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Special Chabbis (2013)
'Special 26' is not so special
The film starts with the bang - Akshay, Anupam Kher and two of their guys with the help of local police do a high profile CBI raid in a minister's house. Later, the police and the minister realise that they were fooled and the minister was looted. The first few minutes gets our full attention, albeit we are aware of gist of the story that the duo are frauds.
Every heist the gang of four carry out is exciting. Not to mention their sudden fake raid to a traders' business in Kolkata is met with the real CBI already present there. The situation is fantastic when the real CBI stares at these fake CBI in long silence and the cons get nervous unknowing what to do next.
Meanwhile Sub Inspector of local police station (Jimmy Shergill) who unwittingly helped the cons in minister house heist was suspended and is ashamed. He knocks the doors of CBI for help to find and put those cons behind the bars. That's when well talented CBI officer played by Manoj Bajpai comes into the scene. With SI, he embarks on to hunt them down.
While we are excited on how the story went on in realistic slick manner in the first half, the second half becomes Bollywood-ish. There are redundant and unnecessary scenes. For instance, SI going on the flashback mode for describing the events that led to Minister house heist which brought SI disgrace. Dear Director, may be CBI Officer needs those flashbacks but not the viewers!
The gang at last decides to retire with a final job of robbing a big jewellery store, unaware that CBI officer was tracking every step they take.
The plot which happens in 1987 is loosely based on 'Tribhovandas Bhimji Zaveri' jewellery store heist by a mysterious con man posing as RAW officer along with 28 other people. The case is still unsolved.
The film deviates from the plot when conmen in the guise of CBI conduct interview to recruit 26 people for their final big heist. The interview scenes, reminding of goofy people in the auditions of nowadays' reality shows, are hilarious.
When the conmen are not in action, they would be in their hometown villages doing household works(!). I'm baffled. What did they do with the hell a lot of money (more than 50 heists as said by overacting Anupam Kher) that they still can't afford to live well!
Every morning after leaving his son in school van CBI director returns home and stares at his wife's busty chest and asks her to wear dupatta over. I don't understand why does the director wants to depict. This is shown more than once in the film. Or is it just a fill for the sexual void created by the lack of "item numbers". Director only knows. Probably this is why the film got U/A certificate, otherwise there is no other objectionable material in it.
Akhay kumar's romance with southern actress Kajal Agarwal is another unnecessary gap filling sub plot to run the film for two and half hours - the typical Indian film running time.
The film which was realistic in the start takes a wrong theatrical turn in the middle and ends with another bang. The second half of the film is unconvincing. In the later half, even Anupam Kher is overacting and Manoj Bajpai comes around with frowned look rest of the film. But the film doesn't fail as an entertainer.
Fast paced Cinematography and apt editing elevates film even whenever the story lags. Background score is overbearing at times. "Mujh Mein Tu" is a soft solo romantic song which might be played repeatedly. Other songs are forgettable though they are all melodies.
Having an interesting plot 'Special Chabbis' could have been as punchy as 'A Wednesday' is, if the frills were avoided and if it didn't try to be a crowd pleaser.
A gritty roller coaster ride
Holly (Viva Bianca) is a call girl who is in her last night job before she's going to quit and start a new life in France with her obsessive client.
Shay (Hanna Mangan Lawrence), a 17 year old who had a troubled childhood arrives in Sydney for her first night on the job. She faces the arduous nature of the job (having no money even to eat) - giving handjob to an old man, jealousy of other street hooker and pimps.
Holly and Shay cross paths for a job. When both of them witness a murder by a crooked cop, it turns out to be a cat and mouse chase with unexpected twists.
There's a lot of nudity and sexual acts - including Holly's opening lovemaking scene with a male prostitute before the rich middle aged women. Though one may get the idea even from the movie poster that this is an erotic movie, it is more apt to be tagged as a thriller than an erotica. None of erotic scenes are meant for us to enjoy it because the Director (Jon Hewitt) doesn't wants us to; instead he wants us to concentrate on the hard-hitting storyline.
There is commendable acting by every character involved in this thriller. And cinematography aids us to glue to our seat. This is an exploitation movie in line with Irreversible (2002) with ultra violence and sex abundantly thrown in.