Sunday, June 26, 2022

The Archies: Zoya Akhtar project getting limelight for wrong reasons

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Pinafores, classic vests, those printed frogs, The Archies trailer came on Netflix few days ago, an initiation of Zoya Akhtar to recreate the famed American comics from the mid-90s era.

With all that vintage galore, one could sense that it’s an attempt to a nostalgic era m particularly for the admirers of the comics.

 

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The starring boys and girls were all running around like a group of rich vagabonds having the time of their lives. To tell the truth, it does bring back the old careless days when life was plenty and heart was weightless of the burdens.

The teaser showcased a plethora of emotions Such as nostalgia and friendship. However, none of them were the reason behind the wind of words and comments that went with it.
Firstly, the teaser (according to the masses) “reeked with nepotism”.

Among the seven cast members, three of them are star kids: Suhana Khan (Daughter of Shahrukh Khan), Khushi Kapoor (daughter of Boney Kapoor) Agastya Nanda (Grandson of Amitabh Bachan) and Dot (Daughter of Amit Saigal). The other four are Mihir Ahuja, Yuvraj Menda, and Vedang Raina.

Zoya Akhtar herself has been criticized for supporting nepotism and joining the Bollywood Mafia that prevents diversity and discourages offering opportunities to new faces from the general public. The introduction of star kids into movies has long been a topic of hot debate especially in the last decade. The conundrum of nepotism is one of multiple reasons this teaser is being thrashed for.

The Archies teaser has been criticized of being an attempt to assimilate Indian gentry into Westen culture. People have found the teaser too much “Westernized “and are admonishing the cast as well as the director of not supporting their own national identity.

The Netflix teaser is being subjected to a movie featuring material wealth and the glitz that comes with it. The public has bashed the concept and perceive it as a movie based on a group of wealthy kids engaged in their melodramatic life of riches and fake English accents.
The life of these characters been assumed to be similar to the lives of Southern Bombay rich kids. (South Bombay is equivalent to the posh area of DHA in Karachi). It is for this very reason that many viewers think that the movie is not relatable to an average Indian.
The list does not end here.

There is another accusiation: The remake of The Archies by Indians is an atrocious endeavor; the one Bollywood is incapable of pulling off.

For the nepotism, it’s has long been prevalent in different fraternities not just showbiz. To call this practice something negative and malignant for industry would not be appropriate. One should realize that Bollywood have been gifted by some of the best performing artists who were a product of nepotism.

Actors such as Shahid Kapoor, Sunjay Dutt, and Hiritik Roshan have had a successful career in films majorly based on their talents and less because of being the star kids of their time. Even if a star kid does feature in a film or series, the success is immensely dependent on the love the audience offers based on the talent and not the connections. The best possible answer is to wait and see the movie and then decide whether these star kids are deserving of that repute and stature.

One of the special traits of any director or an artist is to be completely dwelled into every role and every project that is offered. This is what makes the artist and the director diverse and honorable to work with.

Zoya Akhtar, the sister of Farhan Akhtar,  has delivered outstanding projects such as Gully Boy and Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara and to judge her talent on The Archies project would be an understatement.

While filmmaking might be a dirty business, art is often well appreciated and repute well deserved in Bollywood whenever an exceptional movie is delivered. I actually believe that Zoya Akhtar had something in mind while recreating the concept of The Archies.

A number of Hollywood concepts have already been adapted, tailor made and published in Bollywood successfully which makes the Indian version of The Archies not something we’re unfamiliar with.

The tradition has long been followed and because of this, the audience has been blessed with some of the most beautiful movies the Indian Cinema has ever created.

 

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An idea of recreating a classic concept seems questionable especially when the target of viewers are young tech savvy generation who wildly rebukes the thoughts and practices of the old era.

The Archies teaser indicates that the movies is largely for the millennials those who are somewhat cognizant to the concept and the Archie comics. But again, one can’t just simply judge a book by the cover. We’ll have to wait for the movie to come on Netflix.

The Archies is expected to be released on Netflix in 2023.

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Shargeel Sheikh
Shargeel Sheikh works as social media manager at ARY Digital

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