The Archietype Simulacrum of ‘Life is not only about Kicks and Chicks’

How tricks and battles play a folly; God knows better? But, when it comes to ‘The Archies’, I am reminded of the riley flowing through a rill and the cascading innuendos of the ‘bitter betty batter’ crying over her easily crumbled love for Archie. It’s Betty who is seen as the ‘funny bone’ fawning to get Archie’s attention until the lucid parabole of life tells Betty, ‘Veronica has a share in the pie too’.

Doesn’t all this sound familiar in the gnarled stories of ‘Archie Comics’; a bit of flounce and frisson and the so easily managed persiflage? The gnomic love triangle and the ‘funny-buddy’ friendship have all the heart. Auld Lang past, one still remembers the ‘Archiekins’ in a disported camaraderie with the sweet-supple Jughead and the dogged ‘ready to fight’ lour with the la-di-da Reggie. How tempting all of this; the love, laughter and the narrative that makes each character in the comic distinct.

The Indian leitmotif of ‘Archie’ inarguably pleases the impulse to grow & ponder and have fun cutting across a similar fraction with the ‘comic perfunctory’, keeping each characterization intact.

One of the stories in Archie Comic, ‘Born free’ sees Archie walk out of the home without socks. A de trop grimace on his father’s face; Archie thus bares the éclat:

‘Socks are the shackles of civilization’

A desideratum folds as an au fact in the movie ‘The Archies’ when the Indian Archie takes the hoyden Indian Veronica for a dinner date:

‘Shoes are the shackles of civilization’

Oops! He forgot to wear the appropriate shoes, though socks long time back have had their way through the civilization devilry.

The ‘Archie Comics’ picks out subtle nuances that make you laugh at the tongue; the ‘Beatles wig’ broomed by Archie considering it to be a horrible animal, and the penultimate love in disguise that cuts across an illusionist eye. If one wants to tick on the humor that love can pardonably excuse, it’s something to learn from Archie.

‘How the auburn mind is quick to compare Betty & Veronica’s tight pants to ‘licorice sticks’? Indisputably archetype!

The Indian Archie ineluctable quizzes the love he holds for both the women; comparison comes as an inducement for his own notoriety.

‘Why can’t I love both’?

‘Imagine if you had to choose between Paul McCartney and John Lennon’. Possibly, Jughead too finds hard to choose between a shake and an ice-cream.

‘Archie Comics’ have always been and still are a rendition of ‘teenage recluse’ for the young and an imperturbable reminiscing for the adult minds. It instantly forms a connection to the artistry of being ‘young’ and ‘inchoate’. The comics suspend the lever to race through varied emotions of ‘love’, ‘revenge’, ‘competitive spirit’ and ‘rebellion’. It talks of the time of the ‘young’; an incessant need to prove that both right and wrong expand in the vessel of humanity and the desired ‘pick’ is relatively a matter of personal association.

Let’s go back to a story of ‘Archie Comics’ where a ‘Riverdale Industrial Park’ is being planned to be constructed on the land of ‘Evergreen Forest’. Archie and the gang are quick to find out that trees need to be cut to build a warehouse. Now, they definitely have something up their sleeves to avoid the sabotage. The ‘Environment vs. Economic’ war begins, and it’s Veronica who finds her father behind the peccadillos. They all collect petitions to garner maximum support in favor to keep the forest intact. In the end, success crawls defeating the deuce.

As William Shakespeare rightly said,

‘We know what we are; but know not what we may be’

‘The Archies’ movie with the Indian star cast explicitly follows the Shakespeare rule to confront the greed and complexity of a mind that does not bat an eyelid to sabotage the ‘Green Park’ in Riverdale in order to construct a mall. The familiarity of both the stories is plausible, and thus again reminds me if a ‘character’ can ever be distinguished from its perception of ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ whether be a comic or a movie adaptation.

Archie will always have two hearts, ingratiating each other to take the lead. Veronica will be the femme fatale conjuring the obnoxious to get attention. If Betty has her way, I doubt any change is permissible; we like her a bit clumsy yet smart. The audacious Reggie Mantle is quite often the one to spoil the brook, and all my heart for Jughead if he allows me to savor more burgers than him.

I also wonder if the ‘girl power’ can ever be taken away from the ‘Archie arpeggio’. As Jughead is quite precise to bring the point in the Indian adaptation; ‘I told you girls have power’ rebuking the ‘two-timing’ love of Archie. The ‘licorice sticks’ do finally make Archie shrink in his own pants. The laughter riot screeches and so does the indefatigable need to make a cause worthwhile.

In the end, as it must come, a great melodious music by ‘The Archies’ somehow pesters to break the shackles.

‘O ’Ruby, if life were a plum pudding

You’d be the sugar & spice.’

For old times, new times & good times,

‘Archie’— always and ever

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5 months ago

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