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Suhana, Khushi, Agastya Win Our Hearts

November 09, 2023 15:22 IST
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I grew up reading Archie comics. They were a part of our teens and we knew every character by their habits and their interests.

Archie loved Veronica who loved herself and when a boy tells her "I always have fun with you," she replies, "I always have fun with me."

Betty loved Archie and Reggie loved Veronica and sometimes Midge which led him to being beaten up regularly by Big Moose who was all muscle. His best friend was the nerdy Dilton.

Then we have Jughead who loves food and Ethel who loves Jughead.

We have the jovial Pop Tate and the strict Principal Weatherbee with his cranky teacher Miss Grundy.


Sometime back there was an English serial titled Riverdale. I was so happy to watch it, but got the shock of my life.

Though all the characters took their name from the comic, the atmosphere was something else.

The Archie comics are about love, dating, games, school and pranking teachers.

The English series was an Abomination, it was full of abductions, rape, brutal violence and regular murders.

They totally destroyed the comic characters.

I was aghast and stopped watching Riverdale after a couple of episodes.

Then I heard that Bollywood was making a movie on Archies and my heart soared.

Who better than Bollywood to bring out teen age love, joy and a total lack of following any type of rules.

In June there was a teaser which showed teens dancing to music from the sixties.

In case you didn't know they tell you it is 1964.

After the teaser another video was released which told us that many star kids were acting in it.

I really don't know how that helps.

People see movies and like it if you act well, who your parents are doesn't really matter.

Finally the trailer was released today. It is a three minute and three seconds trailer that show us the main characters.

It starts with an announcement that India had chased the Portuguese out of Goa and South Africa had become a republic.

The question to the teens of Riverdale was "What have you achieved till now as you have already lived 25% of your lives?".

Not only do they scream "Nothing", but start laughing after that. That sets the tone of the movie that it is about youngsters with not a care in the world.

They show them dancing, cycling, skating, gossiping, dating and everything else that teens did at that time in Riverdale, keeping very close to the comic books series.

In the comic books The Archies is also the name of their band which has Archie (Agastya Nanda), Reggie (Vedang Raina) playing together when they are not fighting over Veronica (Suhana Khan).

Both Betty (Khushi Kapoor) and Veronica are in the band and the drummer is the foodie Jughead (Mihir Ahuja).

In the trailer too there is a band which is a bit more ambitious than the original.

In the comic Archie is shown falling for every girl he meets and here too it is the same.

Two girls discussing him declare "You cannot straighten a dog's tail and you cannot change Archie".

Suddenly the trailer is not all fun and games and it turns to a topic very common in this age.

Like Mumbai protesting over a Metro shed in Aarey colony the children are up in arms because a green park in their town is going to become a shopping plaza.

"Children don't count" say the town elders, but our teens are not ready to give up. They quote Edison who said if you fail a thousand times, try one more time.

Veronica Lodge is a very popular girl both in the comic and in the movie.

Suddenly she realises that she is not so popular because the developer of the said plaza is her Dad Mr Lodge.

Taking a leaf out of the Godfather, he tells his daughter, "Its only business, nothing personal".

After a dramatic pause, Veronica replies, "My friends hate me because of that and so it is very much personal".

By the way the protest for a green park is not a part of the original comics, that has been added by Bollywood to have a proper climax.

Shah Rukh Khan's daughter Suhana, Sridevi's daughter Khushi play the main characters Betty and Veronica.

Though they show Pop Tate restaurant they haven't shown the genial owner yet.

Likewise they show the school, but no Weatherbee or Grundy.

Jughead without his trademark hat doesn't jell.

And where is Moose and Midge?

Will have to wait for the movie to find them I guess.

I have read Archie comics over many years, so I really feel a series would have done more justice to Riverdale and its teens than a movie which I will not miss and neither will every fan of the Archie comics

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