About The Archies
A sudden sense of nostalgic breeze hits our faces the moment The Archies film begins with Archie Andrews (Agastya Nanda) narrating the history of their fictional Anglo-Indian town of Riverdale, a hill station in India, where all things appear merrier and happier.
Directed by Zoya Akhtar, The Archies offers a deep dive into the world of fantasy, straight out of Archies comics, where hearts don't get 'broken' but only 'fractured'.
Starring Khushi Kapoor as Betty, Suhana Khan as Veronica, Mihir Ahuja as Jughead, Aditi aka Dot as Ethel Muggs, Yuvraj Mendha as Dilton Doiley, and Vedang Raina as Reggie Mantle, The Archies makes for a sweet little 'bicycle' ride amid the lanes of love, laughter, friendships, and vulnerability, nurtured with imagination but realism.
The Archies: Narrative
Adapted from the popular American comics, The Archies is set in 1960s India, where a gang of seven friends pave their way through romance, bonds, and the future of their hometown, Riverdale, which falls into foul hands as developers threaten to destroy the heart of the city, The Green Park, to make a lavish hotel.
The idea of adding a modern, commercial touch to the city's life does not go down well with the local vendors and Riverdale citizens, and soon the Archies gang takes the matter into their own hands. But how will these seven overly enthusiastic kids save the fate of Riverdale? Will their efforts count? Will it affect their friendship and vulnerability on the run? All these questions find answers in this adventurous saga, where everything seems solvable over a cup of tea and a truffle.
The Archies: Writing And Direction
Beautiful is the word that comes to mind as the film proceeds. With a run-time of approximately 2 hours and 23 minutes, The Archies reflects all things vivid, vibrant, vivacious, and vulnerable. Zoya, along with Reema Kagti and Ayesha Devitre, co-wrote the plot and scenes of the movies with a soft heart, leaving little space for loopholes or misses per se. Brownie points to the magnificent cinematography, attention to details, precision in costumes, on-point hairdos, and even the little elements such as telephone towers, roads, cars, makeup, milkshakes, burgers, and even the cigars that screamed vintage!
One feels like taking a drive through the town of Riverdale with The Archies. The plot of the movie might not seem that strong or gutsy, but with a bunch of 17-year-olds taking centre stage, it suits their intellect and zeal. The film feels straight out of the dreamy comic world, but what made us give it a three-and-a-half rating but not a bang on five? Let us walk you down with that too!
Character exploration is what this story lacks, which keeps the audience wanting for more, but not in a positive way. There are a few mentions of the Archies gang's personal traits (keeping up with the mystery) that could have ended in a fulfilling way, taking away the unnecessary guesses from the audience.
No doubt the film is beautiful, but it also feels too good to be true at a few moments. The actors at a certain level lacked good dialogue, and a 'few' half-heartedly written plots make it less appealing. The makers did a good job of squeezing all the Archies-style elements in two hours, and full marks for the sincere attempt, but a little precision would have hurt none.
The Archies: Performances
Suhana Khan, as Veronica Lodge, is equal parts gutsy and glam. She might appear spoiled, but she has a big heart and knows how to go leaps and bounds for her friends. Suhana has hit it out of the park, as Veronica. She is the life of the movie. Oh, so perfect and classy! Her dialogue delivery, groovy moves, and Veronica-style sass are on point. We must say that, with such an honest debut, Suhana is here to stay!
Khushi Kapoor's big, beautiful eyes and sincere smile as Betty Cooper will make you feel like a part of her world. Khushi is convincing, natural, and crisp with her delivery. A few dialogues would have been delivered better, but hey, there's always a first time, and we are impressed.
Agastya Nanda as Archie was so perfect that one would like him and dislike him for his character traits (you will know why). Agastya, as Archie, is simply fine and fabulous. He carries the innocence of a 17-year-old on his face and the confidence of someone who wants to change the world.
Vedang Raina's charm is unmissable in the film. He will make you fall in love with him. Just where his dapperness ends, a soft heart emerges, and no one could have done it better than Raina.
Dear Yuvraj Mendha, you are a star! With so little dialogue delivery, those innocent eyes were enough to steal our hearts, so a big 'Thaaank youuuu'
Dot as Ethel is magical! She perfectly played the role of a girl next door who is hardworking and a 3 a.m. friend.
Mihir Ahuja gets full extra marks for portrating the fear and fright on his cute innocent face as Jughead perfectly. We assure you, he will become your favourite of the Archies gang, thanks to his sensitive and witty performance.
The Archies: Critique
The Archies feels like a breather amid the fever of gore action films we have been witnessing as the audience of cinema. The film makes for a fresh watch that will fuel you with a new-found perspective on life where peers matter more than 'profits'.
The Archies feels like a slice of freshly ripened mango on a hot summer day—partially juicy and partly tangy—but taking a bite is a must. The film's BGM and songs add more rhythmic feel to this teen musical.
The film is simple yet sassy, real yet filmy, honest, and authentic. There are a few loopholes that would have made the story come out stronger and louder, but it won't hurt to give it a watch and feel the feels!
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