‘Bade Miyan Chote Miyan’: A high-budget, low-IQ film where the only joy to be found is in Tiger’s dimples

Writer-director Ali Abbas Zafar’s Bade Miyan Chote Miyan, starring Tiger the-cutie-pie Shroff, and Akshay Kumar Overshadowed, is a high-budget, low-IQ film that begins on a note of such extreme imbecility that it never once recovers for the entirety of its 164 agonising minutes.

The film opens in what looks like a large Taj banquet hall but is some serious office type of place where Army guys, seniors and juniors, are looking worried as they stare at a screen on which a convoy of Army jeeps and vans is winding its way through hills. The seniors and juniors talk about how important it is that the yantra (machine) doesn’t get into the hands of the enemy, because if it does, India will be khatam, khallas (finished, the end).

The scintillating words we hear next from the convoy — “incoming missile”, “secure the package,” S***! Tank is coming”, “call for backup” — pretty much summarises the story, plot, soul and spirit of this Rs 350 crore enterprise whose mission seems to be to bore us to death.

Cut to Shanghai where Lady in Leather Jacket (Manushi Chhillar) rushes to a restaurant to meet a guy in a hoodie who is the bearer of bad news and is, thus, having what looked like Mulligatawny soup.

Meanwhile, back home, bad news is upon the convoy and the yantra is being carted away by one mean man who has long, wavy hair, a leather fetish and is hiding behind a black mask with golden curlicues.

Hoodie guy is killed before he can finish his Mulligatawny soup, so Jacket Lady gives chase to a man who is also wearing a mask, though his is definitely not couture. After some kicking, slashing, pushing, stabbing, it turns out that the man in the lesser mask is indestructible.

Meanwhile, man in designer mask has hacked into the servers of the Indian Armed Forces and is telecasting himself on to their screens. “The war has begun,” he says, and for unexplained reasons, gives the seniors and juniors three days to try and save India.

Only two guys can save India, says one senior, and dispatches Jacket Lady to get them. These two guys were court martialled though they did destroy some Al Zayeda VIP.

Bade Miyan Chote Miyan’s first half is an unrelenting, breathless chain of gun fights and chase sequences in which Freddy (Akshay Kumar) and Rocky (Tiger Shroff), men on a mission to save India, keep jumping in and out, on and off cars, buildings and horses to kill people and blow up stuff in Afghanistan, UK and other foreign parts.

The second half has a long, dry patch where the bad guy, Kabir (Prithviraj Sukumaran), whines so much that you wish they’d all take their guns out and just shoot each other.

He talks a lot, tries to explain why he is doing what he is doing, but none of it makes sense nor is it even mildly interesting. The only thing to note is that what was earlier being called the ‘yantra’ is now referred to as The Package.

He holds a grudge, he says, so he took something that was not his. And now that he has it, he keeps muttering “pralay, pralay (destruction, destruction)” in a please-be-threatened kind of way.

No one seems threatened, especially not Rocky who keeps saying funny, silly things to his compadre, drawing our attention again and again to his charming dimples and high sexy quotient. In fact, so nonchalant is he that the bullet-proof jacket he wears on this deadly mission is a bikini version of protective armour. It has a deep V-neck, and a flirty Brazilian cut.

But since India is everyone’s Bharat Mata, and her first son is Akshay Kumar, Jacket Lady and Bade Miya Chote Miyan set out to retrieve The Package which, in case you are wondering, is linked to something called Karan Kavach (Karan’s Armour). Without this protection, it seems, China and Pakistan will spray missiles into India with the hijinks and enthusiasm of colony boys shooting pichkaris (water guns) on Holi.

Holding the key to saving and destroying India is a lady with long nails who first sits squirming with her mouth taped, then gets a nosebleed and is later seen reclining on a high lounge chair while a robotic hand tries to retrieve some very important information from her.

A lot of tech stuff is involved in saving and destroying, so Jacket Lady brings in a motor-mouth millennial (Alaya F) who hits on Rocky on our behalf, and then keeps doing stuff on her tablet that is of some help. 

But Bad Guy Kabir is also doing stuff on his very fancy computer and seems to be better at it because, at one point, just before a twist in the plot, Rocky and Freddy are en route to becoming crisp shish kebabs. 

Every once in a while there is a chest-thumping bombast about Hindustan, India’s armed forces praised and threats are issued to anyone even thinking of messing with it.

Bad Guy Kabir, now with only half the designer mask, is determined to mess with it, but is so boring that he has to keep talking in hyperbole and repeat his threats again and again.

When Bad Guy Kabir was hidden behind a mask, there was some mystery to him. When the mask comes off and he starts whining and complaining with blood-shot eyes, you feel like giving him a glass of water and saying, “Beta, relax. Do anulom-vilom”.

The jokes dry up, India is about to be destroyed, Rocky and Freddy are beating each other up and the techie millennial is saying, “Put the chip in him, Gawd! Put the CHIIIPPP in him”.

Bade Miyan Chote Miyan is so bad in places that it is funny. 

Everyone who is fighting is dressed like those plastic action figures, and is stiff like them. The fakery and idiocy of the film’s plot is staggering. The fact that so many Bollywood worthies put so much money into it is a very worrying sign. It’s also depressing that this Eid we have to suffer this nonsense. 

I am not a Salman Khan fan, but I get the craziness and joy around his Eid releases. All of them have one Eid Mubarak song that is special.

BMCM has no joy except for Tiger Shroff. He tries to bring some cheer to the film’s dreary proceedings and some of his lines are quite funny. It often feels like he’s giving CPR to the comatose film. BMCM gets a pulse for a few seconds, only to sink again in a deluge of bullets, balls of fire or crybaby Kabir’s complaining.

In War, where Shroff was paired with Hrithik Roshan, you barely noticed him. But in BMCM, it’s impossible to take your eyes off him.

His stunts are super cool, he carries the dead weight of the film with a spring in his step and though his dancing lacks rhythm, his dimples make you want to dance.

Movie: Bade Miyan Chote Miyan

Cast: Akshay Kumar, Tiger Shroff, Prithviraj Sukumaran, Manushi Chhillar, Alaya F, Sonakshi Sinha, Ronit Roy, Manish Chaudhari

Direction: Ali Abbas Zafar

Rating: 1/5