The Archies Review: A Low-Stakes Bollywood Launch Vehicle

Rahul Desai

Based on The Characters of Archie Comics

At first glance, The Archies unfolds like a safe and superficial take on its famous source material. Stiff nostalgia and cosplay vibes seep through every frame. Zoya Akhtar’s film retains the low-stakes utopianism of the illustrated pages.

It Feels Like The Truman Show Where Nobody Is In On The Gag

Even the setting feels customized to camouflage the body of a Bollywood launch vehicle. It’s an updated version of how a London-return background would be written into early Katrina Kaif characters.

If You Adapt Something Long Enough, It Circles Back To Its Original Form 

Maybe the adaptation is so physically generic to offset the fact that every love triangle we’ve seen is already a spiritual descendent of the Archie-Betty-Veronica dynamic. So this is, in a way, the Ground Zero of personality tropes.

It’s Shaped By An Awareness of Its Own Image

If you look past the shiny surface, though, The Archies is a self-reflexive critique of its own legacy. The story is infused with the sort of modern agency that challenges the space and time it stems from. It examines the Archie effect and ‘revises’ the blind spots of the comic book.

It Implies That There is Life Within Riverdale, Not Just Beyond It

The definition of Average Life – and its inextricable link with the outside world – comes into focus. The tweaks are not subtle, but the context allows the film to sidestep the performative wokeness.

The Few Real-World Ingredients Help

Like a dash of old-school patriotism: The shadow of post-independence pride hangs over the Andrews family, with Fred (Suhaas Ahuja) hoping that son Archie rethinks his desire to study abroad. Like the issue of free press and Like youth leading the way.