Liger Movie Review

Puri Jagannadh’s Liger had generated significant buzz prior to its release, leaving audiences with high expectations. 

However, the film fails to deliver anything substantial beyond Vijay Deverakonda’s physical transformation. Liger attempts to blend sports drama and commercial cinema but falls short due to its lack of originality and logical coherence. While there are a few commendable aspects, the overall execution disappoints, leaving viewers wanting more.

A Confused Narrative

The story revolves around Liger (Vijay Deverakonda), a chai wala from Mumbai who aspires to succeed in the world of Mixed Martial Arts (MMA). 

Raised by a single mother, Balamani (Ramya Krishnan), who dreams of seeing her son become an MMA fighter like his father, Liger is sent to Mumbai to train under a renowned coach (Ronit Roy) with hopes of winning national championships. 

Initially, one might expect the film to follow a sports drama trajectory, but it takes an unexpected turn when Liger falls in love with Tanya (Ananya Panday), a social media influencer who happens to be the sister of his rival, Sanju (Vishu). 

The film then deviates into a love story, only to introduce Mark Anderson (Mike Tyson), Liger’s childhood hero, in a rather outlandish manner. Unfortunately, this mishmash of genres fails to create a cohesive and engaging narrative.

Lack of Logic and Character Development

Puri Jagannadh has never been known for prioritizing logic in his films, but in Liger, the characters are portrayed as inexplicably foolish. 

Tanya, despite being the sister of a martial artist, demonstrates a lack of knowledge about different fighting styles, referring to Liger’s MMA as “kung fu” and being surprised by his kicks. This lack of consistency and realism in character portrayal is baffling. 

Balamani, Liger’s mother, resorts to warning him against “deyyalu” (demons), perpetuating harmful stereotypes about women as seductive temptresses. These poorly written scenes are cringe-worthy and contribute to the overall disappointment of the film. While the film somewhat avoids excessive misogyny, it still includes crass dialogues and fails to acknowledge the capabilities of women in MMA. Such instances further highlight the lack of thoughtful writing.

Uninspired Execution

One of the major drawbacks of Liger is its lack of innovation in storytelling. The film adheres to the formulaic structure of a sports drama mixed with commercial cinema, but fails to bring anything fresh to the table. 

While Sunil Kashyap’s background score and Vishnu Sharma’s camerawork showcase a stylish approach, they do little to sustain interest throughout the film. The songs, with the exception of Akdi Pakdi and Coka 2.0, feel out of place in the narrative. 

Additionally, some fight scenes lack the desired impact. The stammering issue of Liger’s character is used as a convenient plot device rather than being explored for its potential depth.

Vijay Deverakonda’s Redemption

Amidst the film’s shortcomings, Vijay Deverakonda’s performance stands out as a saving grace. Despite occasional hit-and-miss dialogues due to the stammering aspect of his character, Vijay brings sincerity to his role as Liger. 

However, the character lacks dimension and growth, as his coach and mother deliver long speeches without significant impact. 

Despite being a chai wala from Mumbai, Liger conveniently finds doors opening for him, undermining the credibility of his struggles. Nevertheless, Vijay’s charismatic presence and dedication make him a likable protagonist, despite the limitations of the material.

Supporting Cast

Ramya Krishnan portrays the role of Liger’s supportive mother, but her character is characterized by excessive shouting. Ananya Panday, while looking charming, has room for improvement in terms of her acting skills. 

Getup Srinu manages to bring humor to some scenes, despite being burdened with silly dialogues. The rest of the cast, including Ali, Ronit Roy, Vishu, and Mike Tyson, deliver average performances. Tyson’s highly anticipated cameo falls flat, although a meta ear-biting scene is included for fans. The film’s ending fails to resonate with viewers, leaving a sense of dissatisfaction.

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Liger fails to capitalize on its promising concept due to its lack of focus and coherence. Puri Jagannadh’s direction lacks the necessary finesse to elevate the film above mediocrity. 

While Vijay Deverakonda impresses with his committed performance, the weak script prevents viewers from fully engaging with the character of Liger. 

The film suffers from a lack of originality and logical writing, resulting in an underwhelming cinematic experience. Despite the initial hype, Liger ultimately fails to leave a lasting impression and falls short of its potential.

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