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Bollywood Movie Reviews

The Citadel, High Octane Shero Actioner



The Citadel(Amazon Prime)

Rating: *** ½

Finally , a global shero from Asia to give Gal Gadot a run for her money? Priyanka Chopra Jonas  does some heavy lifting in the eagerly awaited The Citadel. The six-episode screen -shattering Bourne-like thriller  flaunts sinewy action sequences that seem the core of  the conflict.

Hence the larger suspense; which came first? The  idea of an action suspense thriller blending the  bustling immediacy of Robert Ludlum with the  here-today-gone-tomorrow sheepish espionage  from the James Bond series?Or the  plot which is heavy with  intrigue, some of it  unnecessary.

A long lingering look at the  first two episodes reveals  a show that is  high on thrills, but a  tad  too selfimportant.

 I wish the  characters were  not so selfabsorbed. Both  Mason Kane(Madden) and  Nadia(Priyanka) seem more  in love with themselves than with the idea of saving the  world from a rogue organization named  Manticore. The two have a past history which has  been erased  from their  individual memories. But we know what they don’t: they had the hots  for  one another.The embers are  still burning.

 There is a burgeoning sense of  unfulfilled  passion in the  plot that sucks you into its votex and tells you to find your way out on your own. It is a complex plot filled with double-crossing characters  who  barely seem to know why they are on the run. But everyone is  running from someone  or  some organization,if not from oneself.

It is impossible  to  talk about the plot without giving it away. There is  a marked fatalism in the way the  plot moves ahead , while  deep-diving into the past for answers  to  Nadia and  Mason’s  sinister present and blanked-out past. Priyanka and Richard  Madden  play their amnesiac spys’ roles with a  blend of  mystery and  passion. Neither  is expected to deliver  a great performance.  They aren’t even trying. Just making the right  action moves gives them a collective charm and  chops.

There are  better actors than the principal  performers  in CitadelLeslie Manville , so sweet-natured  in Mrs Harris Goes To Paris, is  a bundle of evil  as a scheming  politician who will stop at nothing(and by nothing I do mean  nothing). The ever-reliable Stanley Tucci as  the former Citadel supervisor gets his teeth removed  during  an elaborate torture sequence.

And yet Tucci’s performance has a lot of bite. Ditto the series. Citadel  begins with a brilliantly staged action piece in a speeding train. There is kidnapping  torture  and charactorial swerves that could leave  the viewers  breathless.And we’ve only just begun.

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