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On the 7th of December, Bollywood’s beloved Zoya Akhtar gave us The Archies on Netflix. An exciting new tale, inspired by the nostalgia of your favorite gang, in a fictional and dreamy hill station. The film also marked the debut of the next generation of Bollywood royalty with Suhana Khan, Khushi Kapoor, and Agasthya Nanda. Yet, despite being filled to the brim with the right ingredients, there was something very amiss.


The Archie’s is a beautiful live-action musical with gorgeous set designs, adorable costumes, the right music, and the magic of a post-independence Anglo-Indian locality. Zoya has made sure to retain the quirks of each character with Reggie’s playboy-like charm, jughead’s endless pit of a stomach, Ethel’s obsession with Jughead, dilton’s brains, Veronica’s sass, and Betty’s girl-next-door vibe, etc. The lead, Archie, is played by Agasthya Nanda maintaining the confused heartthrob we all love from the comics. The background scores, the seamless shift the characters have to song and the dance sequences are super fun to watch. 


The story is simple, detailing the carefree life of teenagers in Riverdale, leading to them eventually coming together to save their beloved Green Park. Veronica’s parents, the Lodges, play the antagonists, representing capitalistic interests that threaten the way of life of the town. Akhtar made sure to incorporate the love triangle between Betty, Archie, and Veronica which creates most of their character arc. In all honesty, the story felt weak and scattered, with multiple plotlines that get to obvious conclusions, the lack of exposition and an unexplored coming-out story, came across as forgettable. The film disappointed Akhtar’s audiences who know and expect a certain standard from her.


The three star kids are comfortable in their roles with Khushi Kapoor playing the melancholy of Betty beautifully while Suhana Khan stands fit as Veronica. The best of the three is Agasthya Nanda who gives life to the aloof and love-struck Archie, with great comedic timing and a somewhat satisfying character arc. Vedang Raina’s Reggie, Mihir Ahuja’s Jughead, and Dot’s Ethel easily steal the show, with my personal favorite Dilton plates by Yuvraj Menda being adorable. The seasoned cast of parents are perfectly matched with the kids and make up some really fun parties. 


An essentially perfect movie, let down by the storyline and dialogues, Archies is worth a one-time watch with your family. The film is light-hearted, simple, and occasionally humorous. The potential for an Indian remake of Archie’s was endless with Zoya Akhtar being the best person to explore it. But alas, flukes are a part of showbiz.

Rating - 2.5/5 stars

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