'Liger' review: Cliché fest marinated in misogyny and toxic masculinity
There are two options to talk about Liger: One could rant about the cringe galore that the film is, or one could point out the horribly problematic elements (which I wish would be magically erased from my memory). I'm going with the latter as the former would make this article longer than the film itself. Here's our review on Vijay Deverakonda-led Liger.
Age-old sexist ideologies dusted and reused
If there's a university for misogyny and toxic masculinity, Liger would graduate with a gold medal (Deverakonda-led Arjun Reddy is still the top rank holder). We are told that women are "vampires," "Benz cars," and "witches." If one is ambitious, one should have no ties with women. On the other hand, women's ambitions are nothing more than viral Instagram Reels, in Puri Jagannadh's world.
Almost all jokes are in a bad taste
"Jokes" on stammering, being bald (who cares if you are boxing legend Mike Tyson?), and female fighters are sprinkled all over. Liger (Deverakonda) even jokes pondering who would marry these women if they fight, or says, he would only kiss women and not fight them! There's also this idea that scientists, doctors, and teachers cannot be qualified as men if they don't fight.
Story puts us off with no novelty whatsoever
Talking about the story, there's no novelty in Liger. It's an MMA movie about a boxer who is the son of a late boxer. It's tonally off because there's no one on this planet who can defeat or even give him a tough fight. So, even before the match begins, we know that the opponent of the protagonist is going to be knocked off.
Ananya Panday's role has no scope
No thought went into the characterization of the leading lady (Ananya Panday). She drinks, parties, and ditches her boyfriend so that he'd be motivated to win fights! Ramya Krishnan probably wore her Rajamata cloak from Baahubali when she shot for Liger. Her body language and expressions remind us of it. She's just there to shame "modern women" and beat her son to "motivate" him.
Poor screenplay with no connection between scenes
There's no idea in the film that would serve the screenplay. The makers seem to have sat down and created a checklist of the number of scenes to show Deverakonda's chiseled body, a certain number of boxing scenes, song sequences, a heartbreak scene, and some splash of patriotic dialogues that are supposed to instantly give us goosebumps (yawn) to launch his Bollywood entry.
Special disappointment for Tyson's fans
Why even make legends like Tyson do cameo appearances if they cannot be utilized properly? His introduction came after umpteen cliches. His stunt sequences were underwhelming. To make the matters worse, he ends up asking for a selfie with Liger! What a shame!
Even people from two generations back would cringe at 'Liger'
I don't recall even one serious issue that the film spoke about. If the makers had invested in the story and screenplay at least half as much as they did in Deverakonda's body transformation, the film wouldn't have been half as bad. We are going with 0.5/5 stars for Liger, and one can give it a royal miss, even on OTT.