‘The Archies’ Review: A Sparkling Debut or a Missed Opportunity?

'The Archies' Review: A Sparkling Debut or a Missed Opportunity?

Hindi movie “The Archies” starring Agastya Nanda as Archibald “Archie” Andrews, Khushi Kapoor as Betty Cooper, and Suhana Khan as Veronica “Ronnie” Lodge released worldwide on Friday, December 8, 2023.

Set in 1964 in Riverdale, India, the coming-of-age narrative follows Archie and his pals as they navigate friendship, romance, and social duty as their beloved park threatens demolition to make way for a hotel.

Review

Director Zoya Akhtar adapts the teenage classic Archies Comics for the big screen, ensuring the Bollywood adventure is vibrant, lively, and charming.

Above all, she develops it as an adolescent musical comedy. This is where her most recent attempt differs. There have been a few high-school musical dramas in Hindi films earlier. Add to it the nostalgia factor, and the film’s cast has a one-of-a-kind canvas.

The screen is splattered with dream pop-like sequences and a charming vintage look and feel. Archie Andrews (Agastya Nanda), Veronica Lodge (Suhana Khan), Betty Cooper (Khushi Kapoor), Jughead (Mihir Ahuja), Reggie Mantle (Vedang Raina), Ethel Muggs (Dot), and Dilton Doiley (Yuvraj Menda) are at its centre.

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Gang

While the comics focus on the group’s ridiculous antics, the film falls short of being equally irreverent. The protagonists are virtually adults, facing difficult decisions between passion and practicality, or development.

As the gang strives to preserve the cultural hub, Green Park, from being demolished to make place for a big hotel, the concept of pure friendship is laced with activism. As a musical, the film works well and is entertaining.

Foot-tapping and enjoyable tunes by Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy, Ankur Tewari, The Islanders, and Dot (Aditi Saigal), notably ‘Dhishoom Dhishoom,’ ‘Sunoh,’ and ‘Va Va Voom.’ The choreography in the songs by Gautam Hegde is another highlight that contributes to the visual appeal of the film.

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