Director Puri Jagannadh’s Liger, starring Vijay Deverakonda and Ananya Panday, is a sports drama with no story.
We have seen Vijay Devarakonda and Ananya Panday all over the country for the promotion of their film. Director (Puri Jaganath), Producer (Charmi Kaur), and our star Vijay Devarakonda were confident about the Liger movie’s success. In a promotional interview, Vijay claimed that Liger is already a blockbuster film. But, did the film live up to his claim and impress his fans? Unfortunately, the answer is a big NO.
- Ramya Krishnan’s Performance.
- Vijay’s Performance
- No Story
- Mike Tyson’s characterization
- Poor Screenplay
Balamani, played by Ramya Krishnan, and her son Liger (yes, that’s his name, we kid you not), played by Vijay Deverakonda. A native of Karimnagar, move to Mumbai in search of an opportunity to enter the world of MMA. Unfortunately, Liger stutters as he speaks, making him an easy target for bullies, and he is ridiculed at every opportunity. But, soon, his fighting skills shut people up. Liger’s ultimate goal in life is to become a famous MMA fighter.
Balamani warns Liger not to get distracted by ghosts (girls) which will deviate him from his dream. Meanwhile, Tanya, played by Ananya Panday, a social media celebrity, glances at Liger and is impressed after seeing him fight. And eventually, they fall in love.
Director Puri Jagannadh, who has given many memorable blockbusters in the past, looks totally out of form. His recent hit was Ismart Shankar. Liger took three years to make. But nowhere in the theater I feel that. The story is so stale that even a child could predict the proceedings. We get no justifiable backstory that explains why Balamani and Liger chose MMA as a life goal.
Liger grants us a promising start. The street fights grab our attention. Shockingly that is the only fight the audience enjoys in the movie. Unfortunately, the screenplay goes downhill from here, mainly because of the love track between Vijay and Ananya. The scenes are written so that every time Tanya (Ananya Pandey pops up on the screen, we release a breath of exasperation.
If you think that is bad, wait, there is more. I was shocked to see Liger’s story reaching its climax 10 minutes into the second half. I thought the movie was over as Liger earns national-level MMA fights. But, the director, Puri Jagannadh, refuses to believe it. Instead, he stretches it further with literally zero stakes. The story takes us to America and introduces us to the boxing legend Mike Tyson, as Mark Henderson. While his cameo is intended to bring the much-needed high, it is unintentionally funny. Here the Liger team has wasted a golden opportunity.
Puri Jagannadh’s direction and screenplay failed to evoke any sense of emotion, except for one or two scenes. Every sequence is redundant and seems like they are taken from other movies. From the trailer, Liger seemed to be a template rags-to-riches story. But, as you sit in the theater watching the film, you realize it is neither a thrilling sports drama nor a moving love story, rags and riches, but never together.
Vijay Deverakonda’s body transformation is commendable. But, his stammering act gets in the way. Vijay is still in Arjun Reddy mode. It is high time he snaps out of it as it’s monotonous. Ramya Krishnan is loud and one of the characters who made the film interesting. But, Ananya Panday as the damsel in eternal distress, is forgettable. Mike Tyson is a legend, and it is baffling to see how he accepted such a role that does not add any value to the story.
Liger also joins the long list of films that blame women for men getting distracted. The film would make us question if the team spent ample time writing the script. Suppose only Puri Jagannadh, Charmme Kaur, and Karan Johar had spent half the time and money on the script instead of the promotions. In that case, Liger could have been a much better film. If only.
Our Rating: 5/10.
You can try watching the movie in theaters if you are a die-hard fan of Vijay or martial arts films. But I’d suggest waiting for a while and watching the movie on OTT platforms. The movie is going to be released on Disney+ Hotstar.