Citadel review: Priyanka Chopra, Richard Madden bring on the sizzle and thrill in this edgy spy thriller where action and emotion reign supreme

Citadel review: Priyanka Chopra, Richard Madden bring on the sizzle and thrill in this edgy spy thriller where action and emotion reign supreme
Apr 2023

Priyanka Chopra Jonas - the desi girl gone global is back and with a bang. The actress plays a sassy spy in Russo Brothers' spy thriller, Citadel, the first in a series of a whole spy universe that spans multiple countries. Priyanka joins Richard Madden of Game of Thrones fame and if you have already seen the trailer, you'd know there's a reason the creators went for this firecracker onscreen pair for their first outing in the series. Russo Brothers have openly admitted that Citadel is their tribute to their love of James Bond films. And its no surprise, for more or less all spy thrillers aim to design their heroes having a similar chutzpah and panache, if not more, of Bond and his girls. But having said that, does Citadel manage to stay away from the cliches of the spy genre? Does it deserve your time, energy and attention? Read on the Citadel review to know.

Citadel Web series review
Director: Russo Brothers (Anthony Russo, Joe Russo), Newton Thomas Sigel, Jessica Yu
Cast: Priyanka Chopra Jonas, Richard Madden
Streaming on: Amazon Prime Video
Release date: April 28, 2023
Total episodes: 6

Watch the Citadel official trailer starring Priyanka Chopra and Richard Madden here:

What's It About?

What's It About?

Citadel, a global spy agency that has been working towards the safety and security of people, has fallen and the memories of its agents' have been wiped off. A new and more powerful syndicate, Manticore, is emerging and the world order is under threat. Two of the best Citadel agents Mason Kane (Richard) and Nadia Sinh (Priyanka) narrowly escaped eight years ago, but their memories have been wiped away and ever since, they have been living a secret life, with new identities. But they must now return. One fine night, an ex Citadel colleague tracks down Mason. He needs help to stop Manticore and Mason cannot do it without his former Citadel partner, Nadia. The two join forces for this new mission which is dangerous and laced with secrets, lies, deception and an unceasing love.

What's Hot?

Citadel is much more than what one can imagine a spy thriller to be. But is it better? Definitely! Priyanka Chopra is feisty, ferocious and delightful and will remind you how much you missed watching her in action. She has made the wait worth it and seems to have given Nadia her all. She is a perfectionist and it shows. Be it her scenes with Richard or her action sequences, Pri will leave you charmed. Richard Madden has the style and sex appeal that help him light up the screen each time he's in the frame. While he is strong and a brave-heart on the outside, his character has a certain vulnerability, that makes him that much more endearing.

The thriller has just the perfect plot twists to keep you on the edge of your seats. Priyanka and Richard's Citadel is one of many more parts of the franchise but this is as fitting a curtain raiser as it could get. And it beautifully establishes the motive of the story, rather stories that will follow. The action is awe-inspiring but shot keeping in mind that it is a web series and not the big screen experience. It doesn't leave you overwhelmed. Another beautiful aspect of Citadel is that even though it is set in the future (2030), it doesn't go overboard with technology that are too OTT. Russo Brothers' fabulous writing handholds you as you find more and more about Citadel's past and what really happened many years ago, before Manticore came into existence.

Special mention, to the emotional arc of the two leads, who are not only sincerely invested in the mission but also deeply involved with each other. Love, romance, chemistry - things that a lot of spy thrillers lack, or just treat as a side plot, forms an integral part of the storyline in Citadel, along with the adrenaline-rush of action and drama. Priyanka and Richard's chemistry is fiery and you'd not have enough of them. And that brings me to the aspect that made me a little disheartened.

What's Not?

Citadel has a total of 6 episodes, each of them being around 30 minute long. In a day and age where binge watching is a thing, the series will come to an end before you have had enough of it. And the wait before the next in the franchise comes our way may deflate some of the rush and excitement, especially for a franchise that connects to various stories, spies and states. Another botheration is how it is so far apart as far as the visual appeal is concerned, when the makers have called it a tribute to Bond films. Yes, it is made for the small screen experience but the visual aspect could have been a notch higher.

BL Verdict:

Citadel is made for a Pan World audience and the makers go the extra mile to make it that much more stylish and relatable for a global audience, with a story that will have you hooked and performances that are enchanting. Citadel should definitely be on your weekend watch list.

Rating: 3.5 stars