May 27, 2024
THE ARCHIES

Date of Release: December 7, 2023

Hindi language

Romance, comedy, and musical genres

Cast Yuvraj Menda, Agastya Nanda, Vedang Raina, Khushi Kapoor, Dot, and Miki Ahuja

Filmmaker Zoya Akhtar

Authors: Ayesha Devitre, Zoya Akhtar, and Reema Kagti

Photographer: Nikolas Andritsakis

Islanders, Ankur Tiwari, music

Producers Sharad Devarajan, Zoya Akhtar, and Reema Kagti

Production: Graphic India, Archie Comics, Tiger Baby Films

The Archies story:

The coming-of-age tale, which is set in 1964 in the made-up Indian hill town of Riverdale, follows Archie and his friends as they negotiate romance, friendship, and social responsibility in the face of developers tearing down their beloved park to make way for a hotel.

The Archies review:

The beloved Archies Comics by teenagers is adapted for the big screen by director Zoya Akhtar, who makes sure the Bollywood version is vibrant, cute, and youthful. Above all, though, she writes it as a musical comedy for teenagers. This is what makes her most recent endeavor unique. Hindi film hasn’t seen many high school musical dramas previously. The cast of the movie has a distinct canvas when you include in the nostalgic value. And at its core are the favorite teenagers of the 90s generation of kids: Jughead (Mihir Ahuja), Reggie Mantle (Vedang Raina), Ethel Muggs (Dot), Archie Andrews (Agastya Nanda), Veronica Lodge (Suhana Khan), Betty Cooper (Khushi Kapoor), and Dilton Doiley (Yuvraj Menda).

The comics revolve around the group’s absurd antics, but the movie doesn’t quite live up to the same level of irreverence. The protagonists are making difficult decisions between development or realism and passion as they approach adulthood.  As a musical, the film is charming and functions nicely. Foot-tapping and entertaining songs may be heard from Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy, Ankur Tewari, The Islanders, and Dot (Aditi Saigal), particularly “Dhishoom Dhishoom,” “Sunoh,” and “Va Va Voom.” The songs’ choreography by Gautam Hegde is another excellent feature that enhances the movie’s aesthetic appeal.

The most endearing aspects of the Archie universe are its characters, and the new faces here are no different. As the wealthy and spoiled Veronica Lodge, Suhana Khan masterfully portrays a charming and feisty teenager divided between her allegiance to her friends and her businessman father’s cunning. Charming as the confused Archie who can’t decide between Betty and Veronica and lives life only for the kicks, Agastya Nanda must realize that “everything is politics.” As Betty, Khushi Kapoor dazzles and has the opportunity to act out her poignant moments, which she does so with skill. Mihir Ahuja, who plays the endearing Jughead, is wonderful, too, but Vedang Raina, as Reggie, and Dot, as Ethel, are really outstanding. As the geeky Dilton, Yuvraj Menda

As the fight intensifies, the film loses momentum in the second half and had more potential to be compelling. It’s fun to watch a group of young, new faces give it their all, whether it’s through expressive acting or rock ‘n roll from the 1960s

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