Ok so I had earlier today watched the beat film of the year in Aparajito and to balance things Liger came along, thus becoming one of the worst films of the year. Every now and then you are thankful to be able to watch those lovely films only to crib when films like Liger become a part of your job invariably. I will mince no words in this review and be brutally honest on my thoughts on the film. It doesn’t help when good films like Laal Singh Chaddha don’t work but films like these are set scott free. No this is NOT a boycott campaign and I have watched the film and totally speaking on the merit of the film. And to be fair, I had this skepticism right from the time its first trailer was out. My red flags were up in whatever little glimpse I saw in the trailer with cringy dialogues and over the top sequences although Vijay Devarakonda was its saving grace. But I just wasn’t prepared for what was to follow as I finally finished watching the new “PAN” India film Liger. Is it worth your time, ofcourse not… but stay tuned for this epic review!
Story & Screenplay
Liger is a crossbreed story which is neither a sports film nor a love story. Actually there is no story here – just a random collection of scenes alternating between fight sequences and songs. The screenplay standing at 140 minutes is enough to kill many of your brain cells while you slowly witness them getting knocked down one by one, much like the antagonists in the film.
The drama is at its peak in the first 10 minutes which are decent(and they seem like gold now in retrospective) wherein you are introduced to the proragonist and his mother who wants him to be an MMA fighter. The proceedings are fairly decent although you do get a fair idea what the cringe which is to follow. Now first things first. The humour in this film.is much to do with the shortcoming of the protagonist who stammers throughout the film. A more realistic approach was taken by the makers of Gargi for the character of Kaali Venkat who suffered a similar phenomena yet it was so well handled. But no such subtlety here and it had no explanation as to why he was stammering. This had zero impact on the screenplay.
The screenplay seemed so random that I did get disconnected pretty early on, probably after the introduction of Ananya’s character which was so loud and annoying. To top it, the character of the mother tried to outdo her in terms of loudness in so many scenes which followed that I literally started spitting blood from my ears. The screenplay has no head or tail to it and just goes on and on.
I wonder who approved this piece of dogsh*t in the first place. The protagonist is a newbie in one scene and in the next scene he is fighting the MMA National championship. This after he suffers a heartbreak amidst the various objectification lines representing a female which just made me sick. And there is no stopping this mess.
In the second hour, the drama nose dives to newer lows. Not only do the sports action sequences seem like a joke but the entire second hour is a joke. If the chants of misrepresented jingoism wasn’t enough, out of nowhere there is a kidnapping leading to a final act which is unintentionally funny and just random. This as I watched my brain cells sliced up bit by bit, making them simmer on low flame till my brain was officially fried. If this is a screenplay which the makers think would work with the audience then I have no words to express further. What have we come to really?
Dialogues, Music & Direction
The dialogues are cringe personified while being packed as a mass masala entertainer. If feeling cringy was in the Olympics, I would have won the gold medal in it. I can’t remember how many times I have squirmed in my seat while watching this piece of sh*t. The lesser said the better. The music is an absolute joke with weird beats and weirder sounds which did make me cringe further. Needless to say that the songs appear out of nowhere and stall the drama which wasn’t there in the first place. The BGM is average. Some of the fight sequences are decent but that is about it. The editing is an absolute joke(wait have I said this already?). I was surprised that the production house like Dharma was backing someone like Puri Jagannadh whose recent track record even in the Telugu industry has been horrible. His style of filmmaking is passe and outdated. And here, he does what he knows best which clearly is an insult to the intelligence of the audience. At no particular juncture did I feel that I was invested in the drama which is nothing short of a royal mess!
The performances are a joke here, no sweeter way to put it. The cameo by Mike Tyson was embarrassing and almost laughable. He is a legend of the sport and to be treated like this was just disrespectful. He added nothing to the film, nor did the final act exude any confidence. Chunky Panday as Panday(😑😑) just overacts here. But he is not the only one. Even a veteran like Ramya Krishna is made to overact and scream in every scene. I almost got an impression of her just about to scream “Mahendra Bahubaliiiiii”. Rohit Roy is the only sane person in this universe and does a good job. Ananya Panday had taken two steos ahead with a pretty good performance in Gehraiyaan. But here she has taken four steps backword. She was enunciating every word which she was uttering thereby making me annoyed right throughout the scenes she was in. Come on girl, you are better than this! Pick yourself up and fast! Vijay Deverakonda as Liger has a good screen presence and I really appreciate his physical transformation. Which makes me feel sorry for him as his character is reduced to a caricature. His stammering scenes just do not create an impact other than adding crucial minutes to the runtime. This could have been a better written character but sadly it is nothing but a laughing stock.
Liger is a MASTERPIECE…..in BAD WRITING, BAD DIRECTION and BAD ACTING. Oh my head hurts as I am penning this review while I reach out for my paracetamol. Steer Clear! Available in a theatre near you.