The Archies Review: Zoya Akhtar's musical is deliciously brilliant with captivating performances and a heartwarming message

Film: The Archies

Cast: Suhana Khan, Khushi Kapoor, Dot, Agastya Nanda, Vedang Raina, Mihir Ahuja, Yuvraj Menda

Director: Zoya Akhtar

Streaming on: Netflix

Rating: 4 Moons

It is that time of the year when the air is filled with a chilly breeze, the softest blankets are out to keep one warm and the aroma of hot chocolate and delicious winter delights rule homes. At this time, Zoya Akhtar comes with her The Archies gang to give you the warmest hugs. Starring Suhana Khan, Khushi Kapoor, Dot, Agastya Nanda, Vedang Raina, Mihir Ahuja and Yuvraj Menda, the musical is the perfect festive family watch with clean, relevant and important content. 

The Archies is set in the fictional town of Riverdale in the 1960s. The residents of this picturesque place are Anglo-Indians. The film begins with Archie Andrews (Agastya Nanda) introducing a bunch of tourists to the life of Riverdale, Green Park. He is the lead singer in his band, The Archies. The kahaani begins with Veronica Lodge (Suhana Khan)'s return to Riverdale after a long time. Her parents are the most influential people in town. Upon her arrival, they plan a grand party. Veronica's best friend is Betty Cooper (Khushi Kapoor) and their hearts beat for Archie. 

Amid the love triangle, Veronica, Betty and Archie have to team up with their friends Ethel Muggs (Dot), Jughead Jones (Mihir Ahuja), Reggie Mantle (Vedang Raina) and Dilton Doiley (Yuvraj Menda) to protect the beloved Green Park from falling prey to development plans. Veronica's father proposes a plan to build a plaza on the land of the park. 

The Archies is as delicious as Plum Pudding at Christmas and soul-satisfying like a milkshake while offering a flavour of spice with the messaging. The musical takes you back to the good old days when things were simpler, less judgmental and people had kind hearts. Zoya pays attention to every minute detail and builds the town of dreams. The Archies feels like a comfortable shelter under the large tree of Green Park where one can sit and enjoy a hearty meal away from the noise and negativity. People dwelling in Riverdale have unity which seems to be a distant term in today's world. Media is used to spread awareness and radio is the only mode of mass communication. Can we have this era back?

The cinematic adaptation of Archie Comics has characters that are relatable, innocent and believable. Emotions are raw and pure. Zoya is a master of character development and The Archies is yet another testament. She ensures that the audience builds an instant connection with Veronica, Betty, Archie, Ethel, Jughead, Reggie and Dilton Doiley. Giving out a strong message of girl bonding through Veronica and Betty despite their love triangle with Archie. She sends out a strong message of unity and bonding. 

The Archies certainly deserved a theatrical release to honour the aesthetics. The production design is beautiful. Zoya and her team have worked meticulously to get the setting correct. Right from cross-stitched floral frames, vintage mirrors, and Bone China cutlery to wooden homes, it looks gorgeous. The costumes fit the era perfectly well. With a distinct style given to each character, the designer lends an identity through colours and textures.

The performances in The Archies are raw and fresh. Suhana Khan as Veronica Lodge gets a variety of emotions to display and the young starlet delivers a riveting act. With a dash of eliteness, Veronica is a girl with a big heart. Suhana brings 'Ronnie' alive with her captivating performance. She is brilliant at dancing and skating too. 

Khushi Kapoor as Betty is innocent and sweet. She adds her softness to the character and shines bright. Betty is a naive character and Khushi pulls it off wonderfully. Agastya Nanda makes a good debut with The Archies. He's raw but does a good job and there's room for improvement. Dot is addictive as Ethel. She has a good screen presence. Vedang Raina steals the show with his charming presence and acting skills. Mihir Ahuja is lovable as Jughead. You will find yourself rooting for him. Yuvraj Menda delivers a sweet performance as Dilton. He's a sweetheart!

The Archies is primarily a film told through numerous songs. While Sunoh and Va Va Voom are the most popular ones, In Raahon Mein plays in the end credits and has the potential to be a chartbuster in the coming weeks. The cinematography team deserves a special round of applause for painting such a beautiful canvas. 

The Archies teaches you the lesson of unity, friendship, and community living in the era of the internet. Keep your phones aside and let Zoya transport you to a different world and time. A must-watch with the family this season!

PeepingMoon gives The Archies 4 Moons