Yodha Review: Stylish Adventure In Mid-air

Dharma Productions' aerial-actioner is a complete entertainment package loaded with action.

General Rating

In a nut-shell:

Stylish Adventure In Mid-air

Yodha Cast/Actors: Sidharth Malhotra as Arun Katyal, Raashii Khanna as Priyamvada Katyal, Disha Patani as Laila, Ronit Roy as Major Surender Katyal, Sunny Hinduja as Jalal & Kritika Bhardwaj as Tanya.

Yodha Release Date: 15th March, 2024

Yodha Director: Sagar Ambre & Pushkar Ojha

Yodha Available On: Theatrical Release and (likely to be released on Amazon Prime Video)

Yodha Released/Available In Languages: Hindi

Yodha Runtime: 2h 10m

Yodha Critic Review:

It makes a great show reel for handsome Sidharth Malhotra who plays Yodha Arun Katyal, a special task force soldier.

In the story, screenplay and dialogue put together by Sagar Ambre who directs with Pushkar Ojha, it’s a rough ride for Arun on the marital front with wife Priyamvada (Raashii Khanna), a duty-bound IAS officer, but it’s sheer turbulence up in the air when he’s thrown into a hijack situation on a Delhi-London flight with Disha Patani (Laila) as part of the cabin crew.

On the ground, Priya (now Madam Secretary) and an important Indian leader are in Pakistan to extend a hand of friendship, the peace dove all set to coo and usher better relations between the two neighbouring countries. But Jalal (Sunny Hinduja) and his Lashkar are agitated over the peace move.

Why has Arun been put on this flight and why is he hijacking an Indian plane? Is it a hijack or a deadlier mission?

But before this tense on-board adventure, neatly executed sequences have already built Arun as a fearless Yodha, the special unit formed by his late father Major Surender Katyal (Ronit Roy), a Yodha who doesn’t believe in negotiation and who’ll flout instructions to do his duty. He’s also carrying a big scar in his heart after a botched-up hijack years ago where Jalal the Lashkar terrorist had succeeded, forcing Arun to face suspension.

A rescue mission right at the beginning followed by the softly romantic ‘Zindagi tere naam’ smoothly introduces everything there is to know about Yodha Arun. How much following in his father’s footsteps means to him, his fighting spirit and skills, and his lovely equation with wife Priyamvada.

The rude awakening with a suspension and troubled relations with wife (a not-so-subtly worded ‘Sab kuch badal gaya’ playing in the background) come in crisply told sequences before the main crisis in mid-air.

Three elements make it a ride worth the while: the writing, the execution (which includes non-stop action) and the performances. Intrigue in the writing with some fresh thoughts (much needed in Hindi cinema today), right down to a couple of red herrings on the flight, a boorish passenger, a young woman named Tanya (Kritika Bhardwaj), surprise twists on board and an unexpectedly amusing, “You didn’t sign the divorce papers?” coming in between husband and wife during a tense scene, point to slick writing.

Action choreographer Craig Macrae needs to be singled out for the speedy thrills and the variety that goes from guns and knives to hand-to-hand combat.

In a well-timed line, Arun Katyal reminds everyone, “Is picture ka hero main hoon. (I’m the hero of this picture).” Indeed, he is. This is Sidharth Malhotra’s show as he goes beyond the handsomest hero of current times to a hero who fights with style, romances with softness and delivers dialogues with impact. Raashii Khanna is adequate as the dignified wife who doesn’t really have too much to do. Disha Patani is a surprise – she does have more to her than just bikini reels on Insta. Sunny Hinduja is always competent.

The writing has something for everyone in right doses. Emotions that touch a chord, intrigue to keep you guessing for a while and action.

I personally liked the patriotism and the feminism that were both interwoven without bashing us on the head with it. A wife with an equally important job, a young woman with skills to fly a large commercial liner that’s in trouble. Yodha’s heart beating for his country with the colours of the tiranga by his side. And aman ki asha without offending Indian nationalists.

A tough assignment but Sagar and Pushkar, you did it boys. That too on your debut.

Yodha- Watch it or Not?: Watch it. Well-made commercial cinema is rare today. 

Yodha Score Rating: 3 out of 5

Yodha Official Trailer:

Yodha Official Trailer (Credit: Dharma Productions)

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Stylish Adventure In Mid-airYodha Review: Stylish Adventure In Mid-air