Liger: A Chimeras of Writer(s)
Star Cast: Vijay Deverakonda, Ananya Panday, Ramya Krishna, Ronit Roy, Ali, and Mike Tyson. Liger Review
Story – Screenplay by Puri Jagannath Liger Review
Cinematography by Vishnu Sarma
Edited by Junaid Siddiqui
Clinical lycanthropy is a rare psychiatric syndrome that involves a delusion that the affected person can transform into, has transformed into or is an animal.
In short, the above problem is popularly known as “Werewolf Syndrome“. When you know that you cannot fly but still try, people will definitely laugh at you when you fail. But some hope that you keep trying and achieve it someday. Puri Jagannadh sir has been challenging himself to make inconsumable film after film. He has been looking to climb lows as he got tired of climbing highs earlier in his career. Now, even if life gives him another chance to revive himself, he doesn’t want to take it up. And he wants to prove that he doesn’t deserve any kind of new chances anymore. Otherwise, nobody can accept to release of such a hurried product after three years of work.
Ram Gopal Varma made Anurag Kashyap write dialogues for him during Sathya and then a young writer for Sarkar. Both of those films became identities for the people that worked in them. Today, Anurag Kashyap made an identity for himself. On Contrary, RGV started to degrade his brand quality with each film post AAG. After making his lifetime dream film Sarkar (2005), he has been challenging himself to desert his brand and bury his legacy all by himself before someone else could. Being his follower, Puri Jagannadh also started doing the same. A writer who came up with a sensible and strong woman character in Amma Nanna O Tamila Ammayi (2003), wrote a character that has no sensibility in whatsoever she does for Ramya Krishnan kind of an artist in this one. For Example, take a scene where Ramya Krishnan tries to motivate her son to not fall into traps of love and concentrate on his career. Ramya madam delivered the lines written for her with utmost sincerity. Jayasudha goes to the bouts, whistles, encourages him in all his activities, even love, and then before her death, asks him to mend his issues with his father, as she doesn’t want him to be alone in life without her. Ramya Krishnan character had a similar problem with her son losing his focus in life, rather than showing love and care, she shouts. Even for a lady who doesn’t know how to really show her love and compassion, at least in words, there will be some sense of affection coming out. The writer in Puri Jagannadh did not care to use such a situation and made a laughable excuse of a monologue. Ramya madam tried hard to bring some affection through her eyes within the boundaries. Puri Jagannadh is a capable writer to deliver an even better monologue and better drama. But he just felt, “this is enough”. And that’s where the penchant to deliver something worthy dies.
He has been taking good and interesting points but delivering nothing but sad monologues and showing sensibilities whatsoever. The change is that he wants to feel modern, and bring some newness to the old clichéd scenes. That’s the challenge, if SS Rajamouli challenges himself to increase the budget, make 2000 men attack a single man in a mob, and shoot entry of a hero with wild animals while attacking a party, Puri goes the opposite. He wants to achieve the impossible of shooting an MMA fight with a hero who is ready to do anything, in the most absurd manner. Why? The werewolf syndrome has caught him. Not trying to be personal but personal life does affect a person, professionally that too, a writer for sure. Hardships in life either make you strong or change you totally. Whatever hardships he had to go through or whatever his life has shown him had a deep impact on him. Again saying, This is not intended in trying to insinuate any kind of personal statement about him. This is to tell that, some kind of disturbance in life has changed the writer in him more than the potential talent, he is or he can be. The writer in him once wrote a sequence where the hero questions a lady who supports another young girl’s private video being circulated by asking if she doesn’t respect another woman, in a mass film like Pokiri (2006). But a villain orders it to be done right away without any regret or remorse. A clear difference between whom should be idolized and who should be treated like an animal. Puri Jagannadh showed sincerity towards his characters at least in those sequences. Yes, Hero lies, makes few misogynist comments, and shows attitude but all that for a good cause. He doesn’t want to rule her but he wants to win her. He worries about her. In a very layered manner, writer Puri added sensibility to Pokiri Mahesh’s character. Otherwise, the movie would have ended like Ek Niranjan (2009) or Bujjigadu. Maybe that kind of writing happened accidentally or maybe when he was more relaxed as a person. But that doesn’t mean, he loses it for every other film. In Temper (2015), even though Hero has more bad qualities than good, he gives respect to women. In Ismart Shankar (2019) kind of a film too, the hero doesn’t take advantage of someone who is not his love. Even though there are hundreds of problems, issues, and subtle hints at the hero being redeemable or at least respectful made Puri, the man he is, not some random one-liners, which earned him more craze. He started believing in those one-liners than adding subtility and bringing novelty to the table even while operating in clichéd space. He started believing that novelty is in what a character says than does.
Now, in Liger, he wrote a hero who almost calls his lover or love of his life, bad words for leaving him. In the climax, the same hero goes and fights someone like Mike Tyson just to save her. Before meeting Tyson, he fights a gang of ladies. Trying to do something different, Puri Jagannadh couldn’t find a convincing way to bring them all into his script. Why would a legend like Mark Richardson among MMA fighters, go out and become a mafia don? There will be a reason. Puri Jagannadh from ANOTA, would have tried to bring that reason into the foray and bring some sensibility to the love story or drama as the hero gets compelled to save his love. Not just some random flash cuts to say that heroine went away so that he can achieve his dream. Why do random sequences need Mike Tyson? Because he can afford to bring him. Because he thought showing irony by saying whom we idoloize can turn out to be someone whom we would never respect. But did that idea come out on screen like that? No, why because Hero fights Tyson by imagining Tyson as an animal. Remember the werewolf syndrome, here, the hero hallucinates that his opponent killed his father on the instructions of his mother to raise emotions in him during the fight. The writer in Puri Jagannadh, back in Amma Nanna O Tamila Ammayi wrote a similar kind of sequence but then a father who was the coach asks the hero to concentrate and rejuvenate his energy to win the match. The emotion came from the sister character that seemed in no way important. The motivation for the hero came from saving the image of the same person whom he hated all his life, his father. Later, the father realizes his mistake completely when the hero tries to convince the same man whom he fought till now. What did Liger act 3 present? Some random fight at a ranch trying to make it hard to look cool, new, and funny.
The seriousness in making a movie and telling a story used to be the most important facets for that writer-director. For this man, new Puri, writing something on paper that he feels like writing and finding some actor who is willing to do it with him, without any questions, are only important. Somehow, a film has to be made and money can be earned or lost. Some film has to be made, that’s all. A cinematographer might have planned to shoot something innovatively. An editor might have planned to edit sequences as their life depends on it. A music composer might have wished to compose viral songs or lasting gems. Actors might want to give their life for the project. He will be happy to join them but does he want to make his BEST with them? No. Some output has to be made and if that somehow clicks, we can move on to the next. Rather than trying to make the best of what he has in his hands, he just wants to finish this work, see if the payments are made, and then make another one. Is this right or wrong? At a time when making a movie has become too costly, the person who becomes the captain of the ship, cannot be rushing out to make his or her next. As many people depend on it, whatever time one spends, giving their 100% to it, only makes it better. In the name of doing something new with age-old concepts, if someone just makes jokes out of relationships, break-ups, or writes roles to young women that make people watching those scenes irritate and agitate rather than understand or at least laugh at them, cannot be treated as filmmaking. In a factory, what you manufacture is more important, and then comes how much and how you manufacture. Hence, a designer, a team head, a manager, and a CEO get maximum payments according to the scale than someone who takes the instructions.
If someone just believes that his randomness can someday give him another Pokiri and prove to the world that he can go from bad to worst to insane then all we can request is to wake up from the bad dream or stop and analyze. How much ever you treat yourself as an animal, as a human – an intelligent animal, you cannot transform completely into a crossbreed of human and animal, known as Chimeras. Right from shot making to editing patterns to character arcs to random voiceovers, Puri Jagannadh just wrote whatever he could and made whatever he felt is “fresh and new, trendy”. Remember “Kukkatatvam” from Temper, his ideology in life seems to be following that. Just work like an animal without any goal. As we have progressed from being a man to an animal regressing back to one, becoming an animal that does things at will, cannot be ideal or trendy. Hope this is all taken in the right way or even if it isn’t, this has been written by another animal who worships cinema and has werewolf syndrome for finding the best possible one every other day. A Filmmaker can go wrong in trying a hundred things with honesty but if they lack it, it seems like a random animal working and hoping to make a living out of it. Chimeras are half-human too, hope those sensibilities come back, someday, or at least someone else won’t succumb to these syndromes like Liger.
Theatrical Trailer: Liger Review