The Archies review: Did Zoya Akhtar actually make this movie?

| Updated: 10 December, 2023 5:42 pm IST

The Zoya Akhtar-directed musical ‘Archies’ is an adaptation of Archie Comics in the Indian setting in a town inhabited by patriotic Anglo-Indians who decided to stay back in India. Akhtar’s musical brings the country’s 60s to life with vintage and aesthetic picturisation.

The aforesaid line is the only good takeaway from the movie. After that, the movie topples like a house of cards. It is hard to begin with the criticism because as a viewer, the whole experience was based on experiencing second-hand embarrassment for the whole crew that was involved in making the movie.

The story revolves around the town of Riverdale, where the significance of Green Park is central, where the town’s residents had huddled up when India got its Independence.

Suhana Khan, the daughter of Shahrukh Khan, Khushi Kapoor, the daughter of Sri Devi and Agastya Nanda, the grandson of Amitabh Bachchan make their debut. The two in the focus- Suhana and Khushi- fail miserably at performing their role.

Veronica Lodge’s (played by Suhana) father intends to build a hotel plaza at the park, whereupon, the college students huddle together to save the heritage from being razed down. While the story could have been complimented by the performances, the cast failed to deliver.

Suhana as Veronica smiles with her 32 teeth sparkling through the movie, while Khushi has her lips pursed. The delivery of dialogues is the worst part of the movie with them being spoken at the same tone and pitch. One craves variation but ends up disappointing themselves for expecting the barest minimum.

Suhana also has issues with both her posturing and the terrible accent that she speaks in, with a hushed tone without any variation. Suffice it to say, she failed at playing herself in the Netflix special, which should not have been a big task to complete.

Agastya Nanda, playing the protagonist Archie, tries to shine in the movie but fails in his efforts, with his expressions not matching with the feelings that he is trying to emote.

On the other hand, the jokes that have been inserted to make the story more light-hearted just end up being lame and irrelevant.

The only salvageable jigsaw puzzle in the unfinished mess in the movie is Reggie (played by Vedang Raina) who performed decently. Other actors too pulled off a decent performance including Jughead (Mihir Ahuja), Ethel (Aditi ‘Dot’ Saigal) and Dilton (Yuvraj Menda).

The songs in the ‘musical’ do not elevate the story either. Most of them are half and half — a juxtaposition of English and Hind — in a possible attempt to establish the Anglo-Indian angle, sound like a terrible ear-ache. On the other hand, the choreography is unsurprisingly run-off-the-mill as well.

Overall, it is difficult to believe that this movie was made by the same director who made ‘Gully Boy’, ‘Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara’ and ‘Dil Dhadakne Do’.

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