One can choose to watch Liger in Tamil, Telugu or Hindi but honestly language is irrelevant here because the only thing that attacks our eardums is the staggeringly loud background score. There is always music, very loud, very intrusive - that which refuses to remain in the background. It‘s purpose is to numb us into submission, and that we do. There are very few films that lose all control as early as Liger does. Ten minutes into it, and the EXIT sign of the theatre seems more inviting with every passing minute. Why should we stay put when sense, sensibility, logic and plot have all exited the building?
Liger is called Liger because dear mother (Ramya) identifies herself as a tigress and the father, who is long gone, as a lion. Therefore the portmanteau Li-ger! Our main man stutters and the film decides to make a big deal of it. He is smooth with his moves though. The movie makes a big deal of that too.
They drill this till the very end. He seems ready to fight from the first scene, but must enroll with Master (Ronit Roy) to learn mixed martial arts. We are said Liger is quick so he learns everything fast. Then again we are told he is made for bigger things, but the speech impediment not withstanding he meets Tanya (Ananya Panday), who crashes a wedding drunk and becomes a social media star. Social media influencers have never been so brutally trolled as they have been here. We know Tanya has a brother Sanjay, who can't stand Liger and is his MMA rival. We also know she makes silly reels to get more followers. But that’s all that we know. Did Ananya Panday know anything more that made her sign the script ? Women are distractions, made by god to remind men that hell exists. Liger‘s mother doesn’t like Tanya, and so she remains an object of hate and ridicule.
Characters pop in and out of Liger without warning or reason. Writer and director Puri Jagannath has Mike Tyson play a fictional Mark Anderson, and reduces the man to a buffoon.
The action shifts to America and Chunky Pandey appears. The final MMA bout happens not in a ring, but live streamed from a random outdoor location. Why ? You won't even bother asking. After all, it’s the same film where when Liger collapses mid-fight, his mother screams through the television at him and he dutifully wakes up. At one point, he even invokes the spirit of patriotism by saying “We Indians, Watt laga denge”. Well, all hell does break loose.
Vijay Deverakonda’s debut in Bollywood has him with a head full of hair, body full of bulging muscles and a performance full of ham. The film, which was supposed to be this big pan –India entertainer, is a disappointment of colossal portions.
Our rating: 1 Quint out of 5.
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