A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Trust and believe in your friends. Young people can effect change, and sometimes they know more and do more than their elders. The grass is not greener on the other side, it's greener when you water it. How you feel is more important than how you look. Sometimes it's necessary to go up against authorities, especially if these aren't behaving ethically.
Positive Role Models
The Archie Comics characters are all here in a new setting. Archie is pursuing a move to London, feeling he's outgrown his hometown, and he's dating two women. Betty is a friend to all. Veronica is unaware of her father's profit-driven motives. The teens' parents make mistakes, mostly in bowing to pressure from corporate backers, leaving their kids to take a stand to save their community. They do so through teamwork and ingenuity.
The setting is a 1960s town in India founded by a Brit before Indian independence. Some characters refer to themselves and the town as Anglo Indian, and dialogues are in a blend of English and Hindi. One male character has a crush on his male friend. He keeps his sexuality a secret from everyone, and it's discussed only indirectly, in a kind way, by the crush.
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Violence & Scariness
Teen boys threaten each other with a fight. A man leaps at a younger man flirting with his wife. A young woman is left alone on Christmas by her self-serving parents, and she also feels abandoned by her friends.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Young adults flirt and kiss, and there's discussion of French kissing. A man is dating two women. Girls wearing short skirts is considered racy for the time. Suggestive language includes a teen saying a pair of handcuffs are her mom's, and a mother telling her daughter that the "tingling feeling" she gets when she thinks about a boy she likes is actually common sense leaving her body.
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"Hell," "ass," "pisssers," "weird," "idiot," "philanderer," "buggers," "pipsqueak," "stupid." The film is in Hindi and English.
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Products & Purchases
One wealthy character, who believes "everything is for sale," exploits corrupt politicians for his own potential profit. He's unconcerned with the loss of jobs or the impact on local businesses, individual lives, and the community's history. He threatens to pull funding from the local newspaper if they don't publish favorable coverage (as Indian papers were forced to do under British rule, a character says).
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Adults drink alcohol and smoke cigarettes. A teen says his mom told him to "say no to booze."
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that The Archies, a 1960s-set Indian take on the classic comic strip, has some flirtation and kissing, language, and positive messages about teamwork and standing up for what you believe in. The language in the Hindi-English dialogues includes "hell" and "ass," as well as insults like "pisssers," "weird," "idiot," "philanderer," "buggers," "pipsqueak," and "stupid." Young adults flirt and kiss, and there's discussion of French kissing. A man is dating two women. Suggestive language includes a teen saying a pair of handcuffs are her mom's, and a mother telling her daughter that the "tingling feeling" she gets when she thinks about a boy she likes is actually common sense leaving her body. Men threaten fistfights, a wealthy character exploits corruptible politicians and newspaper editors for his own potential profit, and adults bow to pressure from corporate backers, leaving their teens to save their community through teamwork and ingenuity. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
High School Musical meets Bollywood in this adorably upbeat and slightly surreal Indian take on the Archie Comics. The Archies won't be everyone's cup of chai, with its beautiful cast, corny jokes, and wide-eyed love songs (and definitely don't question its historical accuracy). But if you're willing to suspend notions of reality and go along for the ride, it's an enjoyably eccentric flashback to classical Hollywood teen musicals with the originality of an Indian setting and cast. Bad guy Hiram looks like an East Asian Clark Gable, menacing mustache and all, and the gorgeous cast is dressed to the 1960s nines. Perhaps because of the imagined time and place, they pull off an innocence the High School Musical kids only play at. But its themes of loving your friends, making your community your home, and listening to young people are universal.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.