'Talentless, useless': People react to The Archies' first look

Say Zoya Akhtar's film continues Bollywood nepotism
'Talentless, useless': People react to The Archies' first look—PHOTO: Instagram
'Talentless, useless': People react to The Archies' first look—PHOTO: Instagram

Filmmaker Zoya Akhtar has unveiled the first look of her upcoming film 'The Archies' — which is an Indian adaptation of the popular Archie comics. However, the trailer has not garnered the kind of response it was hoping for.

The filmmaker shared the first look of the film in the form of a poster where the main cast and crew are seen posing in a natural setting. It was accompanied by the caption: "Grab your picnic baskets and pick out your cutest outfits, we're going to greet Archie's gang. Presenting the cast of THE ARCHIES, a Zoya Akhtar film".

The movie features what the producers hope will be the new generation of Bollywood superstars. One reason for that may be that almost the entire main cast is from the family of another glittering generation of Bollywood superstars.

This includes Shah Rukh Khan's daughter Suhana Khan, late legend Sridevi's younger daughter, Khushi Kapoor, and living legend Amitabh Bachchan's grandson Agastya Nanda.

All three will appear in leading roles with Suhana taking over the role of the enviable self-proclaimed princess of Riverdale, Veronica Lodge. Khushi will play the nice, sweet, tomboyish yet funny and beautiful girl-next-door Elizabeth ‘Betty’ Cooper.

Agastya will play the lead character of Archie Andrews, the lovable teenager who keeps finding himself in a load of trouble while also navigating a love triangle between Veronica and Betty.

Other stars will be in supporting roles to play characters such as Jughead and Reggie.

The poster, however, has divided opinion amongst netizens but most are raising objections for all the wrong reasons. Primary amongst them is another attempt by Bollywood bigwigs to launch a new generation of stars from a family of stars.

A Twitter user dubbed this the continuation of a "Multiverse of Nepotism".

Another user called this the 'Heights of nepotism in India".

He wrote "Can one imagine how talentless and useless one has to be to become a movie actor or actress just because “mere papa/mummy bhi the”. And how many talented people get left out because of these celebrities kids."

The movie is not to launch until 2023 but it seems a perception about it has already been set which will be hard to counter.

Bollywood nepotism background

When Bollywood was granted “Industry” status in May 1998, and the corporate studio became involved, there was hope that things would improve. Though, the picture has remained substantially unchanged.

Many decades ago, when no “Kapoors,” “Khans,” or “Bhatts” ruled the Indian cinema business (Bollywood), the idea that performance and celebrity used to go hand in hand is no longer entirely accurate.

While the ‘Kapoors’ are known as the “Flag Bearers of Nepotism,” practically every second actor in the Indian Film Industry is the flag carrier of a family that has produced some of the performers; ironically, these flag bearers are not born actors. 

Some of the actors' names included in the nepotism list such as Kareena Kapoor, Ranbir Kapoor, Alia Bhatt, Varun Dhawan, Jhanvi Kapoor, Imran Khan, Ananya Pandy, Suhana Khan, Khushi Kapoor, Sonam Kapoor.


The Archies


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