Every Zoya Akhtar Movie Ranked (including The Archies)

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The Archie comics come to the Indian Netflix space, thanks to writer-director Zoy Akhtar’s 60s-era musical romance The Archies. While the movie has polarized some audiences, the Netflix original definitely proves Akhtar’s eye for vibrant set designs and stylish costumes. But her far more superior works in the past like her stunning directorial debut Luck By Chance, the road comedy Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara, and the urban hip-hop saga Gully Boy prove her mastery over multiple genres. 

Zoya Akhtar and her frequent collaborators

As important as Akhtar’s attention to detail is her tendency to collaborate with some of contemporary Bollywood’s smartest game-changers such as her co-producer and co-writer Reema Kagti. Her brother Farhan Akhtar who has starred in three of her films and also written the dialogues for The Archies is another crucial partner in her team. Ranveer Singh is another prominent collaborator with Akhtar having directed some of the best Ranveer Singh movies like Gully Boy and Dil Dhadakne Do.

Beyond Bollywood: OTT shows and short films

With five feature films to her name, Akhat has also immersed herself in numerous other creative projects such as the Prime Video series Made In Heaven which she co-created with Reema Kagti. One of the most mainstream Indian Prime originals, Made In Heaven revolves around the titular wedding organiser agency with some episodes directed by Akhtar herself.

Together with her filmmaking peers like Anurag Kashyap and Karan Johar, she has also helmed short films for three anthologies: Bombay Talkies, Lust Stories and Ghost Stories. Her best work in these anthologies perhaps comes from the first two examples as her claustrophobic horror short paled in comparison with the other chapters of Ghost Stories.

Her Bombay talkies film “Sheila Ki Jawaani” opened up a heartwarming conversation on parenting children who might not subscribe to heteronormative notions of society. Akhatr’s Lust Stories segment was equally powerful in its social message as it played around the relationship between a bachelor and his domestic helper. While the duo share an intimate bond, their social class differences come in between when it comes to their future.

Why is Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara the best Zoya Akhtar film?

Zoya Akhtar has occasionally been judged for helming only elite narratives, a complaint she has already quashed with works like Luck By Chance which detailed an outsider’s struggle in the film industry, and Gully Boy, a rags-to-riches story of a Mumbai rapper. Regardless of the social subtext in these two films, they excel as some of Bollywood’s finest works that are rich in artistic merit and are melodramatic enough to be enjoyed by all audiences.

And yet, it is her buddy road comedy-drama Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara (aka ZNMD) that can be regarded as her finest. Detailing the bachelor trip of three childhood friends (Hrithik Roshan, Farhan Akhtar, Abhay Deol), ZNMD is a new-age cult classic. Boasting Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy’s memorable songs and quotable dialogues, Akhtar manages to fill her 2011 film with laugh-out-loud banter between the friends along with some heavily emotional commentary on absent fathers, unstable relationships and the qualms of adulting.

With most of the shooting wrapped up in Spain, Carlos Catalan’s atmospheric cinematography brings out some of the country’s best sights from the beaches to the tomato-squashing La Tomatina festival to an adrenaline-fueled bull chase. It’s only ironic that one of the most beautiful movies set in Spain is a Bollywood blockbuster, one that captures the frustrations and desires of post-globalisation India.

Where can you stream Zoya Akhtar’s filmography?

Some of Zoya Akhtar’s films are Netflix originals while others are available on Prime Video.

Netflix
Amazon Prime Video
Apple TV Plus
Apple TV
Crunchyroll
Hotstar
Jio Cinema
Zee5
Eros Now
Google Play Movies
MUBI
Sony Liv
YouTube
GuideDoc
Netflix Kids
Tubi TV
Yupp TV
Sun Nxt
Hungama Play
Alt Balaji
Hoichoi
Curiosity Stream
EPIC ON
ShemarooMe
DOCSVILLE
Tata Play
Discovery+
ManoramaMax
MX Player
Spamflix
aha
Spuul
Plex
WOW Presents Plus
Magellan TV
BroadwayHD
Filmzie
Lionsgate Play
MovieSaints
Dekkoo
True Story
DocAlliance Films
VI movies and tv
Eventive
ShortsTV Amazon Channel
Amazon Video
Cultpix
FilmBox+
Takflix
Classix
Amazon miniTV
AD tv
Shahid VIP
Bookmyshow
Lionsgate Play Apple TV Channel
Eros Now Select Apple TV Channel
Lionsgate Play Amazon Channel
MGM Amazon Channel
Crunchyroll Amazon Channel
Hoichoi Amazon Channel
ManoramaMAX Amazon Channel
Chaupal Amazon Channel
BBC Kids Amazon Channel
Sony Pictures Amazon Channel
Vrott Amazon Channel
Anime Times Amazon Channel
MyZen TV Amazon Channel
Museum Tv Amazon Channel
BBC Player Amazon Channel
MUBI Amazon Channel
Discovery+ Amazon Channel
CuriosityStream Amazon Channel
DocuBay Amazon Channel
Stingray Amazon Channel
Iwonder Amazon Channel
NammaFlix Amazon Channel
Filters
  1. Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara

    #1

    Three friends who were inseparable in childhood decide to go on a three-week-long bachelor road trip to Spain, in order to re-establish their bond and explore thrilling adventures, before one of them gets married. What will they learn of themselves and each other during the adventure?

  2. Luck by Chance

    Luck by Chance

    2009

    IMDB 7.1 (11k)

    #2

    Not wanting the same fate as befell her sisters, Sona Mishra re-locates to Mumbai to try to make a living making movies, but she soon finds that the path she has chosen is not an easy one.

  3. Gully Boy

    Gully Boy

    2019

    IMDB 7.9 (37k)

    #3

    A coming-of-age story based on the lives of street rappers in Mumbai.

  4. Dil Dhadakne Do

    Dil Dhadakne Do

    2015

    IMDB 7.0 (20k)

    #4

    On a cruise to celebrate their parents' 30th wedding anniversary, a brother and sister deal with the impact of family considerations on their romantic lives.

  5. Lust Stories

    Lust Stories

    2018

    IMDB 6.4 (13k)

    #5

    An anthology of four stories that sheds light on modern relationships from the viewpoint of the Indian woman.

  6. Bombay Talkies

    Bombay Talkies

    2013

    IMDB 6.6 (5k)

    #6

    One hundred years of Hindi cinema is celebrated in four short stories showcasing the power of film.

  7. The Archies

    The Archies

    2023

    IMDB 4.2 (52k)

    #7

    Set in 1960s India, Archie and the gang navigate romance, friendship and the future of Riverdale as developers threaten to destroy a beloved park.

  8. Ghost Stories

    #8

    An anthology of four short horror tales.