The Archies: Zoya Akhtar defends the teenage drama and calls nepotism debate around it 'banal'

09 December,2023 09:45 PM IST |  Mumbai  | 

After the release of the Archies, the film received mixed reviews. While some are calling it a perfect watch, a few are calling out Zoya Akhtar over nepotism

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Zoya Akhtar directorial ‘The Archies' starring Agastya Nanda, Suhana Khan and Khushi Kapoor among others, has recently been released on Netflix. After the release of the film, it received mixed reviews. While some are calling it a perfect watch, a few have called out Zoya over nepotism.

Now, in an interview with The Juggernaut, Zoya has defended the entire discourse on nepotism surrounding the film. The filmmaker shared, "I think the debate is about haves and have-nots. It is about privilege, access, and social capital. I completely understand having anger or frustration at the fact that you do not have the access some people get so easily. That is a conversation to be had. Everyone needs to have the same kind of education, job opportunities, et al. But when you turn around and say Suhana Khan shouldn't be in my film, it's banal because it's not going to change your life whether she's in my film or not. You have to talk about what is going to change your life."

The filmmaker further said, "My dad (Javed Akhtar) came from nowhere and made a life for himself. I was born and bred in the industry, and I have every right to follow whatever I want to do. As part of his network and what he made, I know those people. What am I going to do, disown my dad because I want to be a filmmaker? Are you saying I can't choose my profession? It makes no sense."

She further shares that nepotism is something when Zoya uses someone else's money and help her friend. "The actual problem is something else, and this is just like beating a dead horse… it's not going to do anything. If every kid born into the film industry never worked in film, it's still not going to change your life… Nepotism is when I take public money or someone else's money and favour my friends and family. Nepotism cannot be when I take my own money! Who are you to tell me what to do with my money? It's my money! If tomorrow I want to spend my money on my niece, it's my problem! At the end of the day, if a director or an actor gets another job, it is solely on the audience. They decide if they want to see them or not," Zoya concluded.

A heartfelt coming-of-age tale set in the idyllic backdrop of the 1960s, ‘The Archies' draws viewers into the lives of a beloved group of teenagers. The film is a collaborative effort between Netflix India, Tiger Baby, Archie Comics, and Graphic India. Helmed by Zoya Akhtar, the highly anticipated film exclusively released on Netflix worldwide on December 7, 2023.

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