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quick review:

Slick action, decent story with adequate twists and turns. But falls into the usual problematic trope of glamourising an insubordinate know-it-all. That along with the jingoism makes a lot of Yodha an exasperating watch rather than an enjoyable one.

(Streaming Partner: Prime Video)

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Running time: 130 minutes
More Movie Info

It is a tricky one, right? A system exists so that people cannot behave willy-nilly. The restrictions placed with that intention, though, aren’t geared to handle emergencies that require quick action. But does that mean you glamourise the ones who break the process because they want to follow their intuition? It’s not really cool. Whether it is Maverick, Bond or Arun Katyal. But Yodha converts “not really cool” to “not cool” by focusing on the insubordination and how cool…and patriotic…it is.

The contrast between the protagonists and antagonists doesn’t work itself into chemistry that will make you worry for one or fear the other.

Yodha does try to balance it out, like any film of this genre, by showing an incident or so when the protagonist is reprimanded. But, then you are made to feel sorry for him, as if his misjudgement and hot-headedness are excusable.

And just in case you miss the parallel--you also witness unacceptable behaviour that succeeds in wooing the woman when done with boyish charm; where woman = audience, boyish charm = patriotism. Fortunately, this subsides as the film progresses only to show its face again in the climax. As if the tricoloured flares are bookends.

Yep, tri-coloured flares. Not only are flares being used as if they are sparklers at Diwali. They don patriotic hues. I shuddered at the thought of someone finding it cool and using it in real life. Would it be clearly seen from afar when the person setting it off is in deep trouble in thick green foliage on a bright sunny day, without CGI!? Oh, and Arun (Siddharth Malhotra) expects to use it at any time. This explains why he has it even after he has crash-landed and gotten off a plane empty-handed. How come he has them even after he was dismissed from the force? Never mind…note to self and you: Remember, we are suspending disbelief.

How else are we going to wrap our heads around fight sequences in the small spaces of an aeroplane be it a washroom or the cockpit? They are slickly choreographed. The snappy editing doesn’t take away from understanding who’s where and they are entertaining too. But, believable, they are not. After all, two people are making complex moves in what looks like an economy class airplane washroom which also has a cloth napkin! And then there is one scene in which Arun Katyal’s wheelchair-ridden mother is brought into the control room. Why? To see the show of possibly her son getting blown to pieces?!

Who am I fooling? No, there is no possibility other than the most obvious and predictable one. This is true right from the beginning, let alone the climax. A happy-family montage’s sole reason for existence is to serve as a contrast to the upcoming sad one.

Surprisingly though, the lead performances by Siddharth Malhotra and Rashi Khanna are relatively level-headed. But then the villains pop up and randomly turn into these eccentric caricatures. The contrast between the protagonists and antagonists doesn’t work itself into chemistry that will make you worry for one or fear the other. And I am unsure if the actors can be blamed for that.

But Yodha converts “not really cool” to “not cool” by focusing on the insubordination and how cool…and patriotic…it is.

That is true of the story and screenplay too. As a script, I can imagine the story reading well and being engaging. But on screen, some of the over-the-topness through slo-mo, loud music, etc take away from the story.

It then comes across as what the makers think will appeal to the audience rather than what makes sense within the context of the story. Then we are left with thanking them for small mercies like not painting all Pakistanis with one broad brush. This is true for so many Hindi films off-late. Decent-ish story; add a seasoning of nationalism because that is what you think the viewers want; take the ‘other’ side to make it look like there’s balance. The rest is everything that you can do to add to the melodrama.

- meeta, a part of the audience

26 reviewers(?) - 10 yays 11 so-so 5 nays

Warning: clicking on "full review" will take you to an external website that could contain spoilers.

Thumbs up, by Subhash K Jha, Bolly Spice : ...This is when the film’s editor Jishnu Bhattacharjee begins to have fun with the innocuous mayhem in the plot. The shots trimmed to a terse and tactile condition , the focus being not so much on coherence as celerity.... full review

Thumbs up, by Shivani Pawaskar, Bollywood Life : ...Sidharth Malhotra, Raashii Khanna, Disha Patani, Sunny Hinduja keep you hooked with their action, seeti maar dialogues. Overall the movie makes for an entertaining watch barring a few moments of helter-skelter situations.... full review

Thumbs up, by Devesh Sharma, Filmfare : ...Watch the film for its slick fight scenes. The money shot is the one involving Sidharth Malhotra fighting the bad guys as the aeroplane gets inverted midair, resulting in chaos all around. Yodha offers enough thrills to keep action aficionados entertained. With its blend of intense action, dramatic tension, and fine performances, it makes for decent masala fare, albeit with some flaws along the way.... full review

Thumbs up, by Murtuza Iqbal, Filmi Beat : ...Overall, Yodha is a perfect package of entertainment with drama, emotions, action, romance, dialogue-baazi, twists and turns, and patriotism. So, you should watch this one, and enjoy it on the big screens.... full review

Thumbs up, by Ganesh Aaglave, FirstPost : ...On the whole, Yodha is a commercial entertainer filled with action-packed sequences and superb star performances.... full review

Thumbs up, by Aseem Sharma, India TV : ...Overall, Yodha is a good watch and you will love Sidharth Malhotra again as a man in uniform. He could have been better in terms of a lover boy in the film, but since Yodha is more about action, that tangent can surely be ignored. As mentioned above, the film has nothing to do with any real-life incidents and is based on a complete fictional storyline but it is no short of generating emotion of patriotism in viewers. It is also filled with numerous twists, which keeps you on the edge of your seats. Out of five stars, I will give it a 3.5 rating.... full review

Thumbs up, Movie Talkies : ...Yodha is a powerful patriotic film with enough jingoism within cinematic liberty. Unlike Shershaah, it is a fictional film, but far tougher because the level of action is much higher here. The music also works big time here. Zindagi Tere Naam is the most romantic song of the season, whereas Tirangaa is your patriotic number for a lifetime. Sagar Ambre and Pushkar Ojha‘s direction skills look promising in this debut film.... full review

Thumbs up, by TITAS CHOWDHURY, News18.com : ...The music, however, fails to leave an impact. Films made on India-Pakistan relationship are being made in galore and Yodha is surely another drop in the ocean. But still it boasts of a certain freshness. There’s no chest-thumping jingoism either. It may not be a trailblazer that redefines new-age patriotic films but it deserves a watch. What matters at the end of the day is entertainment and Yodha dishes out oodles of that.... full review

Thumbs up, by Nandini Ramnath, Scroll.in : ...Raashii Khanna is hard-pressed to keep up. The cast includes Tanuj Virwani as Arun’s former Army buddy Khan, who flaps about uselessly in a control room while Arun fights his way through deception and high drama up in the air.... full review

Thumbs up, by Mudit Bhatnagar, Times Now : ...Gripping is the word for this Sidharth Malhotra, Raashii Khanna, and Disha Patani starrer. It is that kind of film where you can’t afford to take your eyes off the screen for even a moment. Sleek, ruthless, and action-packed, Yodha is a must-watch!... full review

So-So, by Rahul Desai, Film Companion : ...In a strange way, this lack of guile and total commitment to the dumb-fun template rescues Yodha – and situates the movie squarely in between self-parody and self-reflexive. It’s like drinking a cheap cocktail of life and cinema... full review

So-So, by Baradwaj Rangan, galatta.com : ...I wondered why Yodha was generically watchable, with frequent action high points, as opposed to being a true nail-biter! I guess we have learnt to stage action well, but we still have to learn how to be purer to the genre, the way Hollywood is. We’ll get there. And for now, Yodha will suffice. . Read more at: https://www.galatta.com/hindi/movie/review/yodha/... full review

So-So, by Prannay Pathak, Hindustan Times : ...To conclude, a few questions: What purpose does Chittranjan Tripathy’s character serve and why does the actor play a random Punjabi? How did Blackberrys in 2006 play 1080p video? Where did Disha’s character learn hand combat? (cuz boy, does she beat the shit out of Sidharth). Why do the baddies keep talking when they need to shoot? If you can get past these questions, board the flight.... full review

So-So, by Sana Farzeen, india today : ...Clocking in at nearly 2 hours and 13 minutes, the film maintains a brisk pace, ensuring there's never a dull moment, although not everything makes sense. However, given it's the director duo's first film, we must give it to them for putting up a sincere effort. Good luck with the next one, guys!... full review

So-So, by "Pooja Darade ", koimoi : ...Overall, the delightfully twisted narrative, characters, and breathtaking action sequences make for an immensely enjoyable experience. Sidharth Malhotra’s action adventure resembles a plane journey; while the takeoff may not be smooth, as the journey progresses, it draws you in. Despite some turbulence in the narrative, eventually, you’ll be glad you ventured on this exhilarating ride.... full review

So-So, by Rishil Jogani, Pinkvilla : ...Yodha has redeemable qualities and offers thrills too but the film in totality is a tiresome watch, full of clichés, cheesy dialogues and overused tropes. You can now watch Yodha at a theatre near you.... full review

So-So, by Sukanya Verma, Rediff : ...Aman ki Asha can wait so long Yodha’s awfully stuffed, silly and superficial storytelling arrives at its -- Sidharth Malhotra heroically holding up a custom-made tirangaa flare -- conclusions.... full review

So-So, by Pratikshya Mishra, The Quint : ...I was more invested in Arun and Priyamvada fixing their marriage than I was in the rest of the film and maybe that doesn’t bode well for the genre. However, there is something at the center of the film that makes it an enjoyable movie to while away time at. And sometimes you really just need to kick back, relax, and watch some nonsense fun.... full review

So-So, by PUJA AWASTHI, The Week : ...Yodha is a Malhotra film. He is its brawn and its draw, well on his way to becoming the most dependable action hero among his contemporaries. But it is in the moments that he is not being the muscle man that he gives tantalizing glimpses into what more he is capable of.... full review

So-So, by Archika Khurana, Times of India : ...All said, Yodha’s action is thrilling, but it does not really take your imagination to the flight.... full review

So-So, by Puja Talwar, Zee News : ...The first half is pacy but takes a dip in the second half that unnecessarily stretched. The writing is haphazard and lacks consistency at times. Nevertheless, for all its loopholes, and the routine neo-patriotic films being churned out, Yodha solely belongs to Sidharth Malhotra.... full review

Thumbs down, by Rohit Bhatnagar, Free Press Journal : ...Yodha is bearable in parts, but in no way Sidharth saves the film. It is a bad rip-off of Shershaah with fictional characters and torn screenplay, and instead of scaling heights, it has, in fact, just crash landed.... full review

Thumbs down, by Nitin Jain, Glamsham.com : ...Overall, an action thriller on an aircraft with twists was a good idea but for the weak writing, it turns out to be a turbulent ride... full review

Thumbs down, by Saibal Chatterjee, NDTV : ...As for the other actors in the cast, they go through the motions. Their faces give nothing away. Is this the stoicism of the brave? No, it is a sign that they, like the audience, are clueless.... full review

Thumbs down, by Kamna Arora, News N9ne : ...Disappointing script sinks Siddharth Malhotra's film... full review

Thumbs down, by Shubhra Gupta, the new Indian Express : ...But worry not. Our Yodha, bravely bearing the scars of his failure in professional and personal areas, is at hand. A separation from spouse-cum- top-notch bureaucrat (Raashii Khanna) is a sore to be scratched, even as he goes full tilt at the rescue operation, dealing with a svelte air-hostess (Disha Patani) who is hiding something, and a newbie pilot in the hot-seat, and ends up on a pacifist note right in the heart of our neighbouring nation.... full review

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This page has additional observations, other than the ones noted in the main review.

Parental Guidance:

  • Violence: Lots and lots.
  • Language: Clean
  • Nudity & Sexual content: None
  • Concept: A soldier doing what he thinks is right
  • General Look and Feel: Crisp action movie

Detailed Ratings (out of 5):

Lead Actors:
Character Artists:
Music Director:

Comments (1)

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Now a days, added national & religious jingoism in movies makes me cringe - little hint of it, and like plague I avoid those anti-national/ religion movies...

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