The Netflix Comic Book Adaptation Secret Gem Better Than Hugely Successful TV Series

By Charlene Badasie | Published


Netflix’s 2023 Indian Hindi-language film, The Archies, is a fresh and nostalgic adaptation of the beloved Archie comics. Directed by Zoya Akhtar, it offers fans an alternative to the darker, more mature tones of The CW’s Riverdale, which, despite its popularity, received some criticism for straying far from the light-hearted spirit of the source material.

The Cast


The Archies reimagines the iconic comic book characters in a 1960s Anglo-Indian setting. The plot revolves around Archie Andrews (Agastya Nanda), Betty Cooper (Khushi Kapoor), Veronica Lodge (Suhana Khan), Jughead Jones (Mihir Ahuja), Reggie Mantle (Vedang Raina), Ethel Muggs (Aditi ‘Dot’ Saigal) and Dilton Doiley (Yuvraj Menda), in the fictional town of Riverdale, India.


Archie wants to leave Riverdale to study in London, but his parents, Fred (Suhaas Ahuja) and Mary (Tara Sharma) are initially hesitant. Veronica and her family return to Riverdale, where her father, Mr. Hiram Lodge (Alyy Khan), plans to build a fancy hotel in the heart of Green Park, which is a significant part of the town’s identity.

The Archies follows the gang as they fight against the hotel construction, which they believe will destroy the essence of Riverdale. They organize protests and use their band to rally the community. Meanwhile, Archie finds himself stuck in a love triangle between Betty and Veronica. Just like the comics, he struggles to choose between the two girls.

The Archies Performed Well

Throughout The Archies, the characters learn valuable lessons about the importance of staying true to oneself and one’s community. Archie learns about responsibility and the consequences of his actions. Betty and Veronica’s friendship is tested but ultimately strengthened by their shared experiences. Jughead provides comic relief and wisdom, often grounding the group with his observations.

Director Zoya Akhtar, known for her vibrant visual style, aimed to capture the essence of The Archies comics while infusing the narrative with Indian sensibilities. The film is visually inspired by the 1960s, with meticulous attention to the era’s fashion, music, and overall aesthetics. The rich, nostalgic atmosphere resonated with audiences who are familiar with and new to the Archie universe.

Lighter Than Riverdale


Unlike Riverdale, The Archies film focuses on the fun, music-filled adventures and the innocent troubles of the characters, which is more in line with the original comic book narratives. Fans have praised the movie for its authentic portrayal (albeit with a cultural twist) and for capturing the essence of the comics’ setting and character dynamics.

The performances of the young cast have also been highlighted as a strong point, particularly in their musical and dance sequences. However, not all reviews were entirely positive. Some critics pointed out that The Archies‘ plot is overly simplistic and predictable, with an excessive number of songs that some found repetitive and detracting from the overall story​.

Stream It Now

Despite these criticisms, The Archies had a strong debut on Netflix, particularly in India, where it earned 5.2 million views in its opening weekend, making it the most-watched streaming movie of the week in the country. Fans in other regions that happened to see the film have also found it to be enjoyable, whether viewed with subtitles or as an English dub.