Review of The Archies: Zoya Akhtar’s Delicious Musical Features an Exceptional Star Cast led by Suhana Khan.

Review of The Archies

Review of The Archies: Zoya Akhtar adds yet another impressive achievement to her résumé with the Hindi-English cinematic version of the adored Archies comics.

Zoya Akhtar rarely makes mistakes. She’s the lady cool of Bollywood, a carefree, creative enfant terrible whose next project’s subject is never known. Thus, it makes for a subversively delightful concept that the Gully Boy (2019) director chose to tackle a comic book series that we can all agree is long out of style for her new movie.
The Archies begins with the main character showing a group of visitors around Riverdale’s beloved Green Park, a vast green lung that has been transformed into a charming hill station in India complete with cosy salons run by kindly aunties and charming bookshops staffed by Parsi gentlemen who quote Shakespeare. “Public interest versus corporate interest” is the main struggle, as Yuvraj Menda’s character Dilton Doiley states in the classroom. After returning from London, Veronica’s (Suhana Khan) outrageously wealthy parents intend to destroy the town for their personal gain. The teens are soon to learn of the cunning capitalist scheme and launch an offensive to preserve Riverdale’s and Green Park’s traditional customs.Prior to that, though, it indulges in the classic Archie clichés: the love triangle, Jughead’s clumsy, gluttonous antics, Reggie’s alluring vanity, and Veronica’s foxy charm are all retained.

The winning mixture

The story maintains the original titles, rejecting the sporadic practise of translating it into Hindi. Speaking candidly about her love and affection for the comics, Akhtar embraces the naivete of their world with a willful self-awareness, crooning to the world that she is taking a vacation from the sharp realism and grim worlds of her past works. The Archies, in contrast to Riverdale’s gloomy remake, takes place in a near-fantastic idyll in the 1960s and retains the romance and innocence of the era that fans have come to adore in the comics.The gorgeous frames and cinematography of Nikos Andritsakis (Ugly, 2013; Detective Byomkesh Bakshy, 2015) complement Akhtar’s quirky vision for this picture. Ankur Tewari and Aditi Dot Saigal (who plays Ethel Muggs) support Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy, who are back on form after a lacklustre performance in Sam Bahadur. Together, they support the director’s decision to go with a musical.

The dialogue and screenplay of the movie both give credit to Akhtar for bringing together realms that could initially appear to be very different. Thus, Archie is passionate about Riverdale’s cause in addition to battling his love for Betty and Veronica. This cause is a contemporary message about the need to protect innocence itself, institutions, and nature in the context of the movie, and it is presented without even the slightest hint of preachiness. In an elegant cinematic flourish, the screenplay establishes equations and gives characters remedies to their inner struggles by utilising the musical pauses prevalent in the genre.

The children are doing well.

It’s acceptable to have little prejudice towards some of the cast members and their star-child status going into The Archies. The fact that this is a gifted group that has had excellent training for the demanding world of art is a comfort. Though Agastya Nanda works hard to make this Archie seem less heartless, Vedang Raina (Reggie), who exudes a Ranveer Singh vibe, eclipses him. Betty, played by Khushi Kapoor, is not intimidated by the role of prima donna Veronica in her acting debut. With a deft mix of flamboyant and affluent-kid confidence, Suhana Khan portrays the latter, occasionally even stealing the style of her real-life father, Shah Rukh Khan.

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