Monday, December 11, 2023

The Archies

It's hard to imagine a move loving recreation of classic Archie Comics than what writer/director Zoya Akhtar offers in The Archies. Tackling older comics can often lead to parody or darker and grittier versions, but with The Archies the classic characters and their town are uprooted and planted in 60s India to explore the oldest love triangle in comic books and offer a civics lesson to both our main character and audience about standing up for what is right. While I can't see an American production leaning into the earnestness of classic Archie with such gusto, somehow the Anglo-Indian reincarnation of Riverdale fits perfectly.

Set to an original soundtrack, the film offers big musical performances with character bursting into song as well as performances by The Archies and quiet soliloquies in which characters make sense of their lives. The spirit and music is infectious and I found myself having more and more fun with these characters and their quest to save a local park from redevelopment all while teaching Archie about responsibility and love.

The film casts well in its trio of Archie (Agastya Nanda), Betty (Khushi Kapoor), and Veronica (Suhana Khan) and fills out a fun supporting cast with new takes on classic characters including Jughead (Mihir Ahuja), Reggie (Vedang Raina), Dilton (Yuvraj Menda) and Ethel (DOT, who who also heavily involved in the film's soundtrack). The set design and period costumes are all standouts as well. It's exactly the kind of family-friendly film to gather around the holiday season celebrating family, love, community, and just having a crazy good time.

Watch the trailer
  • Title: The Archies
  • IMDb: link

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