Directed by Zoya Akhtar, Netflix's 'The Archies' is set in the fictional town of Riverdale and revolves around a group of teenagers who deal with a threat to their friendship and heritage.
Since its announcement dropped, Netflix’s ‘The Archies’ has been the talk of the town with extreme reactions. Some found it too elite while others found it a fresh breath of relief. It turns out that the film is neither of those. It’s just another regular musical that entertains in parts.
The Archies, based on the famous comic of the same name, is based in the fictional town of Riverdale in 1964. Graffiti, row houses, pastel colors, flowers in bicycle baskets, you will find all things retro here. However, no matter how visually aesthetic, the film is highly unoriginal. The story revolves around a group of teenagers- Archie Andrews (Agastya Nanda), a budding singer who dates everyone but acts naive, Betty Cooper (Khushi Kapoor), a goody-two-shoes, Veronica Lodge (Suhana Khan), a stereotypically dumb and rich girl, Jughead Jones (Mihir Ahuja), Archie’s best friend who is always eating, Reggie Mantle (Vedang Raina), a budding stand-up comedian with daddy issues, Ethel (Dot), a headstrong hairdresser, Dilton (Yuvraj Menda), a nerd, and Moose (Rudra Mahuvarkar), a stupid guy. Trouble brews between this group of friends when Veronica's father, Hiram Lodge (Alyy Khan), plans to destroy Riverdale’s culturally significant area, Green Park. The friends then come together to save the heritage.
The script has nothing new to offer, it is your average teens-coming-of-age story with popular political topics like conservation of environment and heritage, corporate greed, communal roots, and more. The film’s obsession with the annoying trope of 'two girls obsessing over a guy who is confused between them' gets irksome after some time. However, as a musical, it's entertaining with the choreography being especially attractive. However, soon, all the songs start to sound similar. The dialogues are dull too. Some dialogues hint at current political issues smartly though. The film, however, takes too long only to give a climax with very little tension. Everything gets resolved very easily.
The most hyped part of the film - its actors are decent at best. Nanda and Kapoor are definitely the best ones in the group. Nanda looks like a younger Abhishek Bachchan with curly hair and as the lead actor, he gives a fair performance. At first, it is difficult to understand Khan's accent, it’s as if she speaks in italics. However, a few minutes into the movie, she starts exuding confidence and demands attention every time she is on screen. Raina and Dot also impress with their acting.
The expectations were high since it is a Zoya Akhtar directorial. The Archies manages to entertain but isn't worth the time it takes. Even though better than the parts, the sum is still unremarkable.
The Archies is streaming on Netflix.
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