In the reimagined world of ‘The Archies’ on Netflix, set in the quaint Indian town of Riverdale in the ‘60s, familiar faces and the innocence of adolescence take center stage. The film, though brimming with nostalgic elements, struggles to capture the vivacity of its comic book origins.
Headlined by Agastya Nanda, Suhana Khan, and Khushi Kapoor as the beloved Archie, Veronica, and Betty, respectively, the film’s casting invites scrutiny due to their lineage in Bollywood. Yet, Khushi Kapoor’s spirited portrayal stands out, eclipsing her co-stars’ performances.
The narrative weaves through the lives of these clean-cut teens, echoing the classic Archie Comics ethos. The ensemble cast, including Yuvraj Menda as Dilton and Vedang Raina as Reggie, adds depth to the character portrayals. Notably, the film opts for equitable screen time, a commendable deviation from favoring one character over another.
Director Zoya Akhtar, known for her exquisite production values, and her team impeccably recreate the ‘60s milieu. The visuals paint an authentic picture, capturing the essence of the era through wardrobe and settings. However, the storytelling falters, failing to sustain the engaging charm expected from this nostalgic revisit.
While the film taps into significant issues of the time, such as protests and hints of same-sex love, it lacks the necessary punch in its writing. Only a few musical numbers resonate, with the opening track being a notable highlight.
Despite the film’s visual appeal and nods to the historical context, the narrative fails to attain the anticipated level of liveliness associated with ‘The Archies’. However, the young ensemble cast manages to hold their ground in this less-than-perfect cinematic portrayal.
Cast: Agastya Nanda, Suhana Khan, Khushi Kapoor, Vedang Raina, Yuvraj Menda, Mihir Ahuja, Aditi ‘Dot’ Saigal, Vinay Pathak, Aly Khan, Koel Purie, Tara Sharma Director: Zoya Akhtar Rating: 2.5 stars