The Archies Duration: 2 hours 23 minutes
Cast: Suhana Khan, Khushi Kapoor, Agastya Nanda, DOT., Mihir Ahuja, Vedang Raina & Yuvraj Menda
Director: Zoya Akhtar
THE ARCHIES REVIEW
All eyes are on The Archies! And why not? The Zoya Akhtar directorial has several big debuts in it. Shah Rukh Khan & Gauri Khan’s daughter Suhana Khan, Late Sridevi & Boney Kapoor’s daughter Khushi Kapoor and Amitabh Bachchan’s grandson Agastya Nanda are making their acting debut with the Netflix film. Sharing screenspace with the star kids are young talented actors DOT., Mihir Ahuja, Vedang Raina and Yuvraj Menda. Set in ’60s India in an Anglo-Indian fictional town called Riverdale, The Archies is a coming-of-age film following the lives of the town’s favorite set of teenagers — Archie, Betty, Veronica, Jughead, Reggie, Ethel and Dilton.
The Indian adaptation of the beloved comics sees Suhana Khan as Veronica Lodge, Agastya Nanda as Archie Andrews, Khushi Kapoor in the role of Betty Cooper, Mihir Ahuja as Jughead Jones, Dot as Ethel Muggs. Heartthrob Reggie Mantle is showcased by Vedang Raina and Yuvraj Menda plays Dilton Doiley. Seen through the lens of the unique Anglo-Indian community, The Archies explores friendship, freedom, love, heartbreak and rebellion.
Set in 1960s India, The Archie follows the story of Archie and his school friends through romantic escapades, enduring friendships, and the looming threat of losing their cherished park to a developer. The story begins with Archie Andrews (Agastya Nanda) living his best life in the beautiful town of Riverdale along with his best friend Betty Cooper (Khushi Kapoor) and their gang Jughead Jones (Mihir Ahuja), Ethel Muggs (DOT.), Reggie Mantle (Vedang Raina) and Dilton Doiley (Yuvraj Menda). The gang gets complete as Archie’s ex-girlfirend and Betty’s BFF Veronica Lodge (Suhana Khan) returns from London after being there for 2 years along with family.
Archie’s love for Veronica surfaces again as soon as he sees her but he also likes his ‘best girl’ Betty. Confused between the two bestfriends, Archie tries to shift his focus to his future and plans on shifting to London to make his musical dream come true. However, things take a U-turn when the beloved Green Park where the Archies gang and the entire Riverdale spent their most precious moments is at the risk of being demolished. It’s because Veronica’s businessman-father wants to build a 5-star hotel at the center of the Green Park. The Archies gang takes it in their own hands to stop this and bring in a difference. Will they succeed in their attempt to protect their favourite Green Park on will power and money take over? Watch The Archies to find out!
Well, the new kids on the block are phenomenal. Suhana Khan is as effortless as it gets as Veronica. She’s sassy, classy and knows what she is doing. Her performance shows how well she has been trained by her superstar-father. Agastya Nanda‘s performance is just phenomenal. As Archie, the newbie makes sure to deliver an impactful performance and woo everyone with her charm and charisma. Khushi Kapoor is the next best thing in The Archies. She shines in every frame. She might just be the next big star of Bollywood. And oh, how can I not talk about her sweet chemistry with Agastya – it’s natural, adorable and heartwarming. It made me root for their pairing instead of Suhana and Agastya.
Vedang Raina aka Reggie is the heartthrob of the film. He puts his best acting foot forward. Unfortunately, DOT., Mihir Ahuja and Yuvraj Menda don’t get a lot of attention in the film but they manage to lend great support with their performances.
Only Zoya Akhtar could have managed to deliver so many debuts in one movie this perfectly. No one could’ve retouched Archie Comic and made something worthy enough out of it like her. The way she has presented the movie and taken us all back in time is commendable. Ayesha Devitre Dhillon, Reema Kagti and Zoya’s screenplay is up to the mark but does feel a little dragged mid-way. Nikos Andritsakis’s cinematography is bang on. Riverdale and its residents look phenomenal in every frame. The music is the lifeline of The Archies. Kudos to Shankar–Ehsaan–Loy, Ankur Tiwari, The Islanders and Aditi Saigal.
WHAT’S GREAT ABOUT THE ZOYA AKHTAR DIRECTORIAL
Khushi Kapoor & Agastya Nanda’s chemistry: Many were expecting Suhana and Agastya’s chemistry to be great but it’s actually Khushi whose love angle with the charmer has left me impressed. It is heartwarming, natural and a treat to watch.
The music: ‘The Archies’ marks the transition from comic stories to a live-action musical, bringing forth not only a fresh set of songs but also a captivating album that complements the movie. Zoya Akhtar’s track record with movie soundtracks has consistently impressed and expectations are met for this film as it has contributed to that legacy. The music of the film is a delight.
The nostalgia and social message: The Archies successfully manages to take us back in time. From the iconic Pop Tates where the gang enjoys their milkshakes, toy trains, parties, skates – you name it and it’s there! Not only this, the story is also backed by a strong message of saving the environment.
DRAWBACKS OF THE ARCHIES
Half-baked love stories: The only thing disappointing in The Archies is the impending love stories. Agastya’s love track with both Suhana and Khushi is shut off with a very shoddy closure. Wish the romance was explored more.
If you’re looking for a feel-good movie this weekend then The Archies is the one for you. What more? It also has some brilliant performances, heartwarming love stories and music to die for. The makers have given the American comic an Indian touch to strike the right chord while exuding retro vibes with a touch of quirk and well, it’s a win-win for everyone.
Watch The Archies Trailer here:
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