Liger Movie Review Rating: 2/5
Liger started creating buzz months before the cast was locked and the film went on the shooting floor. Everyone was looking forward to seeing Vijay Deverakonda in a Hindi film after he shot to overnight stardom with his Telugu-language romantic drama Arjun Reddy (2017), which was later remade with Shahid Kapoor as Kabir Singh in Hindi. While Deverakonda makes his Bollywood debut with Liger, leading lady Ananya Panday sets her foot in Tollywood as the Puri Jagannadh directorial is a bilingual simultaneously shot in Hindi and Telugu. After facing a series of setbacks due to the coronavirus pandemic, the film has finally released in theatres, and here is what our reviewer has to say about its merits and demerits.
STORY: Liger (Vijay Deverakonda) along with his widowed mother (Ramya Krishnan) shifts to Karim Nagar, Mumbai. His mother, Balamani, raised him with the only dream of making him an MMA champion because he is a mix-breed born to a lion and a tiger. His father died in the ring, and his strong-minded mother is ready to endure any pain to make his son a champion. Fighting all odds, Liger manages to get trained, but he is constantly picked on due to his stammer. His life takes a drastic turn when he meets social media-obsessed Tanya (Ananya Panday), the villain’s sister. What happens next forms the crux of the story.
HIGHS & LOWS: After watching the film, you will realise how aptly the makers titled it Liger, which means a crossbreed of a lion and a tiger. You will find glimpses of so many films in the Puri Jagannadh directorial, which is yet another crossover between Bollywood and Tollywood. If you ask me what is new in the film, you are leaving me speechless because there is actually nothing new that you have not seen before.
Having said that, the makers help you explore some breathtakingly beautiful locations. But is that enough? No. You go to watch a film to get entertained, and Liger disappoints you there and how!
There is no novelty in the script of the film. Puri Jagannadh has written some of the biggest blockbusters in Telugu, so it feels really surprising what befell him so he wrote such a nondescript film that has no soul, no purpose, no entertainment.
Coming to performances, a lot was expected from Vijay Deverakonda whose filmography includes several much-loved Telugu-language films. But, alas, he too fails to deliver. No doubt he worked really hard for this role. But we see his chiselled body and washboard abs more in the film than his acting talent. He should have chosen a better role to enter Bollywood, I strongly feel.
Ananya Panday’s role suits her personality, but it is written so poorly that the actress does not get any opportunity to put her talent on display. Was her role even needed? Yes, to add some glamour maybe. Mike Tyson, playing the fictional character Mark Anderson, enters the frame quite late and it feels like director Puri Jagannadh does not know what to do with his character. Overall, Liger is a wasted opportunity. I wonder how Jagannadh managed to get so many influential names onboard the project. There has to be a film explaining that.
FINAL VERDICT: Liger is nothing but a damp squib. It fails to deliver on every front, be it emotions or actions. Yes, there are some fight sequences that manage to hold your attention, but for that, you also have the option of watching a WWE match on television. Why waste your hard-earned money on a film for that? I am going with 2 stars.
Watch Liger trailer:
Banner: Dharma Productions, Puri Connect
Director: Puri Jagannadh
Cast: Vijay Deverakonda, Ananya Panday, Ramya Krishna, Ronit Roy
Runtime: 140 Minutes