The Archies is a delightful and nostalgic musical film that transports the viewers to the 1960s when a group of teenagers formed a band and embarked on a journey of friendship, love, and music. The film is based on the popular Archie comics, adapted into various media formats over the years. The film, however, takes a fresh and unique approach by setting the story in an Anglo-Indian town, which adds a layer of cultural diversity and authenticity to the film. The film is directed by Zoya Akhtar, known for her realistic and engaging films, such as Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara, Dil Dhadakne Do, and Gully Boy. The film also marks the debut of three young actors, Agastya Nanda, Khushi Kapoor, and Suhana Khan, who belong to prominent film families and have inherited their talent and charisma.
The film has many strengths, but the music is the most notable. The film features a variety of songs, ranging from original compositions to covers of classic hits from the ’60s. The songs are performed by the actors themselves, with the help of professional musicians and singers. The music is composed by Shankar–Ehsaan–Loy and Ankur Tewari, with additional contributions from The Islanders and Aditi Saigal. The background score is composed by Shankar–Ehsaan–Loy and Jim Satya. The songs are catchy, lively, and well-suited to the mood and theme of the film. The songs also showcase the vocal and musical skills of the actors, who have done a commendable job of singing and playing their instruments. Some of the songs that stand out are “Sugar, Sugar”, the iconic bubblegum pop song by The Archies, which is the band’s signature song and the film’s theme song; “Riverdale Rock”, an original rock and roll song by The Archies, which is the band’s first song and their introduction to the audience; “You Make Me Feel So Young”, a cover of the Frank Sinatra song by Archie and Veronica, which is their first duet and their romantic song; and “Stand by Me”, a cover of the Ben E. King song by The Archies, which is the band’s friendship and solidarity song.
Another strength of the film is the cast. The film boasts of a star-studded cast, with some of the most popular names in the Indian film industry. The main cast includes Agastya Nanda as Archie Andrews, the charismatic and optimistic leader of the band; Khushi Kapoor as Betty Cooper, the sweet and smart girl-next-door; Suhana Khan as Veronica Lodge, the rich and glamorous daughter of a business tycoon; Vedang Raina as Reggie Mantle, the arrogant and competitive rival of Archie; Mihir Ahuja as Jughead Jones, the sarcastic and witty best friend of Archie; Aditi “Dot” Saigal as Ethel Muggs, the quirky and talented keyboardist of the band; and Yuvraj Menda as Dilton Doiley, the nerdy and inventive genius. The film also features some veteran actors in supporting roles, such as Suhaas Ahuja, Tara Sharma, Alyy Khan, Kamal Sidhu, Luke Kenny, Santana Roach, Rudra Mahuvakar, Vinay Pathak, Delnaaz Irani, James Alter, Sahil Jaffery, Avan Contractor, Dierdree Wright, Diya Gupta, Nikhil Kapoor, and Ashish Sawhney. The cast has done a splendid job of bringing the characters to life, with their expressions, dialogues, and chemistry. The cast has also managed to capture the essence of the ’60s, with their costumes, hairstyles, and mannerisms. The cast has also displayed a great sense of humor, timing, and improvisation, which adds to the charm and fun of the film.
The film also excels in its direction, cinematography, and editing. Zoya Akhtar has proven that she is a master storyteller who can weave a captivating and coherent narrative with multiple subplots and themes. She has also shown her versatility and creativity by venturing into a new genre and setting and making it her own. She has also handled the film’s musical elements with finesse and flair, creating memorable and mesmerizing sequences. The cinematography by Carlos Catalan is stunning and vibrant, capturing the beauty and diversity of the town and its surroundings. The editing by Nitin Baid is crisp and smooth, maintaining a good pace and flow of the film. The film also has a great production design, art direction, and sound design, which create a realistic and immersive atmosphere for the film.
The film, however, is not without its flaws. The film has a few drawbacks, which may affect the enjoyment and satisfaction of some viewers. One of the drawbacks is the length of the film. The film runs for 2 hours and 45 minutes, which may seem too long and tedious for some viewers, especially those who are not fond of musicals. The film could have been trimmed and tightened by removing some unnecessary scenes and songs, which do not add much to the plot or the character development. The film also has clichés and stereotypes, which may seem predictable and boring for some viewers, especially those familiar with the Archie comics or other similar stories. The film also has some unrealistic and exaggerated moments, which may seem implausible and absurd for some viewers, especially those looking for a more grounded and realistic film. The film also has some minor inconsistencies and errors, which may seem distracting and annoying for some viewers, especially attentive and observant viewers.
The film, overall, is a delightful and nostalgic musical film that transports the viewers to the 1960s, where a group of teenagers form a band and embark on a journey of friendship, love, and music. The film has many strengths, such as the music, the cast, the direction, the cinematography, and the editing. The film also has a few drawbacks, such as the length, the clichés, the unrealistic moments, and the errors. The film, however, is a must-watch for fans of musicals, Archie comics, Zoya Akhtar, and the ’60s. The film is also a great watch for anyone looking for a simple, feel-good, young-adult story with a touch of cultural diversity and authenticity. The film is available on Netflix and has received positive reviews and ratings from critics and audiences alike. The film has also been nominated for several awards and has been a commercial success. The film has also spawned a spin-off series and a sequel, which are in the works. The film is rated PG-13 for some language, violence, and suggestive content. The film is a 4/5 stars.