Zoya Akhtar, the acclaimed director of films like Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara, Gully Boy and Dil Dhadakne Do, brings to life the beloved Archie comics in her latest Netflix original film, The Archies. The film, which premiered on December 7, 2023, marks the acting debut of three star kids – Suhana Khan, Khushi Kapoor and Agastya Nanda – who play the iconic roles of Veronica Lodge, Betty Cooper and Archie Andrews respectively. The film is a musical comedy that follows the adventures of Archie and his friends in the fictional town of Riverdale in the 1960s, as they navigate romance, friendship, music and social issues.
(Also read: Proud Father Shah Rukh Khan Attends Premiere Of Daughter Suhana Khan Starrer The Archies, Watch The Sweet Video!)
The Archies: Plot
The film begins with Archie, a charming and talented musician, who is torn between his two love interests – Veronica, the rich and glamorous daughter of a business tycoon, and Betty, the sweet and smart girl next door. Archie’s best friend is Jughead Jones, a witty and sarcastic writer, who is often at odds with Reggie Mantle, the arrogant and athletic rival of Archie. The other members of the gang are Ethel Muggs, a shy and nerdy girl who has a crush on Jughead, Dilton Doiley, a genius and gadget freak who helps the gang with his inventions, and Midge Klump, a cheerful and bubbly girl who is dating Moose Mason, a dim-witted but loyal jock.
The film follows the ups and downs of the gang as they form a band called The Archies and participate in a music competition that could launch their careers. Along the way, they also face various challenges, such as Veronica’s father’s plans to destroy a park that is dear to the gang, Betty’s struggle to balance her studies and her feelings for Archie, Jughead’s family problems, Reggie’s jealousy and insecurity, Ethel’s low self-esteem, Dilton’s social awkwardness, and Midge and Moose’s relationship issues.
The Archies: Performance
The film boasts of an impressive star cast, with each actor delivering a convincing and charismatic performance. Suhana Khan shines as Veronica, bringing out her glamour, sass and vulnerability with ease. Khushi Kapoor is equally impressive as Betty, portraying her innocence, intelligence and determination with grace. Agastya Nanda is charming and expressive as Archie, capturing his dilemma, passion and charisma with flair. The chemistry between the three leads is palpable and engaging, making the audience root for them.
The supporting cast is also commendable, with each actor adding their own flavor to the film. Mihir Ahuja is hilarious and endearing as Jughead, providing comic relief and emotional depth to the film. Vedang Raina is convincing and entertaining as Reggie, showing his arrogance, humor and insecurity with finesse. Dot is adorable and relatable as Ethel, making the audience empathize with her plight and cheer for her growth. Yuvraj Menda is brilliant and quirky as Dilton, showcasing his genius, creativity and eccentricity with skill. The other actors, such as Koel Purie, Alyy Khan, Luke Kenny, Vinay Pathak and Tara Sharma, also do justice to their roles, adding to the film’s charm and authenticity.
The Archies: Analysis
The film is a delightful and nostalgic tribute to the Archie comics, retaining the essence and spirit of the original source material, while also giving it a fresh and contemporary twist. The film is set in the 1960s, but does not shy away from addressing relevant and relatable themes, such as feminism, environmentalism, social justice, family, friendship, love, identity and dreams.
Zoya Akhtar and her two co-writers have created a story where the teenagers fight to save a park from development, and one of the characters is gay – presenting an innocent, but also more realistic, view of a group of young people. She also set it in a fictional North Indian hill station, among the Anglo-Indian community, who are closer to Western culture.
The film is a visual treat, with stunning cinematography, colorful costumes, lively sets and catchy songs. The film is also a musical treat, with a soundtrack composed by Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy, Ankur Tewari, The Islanders and Aditi Saigal, featuring a mix of genres, such as rock, pop, jazz, folk and rap. The film is a directorial triumph for Zoya Akhtar, who proves her versatility and vision once again, creating a film that is fun, heartwarming, inspiring and entertaining.
The Archies: Verdict
The Archies is a feel good watch film for fans of the Archie comics, as well as for anyone who loves a good musical comedy. The film is a perfect blend of humor, romance, drama, music and nostalgia, with a stellar cast, a captivating story, a splendid direction and a memorable soundtrack. The film is a celebration of youth, friendship, love and music, that will make you laugh, cry, sing and dance along with the characters. The film is a beautiful, blend of style, substance and spirit that will leave you with a smile on your face and a song in your heart.
The Archies: Verdict
Critic rating: 3.5 / 5
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