Liger: A Movie Experience

Many may already be knowing about the story of King Shantanu and his wife Ganga from the epic Mahabharata. Ganga married Shantanu with one condition, that he will never ask her any questions about whatever she wished to do. Enthralled by her beauty, Shantanu agreed to this clause. When their first child was born, Ganga took the newborn along with her and drowned her in the river. Astonished, heartbroken, yet stuck by the clause, Shantanu observed this scene followed by it being repeated for the next 6 times as well, each time a child was born. When their 8th son was born, Shantanu could take it no more and asked Ganga to stop. As the marriage condition broke, Ganga told him that the children she bared were all cursed saints and she was supposed to keep their lives on Earth to the bare minimum. But since the 8th son (saint) could not be drowned anymore, he will have to face the entire life of a human, face happiness and sorrow, life and death. This son was Bhishma Pitamah, who was the only character who witnessed the entirety of the Mahabharata.

The deathbed of Bhishma. Picture Source: drikpanchang.com

The reason I start with this anecdote is, like Bhishma, we too are humans, who need to face the happiness and pitfalls of life till the time we are on Earth. While there are a number of things adding to happiness in my life, the movie Liger has been one of those Bhishma Pitamah moments. The movie is bad, cringe, nauseating, eyes piercing, ears drowning, and every other adjective there could be to describe the pain a victim went through in the movies like Saw or The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Don’t ask me why did I watch Liger now. From all the reviews I had read of this movie, I knew what it would be like. But unfortunately, I have a sweet tooth for pathetic movies. Liger is a 2 hrs 10 minutes long movie, which I finished in 20 minutes, yet I am feeling dizzy.

The story is of a guy whose mother, I don’t know why wants him to become a boxer, or fighter, or wrestler, or maybe the bull of Spanish bullfighting. I don’t know what she wanted, while literally thrashing and howling at this full-grown man. This guy, I am assuming his name is Liger, although who in their sane mind would name their son “Liger”. I don’t know what Liger does for a living, but he falls in love with Ananya Pandey (no idea what’s her character’s name is). She is equally obnoxious as Liger, Liger’s mother, and all the other Chintaru-Pintaru sprinkled here and there. Apart from being extremely lame, Ananya is also stupid, stupidity that grows exponentially as the movie advances. It is sorry to see her choosing such scripts. Anyway, she is making good money so let her be happy. Then something happens, this couple whose dance moves are most likely inspired by chimpanzees or orangutans, splits apart. Then they come to the USA. Liger is fighting boxing matches. Mother is screaming at Liger from home in India, while he is fighting a match live on TV in the USA. Mike Tyson fighting Liger at a beach. Ananya was kidnapped by Mike Tyson’s crew. I don’t know what was happening.

Why the makers made this movie can be taken up as a research question by anthropologists. It is worth studying. And while watching the movie, what happens to the neurological balance of the viewers? Another research question for neuroscientist. If these studies are undertaken, then I can understand the point of making this movie, otherwise, this question will haunt me every time I open the Hotstar app or website.

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