Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Neeraj Pandey|
|Written by||Neeraj Pandey|
|Based on||1987 Opera House heist|
|Edited by||Shree Narayan Singh|
|Distributed by||Viacom 18 Motion Pictures|
|Box office||est. ₹103 crore|
Special 26, also known as Special Chabbis, is a 2013 Indian period heist thriller film directed by Neeraj Pandey. It stars Akshay Kumar in the lead role with Manoj Bajpayee, Anupam Kher, Kajal Aggarwal, Jimmy Sheirgill and Divya Dutta in supporting roles. The film is inspired by the 1987 Opera House heist where a group posing as Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) officers executed an income tax raid on the jeweler in Mumbai. Special 26 released on February 5, 2013 to widespread critical acclaim and was regarded as one of the best films of 2013. The film was remade in Tamil in 2018 as Thaanaa Serndha Koottam.
The story of the film opens on 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 Sheirgill) who agrees to send the required number of support officers. Ajay, 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 where they belong to 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 Bajpayee) 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 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. When Sharma is talking to Ajay on the phone, Khan procures several details about them, including the names Joginder, Iqbal and 'Ajju' (Ajay's nickname). As a result, under Khan's orders, officers track the crew to Mumbai to a hotel where they're staying. They plan to raid and hence rob a big jewellery store.
Ajay, followed by a CBI officer, goes to a newspaper to advertise for "50 dynamic graduates" with details of an interview. Khan embeds 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, 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 ensure everything proceeds as normal.
On the day of the raid, Khan takes charge of the jewellery store and replaces the goods with fake jewellery, with the originals being moved to a nearby workshop. 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, saying 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 at the Police HQ. In reality, he goes to meet Ranveer Singh. With Ajay, a raid of the workshop is carried out. Ajay then goes and meets Priya, who is ready for departure at the Sahar International 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, realizing that Ranveer was part of the gang and he wasn't a real police officer and they were set up right from the beginning. Khan starts laughing loudly and applauds the entire robbery plan and execution. 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.
- Akshay Kumar as Ajay "Ajju" Singh / A. K. Vardhan
- Manoj Bajpayee as C.B.I. Officer Waseem Khan
- Anupam Kher as P. K. Sharma
- Jimmy Sheirgill as Sub-Inspector Ranveer Singh
- Kajal Aggarwal as Priya
- Rajesh Sharma as Joginder
- Sadh Orhan as Candidate 19
- Kishor Kadam as Iqbal
- Divya Dutta as Shanti
- Kharaj Mukherjee as Roy, CBI Officer in Kolkata
- Neeru Bajwa as item girl in song "Gore Mukhde Pe Zulfen Di Chaava"
- Deepraj Rana as Rahul
- Tiku Talsania as Magandas, BSJ jewellery shop owner
- Sachin Nayak as Vella boy
- Neetu Singh as Waseem's wife
- Vipin Sharma as fake ACP
- Abha Parmar as Minister Gupta's wife
- Mukesh Bhatt as Minister's PA
- Gurpal Singh as Telephone repairer
- Jarnail Singh as Telephone taping guy
- Ronika as P.K.Sharma's daughter
- Sharad Shetty as goonda chased by Waseem at Connaught Place
- Suraj Gupta as Munna, informer
Ajay Devgn and Abhishek Bachchan were reported to have been considered for the lead role. 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.
Special Chabbis released on for around ₹120 million (US$1.8 million). The producers have ₹500 million (US$7.5 million) investment on Special Chabbis, as the film has fetched around ₹350 million (US$5.2 million) from sale of the territory rights across India. Special 26 was made on a budget of around ₹30 crore (US$4.5 million), with a publicity and advertising budget of around ₹12 crore (US$1.8 million).
The theatrical trailer 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, 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 was held for CBI officials on 6 February 2013.
|The Times of India|||
Taran Adarsh of Bollywood Hungama gave the 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. "
Anupama Chopra, writing for Hindustan Times, gave 3.5 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.
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 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 positive reviews. The film netted ₹57.5 million (US$860,000) on its first day and further grow to make ₹231 million (US$3.4 million) in its first weekend. the film collected around ₹37.5 million (US$560,000) nett on Monday. It netted around ₹387 million (US$5.8 million) in its first week. In its second weekend it has a collection of around ₹19.9 million (US$300,000) to bring its ten-day figure to around ₹480 million (US$7.2 million) nett. In its second week, the film netted ₹179.9 million (US$2.7 million) taking its total business to nearly ₹567 million (US$8.5 million) in India. It eventually netted around ₹657 million (US$9.8 million) with a distributor share of ₹318 million (US$4.7 million) in domestic market.
The worldwide gross of Special 26 stands at ₹1.03 billion (US$15 million).
Special 26 had low opening overseas with a collection of $1.25 million its first 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. Kreem and Himesh Reshammiya|
|Released||January 10, 2013|
|Recorded||Prasad Film Laboratories
|Genre||Feature Film Soundtrack|
|M. M. Kreem chronology|
|Himesh Reshammiya chronology|
The soundtrack album of Special 26 has five songs composed by M. M. Kreem and the lyrics written by Irshad Kamil. The song Gore Mukhde Peh Zulfen was composed by guest composer Himesh Reshammiya and was written by Shabbir Ahmed. T-Series acquired the rights of the album.
|1.||"Tujh Sang Lagee Lagee Na Chhoote"||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 Mera Kya Tu Laage (Female)"||Irshad Kamil||M M Kreem||Chaitra Ambadipudi||2:57|
|4.||"Mujh Mein Tu Tu Hi Tu Basa"||Irshad Kamil||M M Kreem||Keerthi Sagathia||4:24|
|5.||"Kaun Mera Mera Kya Tu Laage (Male)"||Irshad Kamil||M M Kreem||Papon||2:54|
|6.||"Dharpakad Dhar Dhar Pakad"||Irshad Kamil||M M Kreem||Bappi Lahiri||2:22|
|7.||"Kaun Mera Mera Kya Tu Laage"||Irshad Kamil||M M Kreem||Sunidhi Chauhan||2:32|
|8.||"Mujh Mein Tu Tu Hi Tu Basa- Version 2"||Irshad Kamil||M M Kreem||M M Kreem||3:20|
|9.||"Mujh Mein Tu Tu Hi Tu Basa"||Irshad Kamil||M M Kreem||Akshay Kumar||3:13|
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