The moment The Archies was announced, we knew that it would be a hard job to adapt it to the Indian context. As a filmmaker, we have a lot of trust in Zoya Akhtar and her team, but we have to say here that The Archies could be considered her least impressive work. From the storyline to the performances, everything seemed to be very bland, and it didn’t leave any sort of impact whatsoever. So, let’s find out what was happening in the lives of the people of Riverdale and if Archie and his gang were able to overcome the obstacles that came their way.
What did Mr. Lodge want to do in Green Park?
Mr. Hiram Lodge returned to Riverdale, and he planned to change the entire town by building new plazas and hotels. Mr. Lodge was a true-blue capitalist, and all he cared about was benefiting from the deal, even if it meant doing something that the residents didn’t want. Mr. Lodge had a secret meeting with Mr. Dawson, a member of the local council, and he told him the plans he had for Riverdale. Mr. Lodge’s wife proposed that the hotel that they were planning to build shouldn’t be situated on the outskirts of the town. She wanted it to be located in the heart of the city, and she proposed that it should be built where the historic Green Park was located. Mr. Dawson knew that it was going to be an uphill battle for him, as destroying Green Park was not something that people would like.
It was told in The Archies that since the time John Riverdale leased the land from King Sarna, children planted trees in Green Park every year. Green Park was deeply rooted in the town’s tradition and history, but still, Dawson told Mr. Lodge that he would try his best to get the motion passed as the latter decided to fund his campaign for the election of the District Contractor. Dawson needed only 5 votes to pass the motion and give the tender to Mr. Lodge’s company to build the hotel. He knew that, by hook or by crook, he would have to lure in the council members to do as they wanted. The residents were totally unaware of this plan to destroy a place that was no less than a local heritage. But before the construction of the hotel, Hiram had planned to make a plaza where Pam’s salon, Suzie’s flower shop, and Hal’s bookshop were located. He contacted the owners of the place, who in turn gave notice to their tenants to close their shops or match the amount of rent that Mr. Lodge was going to pay. In a capitalist mindset, there was no space for empathy, and Mr. Lodge proved that with his actions.
Why did Betty and Veronica confront Archie?
Betty’s father, Hal Cooper, realized that he would have to shut down his bookshop as he didn’t have the money to pay his landlord. Betty blamed Veronica for it, though the latter had no clue that her father was planning to do something like that. Veronica went to her mother, and she made sure that Hal got a job in the new bookstore in town. This was the sort of relationship Veronica Lodge and Betty Cooper shared. Their common love interest was Archie Andrews, but the feelings they had for him never created a rift between them. After Veronica came back to Riverdale, Archie was confused, and he did something that he shouldn’t have done. He double-dated Betty and Veronica for quite some time, though Jughead Jones time and again told him that he shouldn’t be doing that. Archie, Betty, and Veronica were on a mini vacation with their friends when Betty saw Archie and Veronica getting intimate with each other.
Just a few days ago, Betty had kissed Archie, and she believed that he, too, had feelings for her, but now, after seeing what he did, she didn’t know whether he was just confused or toxic enough to cheat on both of them. Betty’s problem was that no matter how angry she was with Archie, the moment he came and apologized to her, she couldn’t help but leave behind all her anger and agree to whatever he said. Betty was smitten by him, but one day, she decided to tell Veronica the truth, as it was eating her up from within. The moment Veronica got to know that Archie had kissed Betty, she was furious, as she hadn’t imagined that Archie could do something like that. The girls caught Jughead and forced him to tell them the entire truth. Jughead spilled the beans and told them how Archie dedicated a song to both of them and how he said that he loved them equally. Both the girls went to confront Archie and told him that he should immediately stop doing things that created a rift between them. They both asked him to just be their friend, as they valued their relationship way too much.
Why does Archie decide to stay in Riverdale?
From the very beginning, Archie wanted to go to London to study, and he knew that he wouldn’t have any problems as his uncle Ben (voiced by Farhan Akhtar) was living here. Archie’s parents, Fred and Mary, didn’t like the fact that their son didn’t want to stay back at Riverdale, but when they saw the kind of obsession he had for going abroad to pursue his studies, they, too, decided to let him do what he wanted. But then, very soon, the news that Mr. Hiram Lodge was going to destroy Green Park became known to the general public, and Archie had a change of heart. He felt as if he were abandoning his friends for his own selfish interests. Archie always believed that the grass was greener on the other side, but for the first time, he realized that it was greener at the place where it was watered. He felt that he owed a lot to Riverdale, and he couldn’t leave the town to its fate when the time came. So, Archie took the hard decision to not go abroad and decided to stop the unempathetic capitalists from destroying the park.
Were Archie and his friends able to save Green Park?
Though the council had 5 votes in favor of building the hotel in the park, there was another hidden clause that could stop them, which Archie and his friends hadn’t known about for a very long time. One of the council members who wasn’t happy with the state of things told the kids that if they got some 4500-odd signatures from the residents opposing the construction of the hotel, then Mr. Lodge would have no option but to stop. Mr. Dawson tried his best to prevent the teenagers from getting the signatures, but Archie and his friends were relentless. They went door to door, organized a fair on the park, used Dilton’s radio to spread the information, and did whatever they could to awaken the conscience of the people.
During The Archies‘ ending, the citizens of Riverdale voted against the construction, and Mr. Lodge had to inevitably stop. His own daughter was a part of the protest, and though he knew that he wouldn’t be able to make as much profit as he had dreamt of, he was happy that he lost to his own daughter and that she had the determination to stand for what she believed in. It all ended well for Archie and his gang, and their conflict against the establishment made them learn some major life lessons. Not only did they save the environment and the natural habitat, which served as a home for so many species, but they also realized that not everything could be bought with money. A capitalist mindset always believes that everything in the world has a price, even the consciences of people, but the citizens of Riverdale proved it wrong. They wanted their town to get developed; they wanted all the amenities but not at the cost of cutting the trees, and the authorities surrendered in the end, something we do not see happening in real life.