I think this is what must have happened and how the idea of the film, Tiger Zinda Hai, came to inception.
Salman Bhai was playing a video game in his farmhouse and got totally impressed by all the robots shooting and diving into the air and flexing their muscles, all shirtless. Such swag, right? And a germ of an idea was planted.
Then somebody dropped the word ISIS with all the gravitas, and voila, another idea emerged. Remember that incident where Indian nurses were held hostage by ISIS in 2014 in Iraq?
Wow, imagine that. Bhai saving the world once again. That too helpless Indian women. And Bhai not only saving these abla naris (damsels in distress), but also doing everybody’s “swagath” to keep the true Indian culture and all alive. Wah, too good an idea, sirji!
Since Kabir Khan was busy and couldn’t direct, they got the next free person to helm the affairs. The new director ordered all the video games ever created on the planet and watched them until he knew all the manoeuvres and nuances. Then they also researched big serious things like RAW and ISI that suited their spy genre.
Now, it was a serious spy movie with patriotism at its core too. To make sure their screenplay would be totally original they incorporated code words like “Tu Tu Tu Tu Tu Tara” and “Maa ki dal” that the RAW agents would use.
How can the enemy ever guess such authentic Indian codes, right? Wah, even the RAW would thank them.
In the name of R&D, Bhai and team continued watching several Indian soaps like Nagin for inspiration (to figure out what clicks in the minds of the regressive Indian fantasy genre viewer) along with many 1980s cop and robber films starring Amitabh Bachchan, Sylvester Stallone etc. Now, they knew what kind of expressions Bhai had to give in the movie – all cool swag inspired by all of the above. Sometimes Sylvester, sometimes Amitabh Bachchan. But still there was a problem – what was the love story in all this, Bhai? Katrina Kaif had already been signed and so Bhai needed a love story, no? I mean, if they can make that “Padman” a superhero for making sanitary pads for his wife – surely Bhai needs a bigger and swaggier canvas to flex his love muscles?
In the meantime, while waiting for the love story to evolve, Katrina Kaif got more and more insecure and started pumping her face with all kinds of fillers and injectables available since the invention of Botox. Her dermat was the happiest of the lot because she could open another cosmetic clinic in Raipur with all the money she earned from Katrina.
Katrina also had the added advantage of no longer being required to act, she resembled the original robot in the video game that inspired this movie in the first place.
Then on the first day of the shoot of the movie, India happened to be playing Pakistan in a cricket match in Wankhede. So, Team Bhai got further inspired and added some Pakistani hostages to the bag of tricks as well along with the Indians. And some flags. And dollops of jingoism. And international locations – after all has anybody seen Iraq in an Indian movie before? Mind-blowing, sirji!
Then they roped in some more usual suspects in this hostage drama. Bhai needed some accomplices, no? Angad Bedi watched the most of these video games from the actors lot – and so he forgot to be human in his expressions entirely. Not his fault. Blame it on those bloody video games.
And the actor who plays the sniper? Well somebody forgot to tell Mr Sniper or the director for that matter, that snipers are expert covert shooters, that is, they are experts at shooting long distances from hiding places. And so because Mr Director and Mr Sniper were totally unaware of the meaning of the word sniper, every time Mr Sniper had to fire a gun, he inadvertently stood tall, parading himself fully to the enemy and fired away to glory.
So what, some may argue – why get into technical details in a Hindi movie. What a character that Mr Sniper had, na? Imagine Mr Sniper is a Muslim, but he loves the Indian flag over the Quran. (Aankhon mein aansoo, seeti maar emotional touch, no?)
Then there was also the various characters repeating the film’s title through every few scenes in the most infantile ways:
“Tiger Zinda Hai?!!!” (shock and awe)
“Tiger Zinda Hai” (cool and calculated)
“Tiger Zinda Hai – huhn!” (smug and slurpy)
And the world’s most-dreaded terrorist himself complimenting Bhai on his tiger-like eyes.
And, of course, then they decided to add the coup the resistance in the plot, some toxic gas. Yes, you heard right. The battle has now progressed from armed combat to chemical warfare. So, some highly toxic unnamed gas starts firing out of deadly cannon like cylinders. Deadliest poison known to man apparently. Which, of course, if you wear a “being human” flimsy grey scarf as Bhai does around his mouth and nose even as gallons of the poison are released into the air mere centimetres from your face, it can be fought off without a mask or any other protective gear whatsoever.
Being human is the world’s greatest gas, after all.
Do I recommend this movie? Ahem, Ahem. However, I do recommend that Salman Khan can next become the prime minister of India and Pakistan jointly. In a video game that is…