Citadel wants us to believe it’s important, but suffers from cultural amnesia at its worst
Prior to the release of Prime Video’s Citadel, the media’s focus was on its star, Priyanka Chopra Jonas. With promotion for one of the biggest, most expensive shows ever, the star talks about how the show came to life, and where it’s going. It comes as no surprise, as Varun Dhawan and Samantha Ruth Prabhu have already been signed to star in the Indian adaptation of the series. No wonder where else it will go. (Also Read: Priyanka Chopra’s Citadel Is Officially Renewed For Season 2 As Season 1 Ends)
To get back on track, Something Citadel does very well with its flashbacks (more on that later) from 8 years ago, how the hype revealed how, media attention was determined to remain focused only on those elements. Those who came in the development of the show. Globe-trotting, the Spy franchise was joined by the name of executive producers Joe and Anthony Russo, to create a Spyverse with franchising a brand on foreign spinoffs like none other.
Two secret agents Mason Kane (Richard Madden) and Nadia Singh (Priyanka Chopra Jonas) are on a mission to stop a powerful organization transporting enriched uranium, with details of the series kept aside from the original structure we know almost nothing about. Were. Are we on track yet? Soon, we’ll know. No need to go back 8 years.
Surprisingly modest and hard-working, Citadel comes off like a whisper promising a storm. The narrative is so obsessed with its forgetful detectives that they jump and fly back into the past every 15 minutes to reveal a hidden layer beneath the mission, it forgets to inject some semblance of logic. I’m not even going to try to begin with the completely wasted opportunity Citadel presents its audience with in the guise of a path-breaking espionage franchise. Rather what I’m going to try is when you have a piece of dialogue like “You can’t even remember to put the toilet seat down. You’re Jason Bourne now?” In a tense scene involving former spies, one can’t help but wonder if there’s something more farcical than the show never taking itself seriously in the first place.
The main problem with Citadel is that it’s a show that doesn’t even try to build its own image. It makes no sense of its own—and assembles itself like a dichotomy between a centuries-old generic template and modern sensibilities. It sounds like a mindless, frenzied campaign without purpose. Watch how the audience does not take long to follow the pulse of the show on the strength of the current attention span of social media. An episode is out and if it clicks, the reactions follow soon after. If you notice, Citadel barely made that much noise online after the initial media attention to hype faded with the arrival of a new episode every passing week. I’m not here to argue in favor of letting instant social media attention define the value of any piece of art. This is a non starter in the first place for any sort of criticism.
What I’m trying to point out here is that there is a need for authentic, relevant exposure, which a show like Citadel could have benefited from. A point that already feels planted within the confines of this massive show, but which its myopic vision fails to grasp. The Citadel has no relation to modern-day politics, global socio-economic inequalities or worse, to a mechanism representing a fictitious organization concerned with the security of the people.
Even as the action shifts timelines and continents, Citadel sticks to its robotic obligations to mine secrets within secrets. The setting does nothing to evoke or elicit a response for a show like Citadel—mainly taking place in contained spaces that feel increasingly designed and saturated. Whether it’s a nerve-wracking episode of going on a submarine (don’t ask me why) or a heated exchange at a cafe where Nadia makes a choice for herself over Mason’s proposal, the scenes register without authenticity and practicality. Are. The characters remain wooden and directionless, despite their numerous flashbacks and hidden motives. Citadel may champion itself for being a progressive signaling to its genre format, but at its core it is a show that is so satisfied feeding itself this ideological tagline that it has an equally powerful story to drive. forgets to make
By the end of the first season of Citadel the picture becomes clear. More spin offs will follow, more flashbacks will follow. Expect more concrete time travel in Veil of Motive. The story has really just begun, it seems, but if this is the speed and depth with which the next will follow this hollow premise plot, then be prepared for more unnerving spies saving the world, which they call their oversaturated bastion outlets. can be seen from the perspective of , The amnesiac detectives and their soapy trust issues didn’t bode well for the first batch.