‘Liger’ movie review: Vijay Deverakonda’s action drama is all noise and little else

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In the opening minutes of Liger, a voiceover describes the title character as a slumdog from the streets of Mumbai aiming to win on an international stage.

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Though overuse, this Dalit template can still make the cut if a writer-director has a story that stays true to its surroundings and engages the audience.

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Helmed by Puri Jagannadh and starring Vijay Deverakonda, Liger, however, comes across as a lazy written film, which is a song/song. The stunt moves from sequence to second.

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Liger (Vijay Deverakonda), whom his mother Balamani (Ramya Krishnan) describes as a crossbreed between lion and tiger, is good at mixed martial arts (MMA).

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Hailing from Karimnagar and raising him on her own, she has moved to Mumbai to see him as an MMA national champion; Mother and son make a living by running a tea shop.

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They take the help of a coach (Ronit Roy), though they can't pay the fees. Balmani is a feudal character who does not bend; She reveals an emotional story that cuts ice with Koch.

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Puri gives Liger an obstacle – a stutter. He can hit several punches when he strings a sentence together. Predictables follow scenes in which Liger is ridiculed by MMA students.

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Once Liger's potential in MMA is established, the story introduces the leading lady, known as a retard, who is both deliberately and unconsciously hilarious and annoying.

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Tanya (Ananya Panday) is portrayed as a rich brat who wants to grab social media attention. A friend of hers suggests posting 'hot' videos to grab attention;

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In another scene, Balmani loudly talks on the phone and asks Tanya to leave her son alone and not mislead him, saying she wants to see him as a champion.

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Trying to put together the volatile narrative is Vijay Deverakonda. His physical transformation makes him nimble and fit enough to pull off stunt scenes.

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