Citadel Review: Priyanka Chopra Jonas & Richard Madden turn minds ‘upside-down’ with heart-stopping action and edge-of-the-seat thrills

Series: Citadel

Cast: Richard Madden, Priyanka Chopra Jonas, Stanley Tucci, Lesley Manville

Director: Newton Thomas Sigel

Showrunner: David Weil

OTT: Prime Video

Rating: 3.5 Moons (Based on the first two episodes)

Together they’re hot stuff. With Russo Brothers’ highly-anticipated spy thriller Citadel, Priyanka Chopra Jonas and Richard Madden turn the audience’s minds upside down with heart-stopping action, nail-biting twists, and sizzling romance and chemistry. The initial two episodes of the series will stream from April 28 with one episode launching weekly through May 26.

The first two episodes set the base for an adrenaline-pumping spy-thriller. Nadia Sinh (Priyanka Chopra Jonas) and Mason Kane (Richard Madden) are the catalysts who take the story forward along with Bernard Orlick (Stanley Tucci). Together, they have to stop Manticore, a syndicate that’s rival to Citadel, from establishing a new world order. With their memories wiped off after a life-altering train blast that brought Citadel’s fall, Nadia and Mason are challenged to rebuild their lives but this time, on the foundation of secrets.

Citadel is a long format show that requires attention. If there’s any kind of distraction, there’s a possibility of missing out on some link. The non-linear structure of the series keeps the screenplay busy throughout. Jumping from Italy to US and several other parts of the globe, Citadel maps an interesting story of two spies who shared a relationship that went beyond work hours.

Citadel’s story by Josh Appelbaum, Bryan Oh and David Weil is rich, dense and delectable. Infused with action and romance, the series is a perfect serve of entertainment. There’s a lot of information in Citadel hence being attentive is mandatory. Keeping the Russo Brothers’ style in mind, the series has various characters and the scope for exploring their backstory is extremely high in the next episodes.

The Newton Thomas Sigel directorial is visually appealing. Shot at exotic and picturesque locations, the series gets a brownie point for making optimum use of them in building a world of intrigue and mystery. The train sequence is particularly high on drama, action and visual beauty. The stunt choreography allows the female protagonist to show off her lean, mean and brutal side when she fights men double her strength. Celebrating female spies, Citadel doesn’t undermine the power of a statuesque woman.

There’s equal attention given to the family dynamics in Mason’s case. That subplot brings emotional weight to the story. The power play and rivalry between Citadel and Manticore is the catalyst and the grittiness in the conflict scenes promise a thrilling ride in the coming episodes. Citadel looks sharp, beautiful and larger than life.

Priyanka Chopra Jonas gives her all to Nadia Sinh. She excels in dramatic scenes. While there’s still a lot more to the character which will be explored in the upcoming episodes, Priyanka makes sure that action directors take her seriously henceforth. As Nadia, Priyanka slips into the skin of a no-nonsense spy who's a badass. The attention and dedication with which she performs her action sequences reflect on the screen.

Richard Madden is in top form as Mason Kane. The charm he exudes in every frame is simply unavoidable. Wearing the skin of the spy this time, Richard steals hearts with his effortlessness. He adds an emotional and thrill quotient to Citadel. Stanley Tucci as Bernard is lovable. There’s a lot more to his character than what meets the eye. Lesley Manville as Dahlia Archer is wicked, mean and dark. It is her character that shall make the conflict between Citadel and Manticore exciting.

The cinematography of Citadel gives the series an edgy touch. The frame oozes lavishness, grandeur and beauty. The background score is suited to the show. With every episode being less than an hour, Citadel is a quick and engaging watch. The series has the potential to turn the current OTT scenario upside down, in a positive way, and pave a path for more such stories that can be larger-than-life but still be watched at home.

PeepingMoon gives Citadel, 3.5 Moons