The Archives Review by Netizens: A ‘Cringefest’ Pinned on Suhana Khan, Zoya Akhtar

Notwithstanding a significant recovery from the initial IMDB rating of 2.9, the overall consensus on The Archies paints far from a favourable picture for the Zoya Akhtar film, with Suhana Khan at the centre of all criticism. From mediocrity in acting to that of the production itself, here's what upset people most, as per social media.
Zoya Akhtar's 'The Archies' is a feature film adaptation of the original comics. | Courtesy: Tiger Baby Films

Zoya Akhtar's 'The Archies' is a feature film adaptation of the original comics. | Courtesy: Tiger Baby Films

  • The Archies is a teen musical drama starring Suhana Khan, Agastya Nanda and Khushi Kapoor.
  • The Zoya Akhtar movie is the first film adaptation of The Archies comics, set in 1960s India.
  • Armchair critics have picked the film apart on all fronts, including acting and direction.
Acting debuts don’t get much bigger than getting cast in a Zoya Akhtar film but for the careers of Suhana Khan, Khushi Kapoor and Agastya Nanda, Bollywood’s Gen-Z stars, to get a soaring start, The Archies just wasn’t the launchpad.
The Archies, a coming-of-age musical comedy set in the fictional 1960s Indian town named Riverdale, is the first feature film adaption of its namesake comics. It is a reimagining of classic Archies characters as Anglo-Indian teenagers who navigate friendship, romance, and social responsibility to save their beloved park from being demolished for a hotel.
Although from the outset, the new Netflix movie endured unfavourable comparisons to the original Archies, languishing at the bottom as one of the worst-rated films of 2023 with just 2.9 IMDB ratings ahead of the premiere, things only got worse after its December 7 OTT release.
In skeptical anticipation of the film, an X user wrote: "[I have]Adored Archie comics, even read them, hidden in a textbook, in school. So, will The Archies movie, on @NetflixIndia, with same characters n place (Riverdale) be a sweet walk down nostalgia lane or a cringefest? Or, star dir. Zoya Akhtar + star kids + music = a different magic?"
A series of reviews posted after the film's Netflix premiere unambiguously echoed the prevailing sentiment.
"The Archies is not just a bad film, it's a cinematic abomination that actively defiles the cherished memories of generations of fans," a disappointed viewer wrote.
For some, Agastya Nanda, who portrays the character of Archibald "Archie" Andrews, a flirtatious 17-year-old, is the saving grace of the film alongside Vedang Raina (Reginald Mantle) and Mihir Ahuja (Jughead Jones).
Suhana Khan, who plays Veronica Lodge, was the saboteur-in-chief, as far as netizens are concerned.
The criticism for screenplay extended to the casting choice of the director, on whom the blame was eventually pinned for signing the children of Shah Rukh Khan, Boney and Sridevi Kapoor and Shweta Bachchan-Nanda among others for The Archies.
The film also casts:
  • Aditi "Dot" Saigal as Ethel Muggs
  • Yuvraj Menda as Dilton Doiley
  • Rudra Mahuvakar as Moose Mason
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