For die-hard Archies fans, these characters and their universe are sacred and almost too delicate to mess with. hollywood tried it with Netflix's dark, edgy drama 'Riverdale,' which excelled for a few episodes before crashing into a forgettable ending."
The indian Riverdale neighbourhood is centred on the Anglo-Indian community. First, you meet the flirty Archie [Agastya Nanda], who boasts that 'The Archies,' a local musical band, would soon be the finest in the world after the Beatles. Then you meet his best pals, Betty [Khushi Kapoor] and Veronica (Suhana Khan), a fierce london returnee. Then there's the renowned Class of '64, which includes Jughead (Mihir Ahuja), Reggie (Vedang Raina), Ethel (Dot. ), and Dilly (Yuvraj). During their adolescence, you see the characters negotiating maturity with a young attitude.
Zoya and Reema have done an excellent job of capturing the familiar appearance and soul of the characters we remember well. Veronica's demeanour is readily recognised the minute she walks in, dressed in a foxy purple gown. The performers' connection is effortless and endearing. It can make you miss your gang as well. Their sweet banter and harmless jokes are too amusing to resist. The adaptation stays true to the core of these well-known characters.
The fundamental problem of 'The Archies', however, is its central conflict. On paper, the gang banding together to save 'Green Park,' which was threatened by development, appeared promising. However, execution falls short of expectations. It is one of the poorest plotlines in the story. Exploring and dissecting the seven characters' interpersonal interactions would have been a more engaging approach. Although the references to Pop Tates and Pam's parlour and bookstore elicit nostalgia, they serve as props rather than important aspects of the plot.
Except for Archie, Betty, Veronica, and, to a lesser extent, Reggie, the other characters appear to be one-dimensional. Tropes to the creators for giving the characters more personality than the template versions we've seen a million times. Zoya and Reema have expertly coached the novice performers, resulting in captivating on-screen performances. The fact that the characters never fall into caricatures helps their performances. As a result, no casting felt out of place. They were perfect for the job. They also have a great sense of rhythm. They are breathtaking and a sight to behold on television.
Suhana Khan, in her debut, nails the sass, while Khushi Kapoor is adequate as Betty. agastya Nanda plays Archie flawlessly, while Mihir plays Jughead as a silly dork, which is a lot of fun to see. Vedang, on the other hand, genuinely steals the show with his commanding screen presence. Despite their little parts, Dot and Yuvraj do credit to their characters. There are also several seasoned performers in supporting parts who offer a lot to the film. Koel Purie, who plays Alice, provides a great portrayal as Betty's mother, who alternates between being hilarious and feisty.
The set design and production ensure a credible depiction. Although Zoya and Reema have effectively captured the flavour of the comics and the era, something feels off. Without a question, the heart is in the right place, but the soul is lacking!
Adapting a narrative is a difficult endeavour, and although we applaud Zoya and Reema's efforts, can 'The Archies' gain the global renown that 'Squid Game' did for South Korea? The only way to know is to wait and see! 'The Archies' is available on Netflix.