26 had low opening at overseas with a collection of $1.25 million in opening weekend. It further netted around $2.35 million in ten days. Its final overseas collections was US$2.75 million.
|Soundtrack album by M. M. Keeravani and Himesh Reshammiya|
|Recorded||Prasad Film Laboratories, Hyderabad
Spectral Harmony, Mumbai
|Genre||Feature Film Soundtrack|
|M. M. Keeravani chronology|
|Himesh Reshammiya chronology|
The soundtrack album of Special 26 has five songs composed by M. M. Keeravani and one song (Gore Mukhde) by Himesh Reshammiya. The lyrics written by Irshad Kamil and Shabbir Ahmed. T-Series acquired the rights of the album.
|1.||"Tujh Sang Lagee"||Irshad Kamil||M M Kreem||KK, M M Kreem||4:13|
|2.||"Gore Mukhde Pe Zulfa Di Chaava"||Shabbir Ahmed||Himesh Reshammiya||Aman Trikha, Shreya Ghoshal, Shabab Sabri||4:06|
|3.||"Kaun Mera (Female)"||Irshad Kamil||M M Kreem||Chaitra Ambadipudi||2:57|
|4.||"Mujh Mein Tu"||Irshad Kamil||M M Kreem||Keerthi Sagathia||4:24|
|5.||"Kaun Mera (Male)"||Irshad Kamil||M M Kreem||Angaraag Mahanta||2:54|
|6.||"Dharpakad"||Irshad Kamil||M M Kreem||Bappi Lahri||2:22|
|7.||"Kaun Mera"||Irshad Kamil||M M Kreem||Sunidhi Chauhan||2:32|
|8.||"Mujh Mein Tu - Version 2"||Irshad Kamil||M M Kreem||M M Kreem||3:20|
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- "Special Chabbis Review: Finally a no nonsense film from Akshay". Newstrackindia.com. 8 February 2013. Retrieved 13 July 2013.
- "First Day Occupancy". boxofficeindia.com. Retrieved 8 February 2013.
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- "Special 26 First Weekend Territorial Breakdown". Boxofficeindia. Retrieved 9 February 2013.
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