‘The Archies’: An Ode to Being Young and Free

Zoya Akhtar’s film adaptation of the beloved American comic isn’t for the serious. Rather, it’s an endearing reminder of the joys of young adulthood.

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The Archies Gang (Netflix)

Meher Manda


December 7, 2023

“There are two types of people in the world. The young and those who want to be young,” says a wise Archie Andrews (Agastya Nanda) in The Archies. Such is the promise of young adulthood, where each day can take the shape of something new and exciting, while the old concern themselves with jobs, taxes, and how to pay for things. 

This sentimental truth is the beating heart of the source material, Archie Comics, a series featuring a ragtag team of American teenagers: the cloyingly kind Betty Cooper (Khushi Kapoor), the saucy vixen Veronica Lodge (Suhana Khan), the compulsive glutton Jughead Jones (Mihir Ahuja), the snooty hotshot Reggie Mantle (Vedang Raina), the gangly love-struck Ethel Muggs (Dot.), the prodigy Dilton Doiley (Yuvraj Menda), and, at the center of it all, Archie Andrews, a hopeless romantic in love with, well, everything and everyone.

With The Archies, out on Netflix today, director, co-writer, and co-producer Zoya Akhtar transplants the sprightly gang to an Anglo-Indian town called Riverdale, of course. Against the backdrop of a postcolonial India in 1964, the coming-of-age story — of both the teenagers and a country — is filled with romance, music, and some political reckoning. By embracing comic-book earnestness with wide-eyed sincerity, The Archies is a charming, buoyant take on young adulthood as a time of endless possibility. So don’t expect anything too serious.

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