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Yodha Review – Sidharth Malhotra starrer holds a cunning twist laced with stereotypes and engaging drama

Yodha finds itself somewhere 30 minutes into the movie and one needs to be patient to know the drill until the interval point. 

3/5rating
Yodha Review – Sidharth Malhotra starrer holds a cunning twist laced with stereotypes and engaging drama
Yodha Review

Last Updated: 11.04 AM, Mar 15, 2024

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The Yodha battalion, a group of trained fighters of top order, is known for carrying out deadly missions under government orders. When a flight gets hijacked and Arun Katyal (Sidharth Malhotra), the only Yodha on board cannot save it, hell breaks loose on him. Soon he fights an in-flight commando, and one fine day the dark fate knocks on his doors again.

Yodha Review:

If there is one thing that gives Sidharth Malhotra the adrenaline to perform well and go beyond his set standards, it is playing a man in uniform. Minus Aiyaari, the men in both Shershaah and Yodha have kind of pushed the boundary for himself, and even if not the most nuanced performance, he has at least attempted to bring something new to the table. Dharma with its series of films celebrating the defense forces is no less. Be it Raazi, Gunjan Saxena: The Kargil Girl, or Shershaah, they all have been good decent films. Now as they come to us with Yodha, what new do they have to offer? 

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There are no two ways about the fact that Yodha is completely marinated in stereotypes. There is a father-son motivating story, a man and wife fighting because of the job, a hero who can do unimaginable things that might sometimes even question physics, and more. But what saves Yodha from falling into its own trap is the list of twists that the directors Sagar Ambre (also the writer) and Pushkar Ojha quite cleverly plant at very interesting junctions. The film finds its soul very close to the end of the first half and that does test your patience because for a movie that is just two hours, a good 30-40 minutes are invested in a fast-forward storytelling race.

It feels like Sagar and Pushkar physically telling you that this is just the build-up and you don’t need to waste much time here, so let’s just rush through it. He is already married when you meet him, he is established as a wild untamed soul who is borderline allergic to take orders, and that very much forms the base for what’s to come. A hijack is shaped white randomly and that leads to another. While you feel the jolt of the rush the screenplay is in, you also have good things waiting on the other side.

The twist that comes right before the interval is very clever and one that will bring you to the edge of your seat. Beyond this, the movie only raised the crescendo higher. Yes, there is a demand for too much suspension of disbelief and as an audience who is enjoying this ride, you also kind of give it the benefit of the doubt. While you see some twists coming from far away, when they come they do not disappoint even if you have guessed them already. Like, Disha Patani gets to play an interesting part that feels like another add-on but flourishes into something very interesting. For the first time, it feels like a part suits her pretty well, but.... wish I could say more but that will be a spoiler.

Yodha also succeeds in not being a movie that makes one country shine but not at the cost of showing another down and that is a good thing. The movie has some brilliant action pieces throughout the movie choreographed by Craig Macrae. The opening action sequence and one when an airplane turns upside down are visual treats. Credits also go to DOP Jishnu Bhattacharjee who conceptualized these too well with the surrounding looking believable.

Yodha manages to pique curiosity and become an immersive watch which makes you give a side-eye to the flaws but also not completely ignore them. Raashi Khanna’s track is conveniently made complex and solved in the most stereotypical way ever. Sidharth Malhotra literally walks out of a bomb blast that was meant to kill an entire assembly without fatal wounds.

The only explanation one can think of is he was made at the laboratory in Wakanda by Shuri. But then this is a hardcore masala Bollywood movie where the hero’s muscle gets the spotlight when he pushes something, a perfect femme fatale gets a very unique end, and the heroine comes running to her hero at the end of the story. Been a long we saw this and it all kind of feels like a guilty pleasure.

But the biggest problem has to be the music album which literally contributes nothing to the entire movie. I have already forgotten most of the songs, barring one only because B Praak was screaming it out at the top of his voice. Somebody needs to tell the man to chill.

Yodha Review: Final Verdict

Sidharth Malhotra leads another movie in uniform and it feels like he has found his niche. It is stereotypical and has flaws, but all of them are cleverly covered with some good things.

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