Liger Review: This Vijay Deverakonda actioner is a beaten-to-death, languid mess

Liger review: The performances are mixed at best. Vijay Deverakonda is measured and earnest. His physical transformation is splendid.

Updated on Aug 25, 2022   |  11:46 PM IST  |  338.7K
Liger Review: This Vijay Deverakonda actioner is a beaten-to-death, languid mess
Liger Review: This Vijay Deverakonda actioner is a beaten-to-death, languid mess

Title: Liger
Cast: Vijay Deverakonda, Ananya Panday and others
Director: Puri Jagannadh
Run Time: 140 Minutes
Rating: 2/5

There was a time when Puri Jagannadh's films used to be dramatized by well-rounded characters with a flair for talking recklessly and creatively. Even the negative characters would feel fresh. The hero had the ability to laugh at himself. Even in the worst-case scenario, a few dialogues used to feel like they were borrowed from a jobless philosopher. 

In 'Liger', though, the writing is rudimentary. The absence of an active villain beats the crap out of the second half. Listless Mixed Martial Arts blocks (the stunts by Kecha and Andy Long are strictly functional) make you wonder if they didn't know this was a pan-Indian big-screen spectacle. Since the love story is uneven, uneventful and superficial, the only running emotion is the single mother's pride in her son's omnipotent abilities. Even here, the execution is failed by typical over-the-topness. Ramya Krishna, who plays Liger's possessed mother, doesn't rest until her son smashes everyone along the way. 

Liger (Vijay Deverakonda) is a natural MMA fighter who stammers a lot. Stammering is his only handicap. Otherwise, he is a born genius who doesn't need much training in anything. He is so gifted that he doesn't have to do the fighting in the MMA ring to become a world champion; he can do it at a place of his choice. 

Liger's superficial involvement in emotional matters shows. Forget the emotions for a while. When it is time for no-holds-barred contests, the film should have gotten its act together. But it doesn't. The flips and the feet-flying combats don't give a high for the reason that the writing falters incessantly. Done-to-death plot turns are intercut with action. 

The film struggles to speed up, but it is effortless in slowing down. The bad guys are reduced to dolts. The fists of fury are below-average. The film is not even a reservoir of Puri-isms and only the fans of the senior director know what it means. 

The performances are mixed at best. Vijay Deverakonda is measured and earnest. Kudos to him for playing someone with a handicap. His physical transformation is splendid. He makes the susceptible underdog look sweet, although we can't say he is irresistibly so. Ananya Panday looks the part of a part selfish, part caricaturish city-bred girl. But her character is reduced soon after its introduction to mouthing lines in Liger's priase. She deploys terms like 'paisaa vasool' and 'seeti maar performance' as if everyone in the hall has just watched never-seen-before action scenes. 

Ronit Roy looks fit and mouths quotable quotes as a coach. "They ignore you. Then they insult you. Then they fight you. Then you win." And then the audience ignore you. Getup Srinu gets more space than he actually deserves. Mike Tyson's cameo is a dud. 

When a lower-class guy falls in love with an upper-class girl, our directors invariably include a pub scene. At one point, 'Liger' becomes all about defending oneself or one's friend/relative against bullies. Bullying is the leitmotif of the film. Liger's characterization is about how well he can be insulted and how strongly he hits back. Backdrops range from a pub to a metro rail but the themes remain stuck in one place. Phew!

ALSO READ: Liger LIVE UPDATES: Audience reviews, box office numbers of Vijay Deverakonda starrer

Check out Liger trailer below:

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Top Comments
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Anonymous
Aug 25, 2022
Ananya pandey is most annoying thing on screen
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Anonymous
Aug 25, 2022
It was known since day one this is an awkward project .
REPLY
Anonymous
Aug 25, 2022
This movie dies nothing to the careers of VD or AP .
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Anonymous
Aug 25, 2022
both VD and AP look emaciated .they both should put on some weight .
REPLY
Anonymous
Aug 26, 2022
Mother role is amazing, loved the fun ride, Puri is a wonderful director - pv post
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