“The Archies” is one of the most interesting films coming out of India this year. The adaptation is directed by Zoya Akhtar, one of the most prominent auteurs in Hindi cinema. She’s previously directed cult hits like “Zindagi Na Milegi Doobara,” and the rap-musical “Gully Boy,” which was sent as India’s best international film entry for the 92nd Oscars. Co-written by her frequent collaborator Reema Kagti, “The Archies” is Akhtar’s first major collab with Netflix.
While Akhtar has no doubt proven herself as one of India’s most prominent cinematic forces, she’s never tackled a period film before. When she was offered the gig, Akhtar made it clear: the film had to be a trip down memory lane. “I didn’t want to do a modern take … that’s not my experience of ‘Archie,'” Akhtar told Film Companion. “My experience of ‘Archie’ is of a simpler time … where less was more, and I wanted to go back to that and I wanted to keep the original essence of the comic.” From the trailer’s rich visuals and era-correct costumes, it’s fair to say that Akhtar has absolutely nailed the vibe of a post-independence India, while also balancing the aesthetics from the OG “Archie” comics.
What should make “The Archies” a must-watch for audiences this winter is its cast, which consists primarily of newcomers. Perhaps the most notable personality to star in the Netflix film is Suhana Khan (she plays Veronica Lodge), who is set to make her Bollywood debut with the picture. The daughter of Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan, Indian audiences have long-awaited Suhana’s cinematic debut.
“The Archies” hits Netflix on December 7.