Bade Miyan Chote Miyan Review: Fast, Furious And Infuriatingly Fatuous

A still from Bade Miyan Chote Miyan.

Stunt sequences on the big screen have never been so drearily monotonous. Bade Miyan Chote Miyan, directed and co-written by Ali Abbas Zafar, has a surfeit of explosive action. The string of loud and flashy set pieces leaves no room for anything else at all. Bade Miyan Chote Miyan is all clones, cliches and cacophony. They compete with each other to be seen and heard above the din in a cauldron in which crass excess is the norm.

Akshay Kumar, who is obviously the Bade Miyan of the title, Captain Firoz alias Freddy, goes meta for a brief moment. Iss khel ke sabse purane khiladi hum hain (I am the oldest player in this game), he says to the bad guy, a rogue scientist-entrepreneur (Prithviraj Sukumaran), as they face off against each other. Freddy is right. The khiladi act is indeed insufferably purana. It holds no water anymore. It’s been squeezed dry.

But Bade Miyan Chote Miyan labours in the belief that star power can help a sloppy script paper over the effects of a glaring lack of substance. Captain Freddy is the sort of guy who thinks no end of himself. He will have Captain Rakesh alias Rocky (Tiger Shroff), his younger mate, believe that the latter would be a dead duck without the experience and maturity that the seasoned army man brings to the partnership. The latter, not one to be rolled over without a squeak, insists he is better off the way he is – fast and furious.

Fast and furious is what Bade Miyan Chote Miyan is. It is infuriatingly fatuous, too. It hurtles from one action chaotic sequence to another without so much as pausing for breath, seeking to link one big confrontation with the next through tenuous, terribly contrived means.

Bullets fly, bombs explode, vehicles go up in flames and choppers, tanks and armoured vehicles run riot in a blurry series of events so exhausting and egregious that it numbs the brain to a point where you begin to wonder whether any grey cells would actually have gone into the making of the film.

The story is astonishingly hollow. Freddy and Rocky, two crack soldiers, are court-martialled and dismissed from the Army for insubordination. It is not until much later in the film that the audience is able to figure out why. But before we get to that point, we find Freddy working in an oil mine in a desert and Rocky fighting a fire and rescuing a trapped cat in Delhi.

Even before that, a protracted action sequence is mounted to let the world know why the two men are regarded as such a dreaded pair of extraction specialists. India’s ambassador to Kabul and his family are taken captive by terrorists. Freddy and Rocky ride on their steeds and barge into the camp.

By the time the duo is done with the mission, the hideout has been razed to the ground. And on their way out, they also kill a wanted terror mastermind who has eluded the CIA for years.

Eight years later, Freddy and Rocky are summoned back to the thick of the action when the villain – we see the gruff-talking man hidden behind a metallic mask in the film’s opening sequence in which he ambushes an Army convoy – announces his intention to use a powerful new weapon to destroy India.

Freddy and Rocky’s boss, Major Azad (Ronit Roy), is sure that the two men are still the best in the business but an old friend of theirs has other ideas. And that is where the clones come in. The actioner itself is an unimaginative replica of many films about a bad guy out to annihilate the world.

The film throws in talk of watan (nation), vardi (uniform) and zameer (conscience), the three things that true soldiers are unwaveringly committed to. We will achieve victory but without abandoning the principles that guide us, says the Army top brass. There is more artifice than intelligence in a film that arms the villain with the power of Artificial Intelligence. He floats the idea of brain-controlled, indestructible soldiers to fight brainwashed terrorists. Thwarted in his plans, he decides to prove a point.

In what is predominantly a man’s world, a girl fights alongside the two soldiers. She is Captain Misha (Manushi Chhillar), who has a few stray action scenes of her own to prove her mettle. Another girl pops up a little later in the film. She is Paminder “Pam” Bawa (Alaya F), the nerdy one who pretends to be a blockhead. She is brought into the mission to crack complex computer codes.

And, of course, there is Sonakshi Sinha is an extended special appearance in which she plays a senior Army officer who goes beyond the line of duty and volunteers to offer herself up to an experiment to save the nation from impending danger.

Amid all the dull action that ensues, Bade Miyan Chote Miyan tries very hard to be funny. It need not have. There is something instantly comical about an aspiring blockbuster that is projected as god’s gift to the genre but flails about aimlessly on a wing and a prayer.

One example should suffice. Pam and Rocky rush to Waterloo Station on a dangerous outing. On the move, the former puts finishing touches to her makeup. Are you headed to a party, Rocky asks. If I die, I want to be sure I am looking good, Pam replies. That is this film’s idea of humour.

The actors stand no chance at all here. The two male leads huff and puff their way through the film, Prithviraj Sukumaran strives in vain to make the nonsensical passable and Sonakshi, Manushi and Alaya are at best moveable parts of the backdrop.

Bade Miyan Chote Miyan offers not a single shred that could considered a saving grace. Sitting through the is a slog without respite. Even if you happen to be Akshay and Tiger fans, think twice.


Akshay Kumar, Tiger Shroff, Prithviraj Sukumaran, Alaya F, Sonakshi Sinha, Manushi Chhillar and Ronit Roy


Ali Abbas Zafar

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