Creator: Russo Brothers and Bryan Oh.
Director: Russo Brothers, Newton Thomas Sigel, and Jessica Yu.
Streaming On: Amazon Prime Video.
Language: English (with subtitles).
Runtime: 2 Episodes Around 30 Minutes Each (6 Episodes In Total).
A global spy agency Citadel is on the verge of existence as the Manticore (the bad people) are destroying their roots brutally. Nadia Sinh (Priyanka) and Mason Kane (Richard) are two agents who need to be called back to save the little bit of Citadel left. But the battle is more extensive than one could think.
A John Wick-ish underground culture, some top-notch action, Priyanka Chopra Jonas being the boss, Richard Madden serving our eyes, and the Russos bringing us to the edge of our seats every 5 minutes, are we prepared to witness a global franchise being born? The IP culture blending into the long-form storytelling has helped creators to experiment and widen their canvas much longer than one could have thought of a decade ago. Citadel stands right in the centre of the transition, where it takes cues from the past and shapes a future.
Created by Bryan Oh, Russo Brothers (Joe Russo & Anthony Russo) with their skilled team of writers, Citadel is much more than what we have already heard. It is surprisingly a show that has not even revealed its tip in the trailer, the iceberg is submerged deeper than we thought. One has to celebrate the sheer idea behind a show that doesn’t just look at ‘a’ industry but the world as one. The canvas is massive; every part of the globe can be a participant. The show, at the core, is a culture, one that of the spies who are trained to be ruthless assassins and go undercover like a chameleon. Imagine this world as full of people trained in Black Widow’s Red Room but not for selfish gains but for world security.
The best part about this show, which has some amazing action, and brilliant cinematography, is that it doesn’t assume that the audience can understand the backstory by looking at the present. It takes efforts and entertaining efforts to tell you how deeper this world runs around us. The year the show unfolds is 2030, Citadel is over a century old, and its opposition, Manticore, is somewhere the same age. They have both evolved, and their cultures have adapted both the root techniques and the technology.
The first two episodes screened for the critics hint at a lot. An abruptly broken love story, some incomplete jobs, and a very massive action sequences that we are prepping ourselves for. The only fear is that all these threads meet somewhere and don’t go unattended.
The respect for Priyanka Chopra Jonas and her professional achievements only grows with each feather she adds to her hat. The fact that she is the opening face of a show that is a gigantic global IP created by the directors of Avengers: Endgame should make all Asians super proud. The actor doesn’t take the moment lightly. She gives Nadia her all from her charm, to her acting skills, her physicality, and the punches with sharp kicks. She does amazing action in a pretty red dress, a prim and proper suit, and prepares us for the best.
Richard Madden, as Mason, is a charmer. For the one who has forgotten everything and is a clean slate, he is technically us in this setup. Thrown into situations that he is clueless about but has to come out alive somehow. His comic timing is surprisingly very good, and the gaze works amazing. One has to notice his chemistry with Chopra because it does vouch for a very interesting trajectory between the two on the show.
Stanley Tucci is well, Stanley Tucci, and you expect a certain level of ease from him with which he approaches his characters. The actor doesn’t disappoint. Lesley Manville is a promising addition to this cast as the broker to Manticore, and I am excited to see how evil she can get.
We have waited a couple of years for this and expected a full-length show out of it. At least I did. While just 6 episodes is still a digestible fact, each episode being only of 30 minutes acts like a bothering point. It is technically a 3-hour movie in that case. Endgame was longer than the show maybe.
Also, that very thing makes you feel like the show is leaving too much for the future episodes because it doesn’t feel enough. Besides, someone has to explain me how Mason got that family and whose kids are those.
Citadel is a world class franchise and invites a global audience. If not bulletproof, this is still a huge step towards inclusion and diversity; we must applaud that.
For more recommendations, read our The Crown Season 5 Review here.
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