BY | February 12, 2013

Akshay Kumar starrer Special 26 box office performance has been better than expected. Its collection crossed Rs 25 crore in the first weekend itself

Akshay Kumar seems to be getting in the thick of action at the box office. His latest flick Special 26 is doing extremely well and there are reasons to believe that Akshay is finally getting back to being Rs 100 crore actor again. His last few films had been duds at the box office and so there wasn’t the usual cacophony about the launch of Special 26.

But it seems that Special 26 that didn’t see usual larger than life launch programs all over the country is doing better than several previous films of Akshay Kumar thanks to its good storyline and great acting by everyone including Akshay Kumar, the most famous khiladi from Bollywood.

Box office reports about the performance of the film in the first three days of its launch have been very encouraging. The opening weekend box office collection of the film was Rs. 25 crore in India alone. Reports about its collection in overseas market are yet to arrive. But given its impressive shows at home, collections abroad are also going to be decent by any yardstick.

To be true, Akshay Kumar starrer Special 26 achieves a rare synthesis of real-life credibility and cinematic flamboyance. Pandey’s perception of cinematic licence is liberating. The real-life incident involving the CBI scam, which shook the nation, is given a sensuous spin that culminates in a completely unexpected and spectacular culmination. Cinema, Pandey tells us, is not only about being true to life. It is also about making life seem more engaging than it actually is. This is where the director’s ability to punctuate socio-political anomalies with edge-of-the-seat excitement comes into full play. The mix of fact and fiction was earlier applied by Pandey to the theme of terrorism and the wounded individual in “A Wednesday”. No character who goes so audaciously against the law in “Special 26″ seems particularly wounded or terrorised. You suspect they are all in it for fun. The characters are not in search of a moral payoff and we are not eager to find it for them. Pandey weaves vivid vignettes into the main heist-format from each of the four protagonist’s personal lives. One of them played with compelling gusto by Kishore Kadam washes his wife’s clothes at home when he is not away carrying out fake CBI raids with his comrades. Another, played equally effectively by Rajesh Verma, lives in a sprawling joint family where everyone is caught sleeping while he sneaks out to do his clandestine thing with his pals. These moments define the individual and the crime.

One more character that makes the film all the more interesting is none other than Anupam Kher. To be precise Kher has a sizeable part as Akshay’s right-hand man. A nondescript family man with an unending brood of children, Anupam’s Sharmaji could’ve been the reluctant terrorist Naseeruddin Shah in Pandey’s “A Wednesday”. Thankfully, Sharmaji decided to protest against his inconspicuous life with some serious con-jobs and not something more … er, explosive. Another reined-in but riveting performance comes from Jimmy Sheirgil as a conflicted cop who must redeem himself before the final reel. And what a resounding redemption!Jimmy, who has lately shaped into one of our finer actors, imparts a secret life to his duty-bound cop’s role without being given leisurely space to do so.

But the man who takes the film to its top with his impeccable acting is Khiladi No 1 himself. Akshay as the mainstay of the governmental masquerade moves away from his by-now patent and predictable comic moves to deliver a surprisingly subtle unassuming performance. His Ajay Singh is a bit of a loner, a bit of an enigma. The only character he bonds with is Sharmaji. Anupam and Akshay bring a very understated father-son feeling to their bonding. This is a great movie and is an out an out complete entertainer.


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