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Liger is just the film you feared Puri Jagannadh would make

Vijay Deverakonda's character has all the qualities you expect from a protagonist in a Puri Jagannadh film

Liger is just the film you feared Puri Jagannadh would make
  • Srivathsan Nadadhur

Last Updated: 09.51 AM, Jul 21, 2022


There’s not even an iota of doubt when we say that Puri Jagannadh has been a trendsetter in Telugu cinema. His slick screenplay, his brand of no-nonsense, hot-blooded protagonists and their no-holds-barred monologues have influenced scores of filmmakers over the years. While he has directed Hindi films before, Liger is the first pan-Indian film in his career.

The trailer of Liger, that released today, has all the makings of a typical Puri Jagannadh film comprising a supposedly strong, rowdy-ish mother, a protagonist who’s brash and reckless, his arrogant, city-bred romantic interest who’s waiting to be tamed. Put them all together in a setup where there’s a mishmash of action, dance and sports and you have Liger.

The only surprise is that Vijay’s character has a weakness - he stammers. Apart from that, there’s nothing in the trailer that leaves you in awe. It’s evident the director got a huge canvas to recycle his time-tested tropes, even roping in the likes of Mike Tyson for the first time in Indian cinema. Puri Jagannadh has become so conscious of his own signature over years but he refuses to listen.

After Pokiri, most of his protagonists behave or react similarly and only the backdrops change from film to film. In the case of Liger, you’re reminded of an Amma Nanna O Tamil Ammayi. If one thing's clear, it’s the fact that Liger is made for audiences who haven’t discovered him as a filmmaker yet. There’s very little about Liger that feels like a Telugu film too.

For Hindi audiences, who’re enjoying masala potboilers with vengeance, Liger may have got its timing right. However, unlike RRR or a Pushpa, it’s not a film that the Telugu industry can be very proud of, on a national level. Puri Jagannadh’s eccentricity finds a right match in Vijay Deverakonda’s persona and that’s why you can’t write off Liger as yet. The film releases on August 25.