New Delhi: The swinging ’60s are back… cute girls in swirly skirts, and cool boys with slicked hair and baggy pants. Recreating the magic of one of the most progressive decades which brought hope as well as rebellion comes Zoya Akhtar’s much-awaited “Archies”.
The trailer is charmingly endearing as it brings forth a retro vibe and a touch of nostalgia. Opening to the peppy beats of Shankar Ehsaan and Loy’s music, the two-minute teaser quickly introduces us to the hillside town of “Riverdale” and its band of seven friends. Archie Andrews( Agastya Nanda) Veronica Lodge( Suhana Khan) Betty Cooper( Khushi Kapoor), Jughead Jones( Mihir Ahuja) Reggie Mantle( Vedang Raina), Dilton Doiley ( Yuvraj Menda)and Ethel Muggs( Dot) who are friends for life come what may.
The preview shows the arrival of the prettiest girl in town the super-rich and snobbish Veronica who is chidingly told by her best friend Betty, that this is Riverdale and not London, and to keep her excesses down. As the town’s most popular boy Archies gets set to woo Veronica, we are a funky montage of what follows next. The first blush of young love, high school revelry and rivalry as well as parental angst and rebellion.
Zoya Akhtar confesses to nervousness but says the feedback to the trailer is encouraging, which makes her a bit confident. “One is always nervous. You make a film, you’re nervous when it’s coming out. The crew has a chemistry with it and then it comes out and the audience has its chemistry with it”.
With all eyes focussed on the debut of the three-star kids Suhana Khan, Khushi Kapoor and Agastya Nanda, the film’s makers Zoya Akhtar and Reema Kagti reiterate that the casting process was most democratic for all the seven characters. Neither is the lens focussed on its starry debutantes, as with the poster, the trailer also represents all seven newcomers equally.
“We auditioned every possible youngster across the board and each one of these characters auditioned for every part at least three times before we decided to cast whom as who”, says Reema Kagti. Though Zoya is fiercely protective about her young cast, she says they all went through workshops and team-building exercises to bring alive the friendship and the spirit of Archies and Riverdale.
The trailer is funky, reminding one of the much-loved High School musicals like Grease, and Footloose on one hand, as well as a tribute to the colour and flamboyance of Bollywood of the 60’s. Zoya Akhtar’s signature style is visible as she depicts friendship and family dynamics.
The mood of the decade is also well captured in the aesthetics, the soft-focused frame with a zany colour palette, and evocative styling.
We got an exclusive look at the teaser which gives us quick glimpses of the cast you cannot help but notice Agastya. Nanda’s uncanny resemblance to Uncle Abhishek Bachchan. Khushi Kapoor loves the camera and seems at absolute ease. Suhana Khan is a chip off the old block and seems comfortable in her avatar. Though there are bound to be comparisons, since their lineage follows them like a shadow, the kids do not disappoint at all.
Vedang Raina makes a striking Reggie, don’t be surprised if he is swept with offers soon. However, Aly Khan as Veronica’s reticent businessman father Mr Lodge suits his role.
Shankar Ehsaan Loy’s music is the soul as the funky, jazzy and retro beats bring back the era of summer love and the flower child.
Monika Shergill “Vice president of Content at Netflix says Zoya and Reema have indeed captured the essence of Archies, “In every market that we operate, we wanted to create something which is for everyone. And that for everyone was what we held on to one Archies, the full family entertainer concept. It is a really beautiful sort of vision that they’ve put together and it’s been four years, and it is an exciting time to be presenting it”.
The film is the first cinematic adaptation of comic books, and that too an Indian one, Zoya Akhtar said she endeavored to remain true to the series and introduce the new generation to favourite figures who became part of pop culture across the world.
The trailer gets full marks, and we cannot wait to see the film, which premieres on Netflix on Dec 7.