The Archies review: dreamy, dazzling but leaves a lot to be desired

The Archies review: dreamy, dazzling but leaves a lot to be desired

The Archies review: dreamy, dazzling but leaves a lot to be desired

What: The Archies – the boys wooed well, the girls play well in this light, frothy teen-drama.

The Archies movie review

First things first. Zoya Akhtar’s The Archies is a daring and dazzling valentine to the teen comics of the bygone era and its immortal characters – Archies, Betty and Veronica. In an age where violence, slasher films and whodunnits have infested the OTT space, it comes as a sigh of relief and welcome change. Aligned to the comics core, it’s a musical story of the pivotal characters set in the fictitious town of Riverdale in the 1960s where the Anglo-Indian community thrives and their friendship, emotions, freedom and rebellion.

Archies Andrew (played by Agastya Nanda) is the charmer boy in the school who loves the coy Betty (Khushi Kapoor) and the rich girl Veronica (Suhana Khan) in equal proportions. Like every teenager, he is confused about whom to choose as his partner. His bestie, Jughead (Mihir Ahuja) does his part of moral policing but Archies is incorrigible. Archies unites with Ronnie, aka Veronica, after she comes back from abroad and thinks about propelling their half-etched love story, while being smitten by Betty. The other members in the gang are the wannabe writer Reggie (Vedang Raina), the hairstylist Ethel (Aditi Saigal) and the timid Dilton (Yuvraj Menda).

Each of them has unique characteristics and aspirations which is portrayed reasonably well by Zoya, teaming up with Reema Kagti and Ayesha Devitre Dhillon for the screenplay that pumps up requisite doses of friendship vibes, love, and romance with a brilliant reimagination of the ethos and the impressive candy-colored paradise created, the Green Park, in the exquisite landscapes of Coonoor – thanks to the cinematographer Nikos Andritsakis.

The emotions resonate with your childhood memories even though they are not entirely piercing and provocative like Zoya’s previous works – Luck by Chance, Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara, Gully Boy or even Made in Heaven. They play out at a frivolous level, just like a musical which Bollywood probably hasn’t delved much in abundance. Yes, it’s a genre lesser travelled and explored and Zoya eschews tension and conflict to make the end product light and frothy, just like its male-lead does it for flamboyance and embraces a serious, thinker-boy tonality. Agastya, in his debut, has a lot of resemblance to his Mama, Abhishek Bachchan, and emotes well in the film’s dramatic moments giving a shape to the dilemma arising out of his career option.


Zoya relies less on humor and more on her female protagonists and their bonding. Suhana is honest in portraying Veronica but the way she portrays the conflicted mind doesn’t look organic. She needs to tone her dialogue delivery, a trait which Khushi Kapoor seems to have mastered well enough along with depicting the innocence through her glowing eyes. The team dances good to all the tracks though! I was particularly impressed by the adorable Juggs, played by Ahuja with a compelling elan. The young actor seems to have grown after his earnest performance in Made in Heaven. 

In the platoon of youngies, the senior and seasoned actors like Vinay Pathak, Aly Khan and Tara Sharma also render pleasing performances.



The Archies review - final words

I go with 3 stars out of 5 for The Archies – it's dreamy, dazzling but leaves a lot to be desired. Perhaps a web series could do better justice to the teen romantic comedy.

Streaming on Netflix from 7th December 2023.


Rating : 3/5

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About Ahwaan Padhee

Ahwaan Padhee

Ahwaan Padhee, is an IT Techie/Business Consultant by profession and a film critic/cinephile by passion, is also associated with Radio Playback as well, loves writing and conducting movie quizzes. More By Ahwaan Padhee

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