What Is the Film About?
Balamani (Ramya Krishna) and his son Liger (Vijay Deverakonda) move to Mumbai from Karimnagar to learn MMA. Soon they find a coach, and Liger starts training. It is the dream of Liger to become an MMA fighter.
Liger’s mom warns him to stay away from girls and not fall in love. The overall story is what happens when Liger falls in love with Tanya (Ananya Panday). The journey of Liger from a National champion to an International one, and what happens later, is the movie’s overall plot.
Without any doubt, Vijay Deverakonda is the mainstay of Liger. He has always been sincere in his acts, but one could sense repetitiveness. In Liger, one gets such a feeling despite the unique characterisation. Vijay Deverakonda plays a guy with a stutter. It is a simple tweak, but it brings a lot of freshness to the role. It comes with a problem, but more on it later.
The character trait and the action form the two shades in Liger for Vijay Deverakonda. If the stuttering dominated the significant portions of the first half, aiding the romance, then it’s the action plus stammering in the second.
If one were to assess the part strictly, there is nothing new in the act from Vijay Deverakonda outside the stutter. Even here, Puri Jagannadh goes overboard with it in the second half. Literally, every word is spoken that way which is an overkill and becomes an irritating factor. One might face the same problem much earlier too.
However, a much bigger thing is at play here than mere performance. It is the star presence. Liger is the first ‘larger-than-life’ star turn for Vijay Deverakonda. It is what Puri Jagannadh brings to the table and shows us a glimpse of VD’s potential. A better subject selection is the need of the day to create a bigger impact – as simple as that.
Ananya Panday is ideally suited for the part even though she looks too young. She effortlessly pulls off the bubbly and charming rich girl part, but there is nothing more to it. It is due to the cringe scenes if she still manages to irritate or her part feels irritating.
Puri Jagannadh directs Liger. His last movie came more than three years ago, which is quite an unusual gap for him. However, looking at the scale and setting of Liger, one feels it might be justified for a change.
Like most mass masala films, the story is wafer-thin and predictable for Liger. We know where it’s headed and what will happen in the end. It is that predictable.
But, first, things start on an exciting note establishing the MMA sports backdrop in Mumbai. However, it soon gives way to an utterly predictable love story. We have seen similar tracks dime a dozen in the past. A fresh pairing or a unique characterisation is an exterior garnish. What remains inside is all old as hills.
The bigger disappointing thing here is the actual ‘MMA’ sport. Puri fails to explore the backdrop properly. Many things are glossed over, and the training is over during a montage song. The high which comes out of the ‘sport’ is entirely missing here. Everything is flat and rushed.
The interval bang continues the ordinariness. But, there is still an interest because one looks forward to the sport in the second half and the journey of the hero achieving his goal.
What happens in the second half is all the expectations come true, but it all happens within the first half an hour itself. It makes one think about the movie’s point in the first place. If it’s a sports drama with a love story, then it is almost over within the first half an hour itself. But, then Puri brings in heroine kidnapping thread and Mike Tyson episode to burn the rest of second half which makes no sense.
The actual sport takes place here, but again most of it is concluded in montages. The star does his aggressive mannerism with attitude, and they are fine in isolation, but nothing comes together to make an impact. The high of the action and sport is never felt.
The narrative then shifts to the US, highlighting the cluelessness. The entire last half an hour is one big rolling the eyes sequence. It’s the kind one would reject on paper only, but we have such a big movie made out of it.
Overall, Liger is a wasted opportunity, no doubt. And the blame should be entirely taken by the actor for accepting and the director for the story. The first half is decent at best, but the second half is unbearable.
Performances by Other Actors
Ramya Krishna has a decent role with a few emotional scenes. But, she lacks the meat on her part to leave an impression. There are no highlight sequences considering her potential. Ronit Roy as a coach is alright, but overall it’s part of a flat track. And hence, it appears ordinary.
Ali and Getup Seenu are seen doing comedy. The former’s humour doesn’t work, whereas the latter is good in a few scenes. Vishu is fine playing the routine antagonist-shaded part. Makrand Deshpande is seen in one scene and is alright. Mike Tyson regrettably plays a forgettable role. The rest of the actors have bits and pieces of roles which are instantly forgotten.
Music and Other Departments?
Multiple composers provide music for Liger. They don’t have the Puri Jagannadh hit music appeal in Telugu, audio-wise. But trendy on-screen picturisation and coming in short bursts offer relief. Sunil Kashyap’s background is okay in parts, even on predictable lines.
Vishnu Sarma’s cinematography is neat. The visuals and the production values give Liger a biggie appeal that must be seen on the big screens. The editing by Junaid Siddique could have been better. By the end, Liger feels very lengthy and tiresome.
Vijay Deverakonda (First Half)
Vijay Deverakonda (Second Half)
Not Even Half Baked Story
Clueless final 40 minutes
A proper sports drama, especially in the second half, would be an alternative take. It would have had a predictable graph, though. The challenge lies in giving the right high, which Liger had plenty of opportunity due to its MMA background. Puri Jagannadh’s plans to provide a different twist have backfired big time here.
Did I Enjoy It?
Will You Recommend It?
Liger Movie Review by M9News
Liger has a manageable, passable first half giving a pass to ordinariness. However, the second half takes a drastic turn on the negative side with a clueless pre-climax and climax. Liger is a massive opportunity wasted by Puri, unfortunately.
— The over usage of stammering while uttering dialogues quickly turns into a speed breaker. Its initial freshness is gone due to Vijay Deverakonda overdoing it.
— Second half started. Liger enters the ring and wins the first national championship and off to Los Angeles.
First Half Report:
A stuttering Vijay Deverakonda holds things together in the first half of Liger. He is the mainstay. The rest is typical and predictable Puri Jagannadh stuff with a flimsy storyline. A big second half is needed for the movie to take off.
— Mom and son goes to Mumbai for MMA. Liger is working as a helper and waiting for his chance to get trained.
— Show started. Liger opens his flashback, followed by an intro fight.
Liger USA Premiere updates, report shortly. Stay tuned.
Liger Pre-Release Talk:
The most-awaited mass action drama in the combination of Vijay Deverakonda and Puri Jagannadh is all set to hit the cinemas on August 25th. Interestingly their last releases came a week apart, three years ago.
While Vijay Deverakonda had a delayed release in between, Liger is the next release for Puri Jagannadh after scoring a blockbuster. It isn’t, therefore, a surprise that the movie has got tremendous hype. The budget, action cum kick-boxing backdrop and pan-India ambition have made it only bigger.
The craze and hype on the project are such that Vijay Deverakonda is looking at openings close to tier 1 stars. It means if the actor scores a hit, he would have a grosser on par with them. Liger’s success will then start the process of his rise to becoming a tier 1 star.
The songs haven’t clicked in Telugu, but the trailer has become one of the most talked about since its release. The aggressive promotions have steadily increased buzz as the movie gets closer to its release. It is reflected in the openings.
In the Telugu states and the US, Liger is getting the biggest release ever for Vijay Deverakonda. The advances are superb, and all everyone is waiting for now is the talk.
As always, M9.news will bring you the ‘First-On-Net’ Liger movie review, genuinely and honestly. Keep watching this space for our updates.