I started seeing posts about Special 26 from Friday. About how it’s such a great movie. And there were several, and they still keep coming. And some of those updates made me get to the theatre to see Special 26.
And as I have conveyed elsewhere, I found the movie to be “average”. And then I wonder what made people say that the film was so great?
Here are just some of the issues I have with Special 26:
- The various capers that the group pulls off. Made to look so simple. Get a few rubber stamps, walk in, and walk out with cash and kind. And do so nearly 50 times, and nobody can sniff them out? Really? So you’d say that this was based on real-life incidents. So be it. You are not making a documentary. You are making a feature film. And so even if the original incident was just this simple (which I very much doubt!), you can still make it look a little more effort, a little more challenge?
- When filmmakers make films based on real life, can they not make some changes and make it look more real / interesting / believable? I saw it earlier in English Vinglish, where the Tamilian accented Sridevi had to play a Maharashtrian lady, struggling with her English. Why the hell could she not have been a Tamilian struggling with English? Likewise here. Even assuming that the real incidents by the fake CBI guys few years back were indeed so simply done, they could have added some smarts into the capers here!
- I’m spoilt on this, perhaps. Viewing crime series like White Collar, Mentalist and others, you realise that planning a crime takes a lot of effort and planning and then you can still get caught. Man, wish it was as simple as Special 26 makes it look!
- So, what was the reason these guys were doing all these capers? At the end of the film we are told that Akshay Kumar’s character had been rejected for a job with the CBI. First of all, is that motivation enough? Also right through the film, there are no hints that “he is getting back at them for what they did to him”. Nothing in terms of a revenge script or anything. And then, what about the other three? Why were they doing these? What were their motivations?
- If money was it, why do we not see through the film, what actually happens to the money? For all the large hauls they make, where do those boxes go? The characters seem to go back to their washing clothes or walking through a crowded terrace of sleeping people! No hints of what happens to the money?! No need to tell us, eh?
- What IS the deal with the guy washing clothes and being nagged by his wife? Or the other character walking through sleeping people on the terrace? Or Manoj Bajpayee asking his wife to put on a dupatta.. what’s with all that randomness? Aise-icch? Chalo theek hai..
- And what about that large family of Anupam Kher? 8-1/2 kids or something? How was THAT relevant? Really..? And at the end, what HAPPENS to the kids? Do they all scoot off to Sharjah / Dubai? Or they are abandoned for the cops to grill?
- So they go away out of the country? Permanently? If that is so, fine…
- As regards the climax, again, it was too convenient, no? Couldn’t the real CBI not put enough people to follow the bus, follow any other vehicle that the team takes? Why are they viewing the hotel only from the top of the terrace with the binoculars and not from a lower level, to see that all of the gang have not boarded the bus?
- The romantic interlude with Akshay was a waste, of course. But other than that, the film was just a flat, one caper after another. Nothing else. No other story or character development.
- Since the director is the same one who made A Wednesday, there is certainly a huge drop in the quality of his work, from A Wednesday to Special 26…
Coming back to the title of this post. So with all these issues, it can still be an “okay” film. What is the explanation then, to the rave reviews that some are giving to Special 26?
A hint to the reason was found in one of the Facebook conversations on the subject. Where one wrote that “compared to the crap that we have been seeing, this was so good”!
Ok, that explains it then.
By constantly bringing down the quality, we have pulled our benchmark levels so low, that an average performance starts looking like an Oscar winner.. !
Ok, that must be it..
What do you say??