Liger could have been able to earn the distinction of being a one-time watch if the makers had just devoted half as much effort in developing a captivating script as they did to beef up the promotions. The Vijay Deverakonda and Ananya Panday starrer undoubtedly caught us off guard but in an unimaginable manner, and after having the chance to see the movie, this is how I feel about it.
Deverakonda, who endured physical transformation, plays a stuttering kickboxer who relocates with his widowed mother to Mumbai in a quest to become a successful mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter.
The mother is a blazing, brimstone-filled Mother India. Although Liger talks sluggishly due to his speech impediment, there is nothing amiss with his personality. As he gears up for his big break, which will empower him and his mentor (Ronit Roy) to represent India with pride on the international stage, he punches, kicks, slams, and knocks.
The approach is cynical, and the narrative, which is packed with absurd scenarios of all types, is worn out. Ananya Panday's character as Tanya is not just a sexist misstep; it is downright archaic.
There was a period when developed characters with a penchant for speaking wildly and artistically staged Puri Jagannadh's movies. However, the writing in "Liger" is crude.
The substances used to make this movie, however, are neither new nor original: mixed martial arts, growling boxers, tough-as-nails coaches, the hero who would crush everyone by himself, and his love interest who breaks his heart, making him fiery and geared up to achieve his goals are tropes that have all been used before.
The movie takes you off guard just as you start to believe that it has found its level and will now continue along it with some steadiness. In the very next scene, it comes up with ways to drag itself farther and more into a bog of unpleasantness. Getting a group of females kicking the hero's ass doesn't actually make up for the misogynistic remarks flooding the screenplay.
Vijay Deverakonda is insightful and sincere. He deserves credit for portraying a person with a disability and his physiological transformation is remarkable. Although we can't claim he is excessively charming, he renders the gullible underdog look. In fact, you can definitely term him as the one-man army who tries to hold on to this scrappy plot.
Tolerating Tanya's (Ananya Panday) overly dramatic moments practically saps your energy. Ananya Panday essentially portrays herself; there is no acting or stepping into another person's shoe.
As a coach, Ronit Roy presents a fit appearance and speaks cliched words of wisdom. Ramya Krishnan exudes so much enthusiasm and energy that it occasionally seems overdone. The cameo by Mike Tyson is a letdown.
MMA scenes fillis in for the shoddy mess
If there was anything that could save this sinking boat was Vijay Deverakonda and the intensified fight sequences. The only thing you stick with is the action, which occurs in the ring and on a ranch with well-known real-life MMA artist Mark Anderson, played by none other than Mike Tyson.
Dialogues and Music
The "ghisa pita" dialogues can be mentally taxing. The jokes are chauvinistic and sexist. The songs' attempt to blend into the narrative in an abrupt manner is the worst aspect. Although it seems fine, the BGM doesn't really change anything.
Rating ** (2/5) stars