Is ‘Liger’ a big risk for its makers?

‘Liger’ is an upcoming film starring the South Indian heartthrob Vijay Deverakonda and Bollywood newbie Ananya Panday. It is a pan-India film set to release in 5 languages including Hindi, Telugu, Tamil, Malayalam and Kannada. Produced by Dharma Productions in association with Puri Connects, Liger is an action packed Puri Jagannadh directorial being made on a whopping budget of over 100 crores. It was set to release in 2020 but got delayed due to the out-break of the Coronavirus, and hence, the budget of the film is only swelling further.

Vijay Deverakonda is massive among the Telugu speakers, but his popularity, unlike Allu Arjun’s, is still at its nascent stage among the masses in the rest of India. Ananya Panday herself is yet to prove herself in terms of box office numbers, post the Khaali-Peeli debacle. And considering the fact that Puri Jagannadh’s last few films (except iSmart Shankar which was a commercial success) faired only averagely in the commercial market, Liger, in proportion with its budget, seems like a financial risk.

This is especially because, since the pandemic, with the rise of OTT platforms and content-driven films, typically massy commercial films don’t have that connect with the masses anymore. An example of the same is Coolie No. 1 which didn’t do as well on the platform as it was expected to. Not only financially, but even career-wise Vijay Deverakonda is clearly taking a leap of faith by venturing into a different film market with Liger. However, we can only hope that it all works out for the cast and crew of Liger, who evidently are putting in a lot of effort into the film.