Unless you have been living under a rock the latest news about Netflix’s first Indian original series- Sacred Games must have come to your attention. The critically acclaimed show is set to return with its second installment on 29th June 2019, as revealed by a small video clip Netflix India released on 5th May, across all major social media platforms.
While Saif Ali Khan and Nawazuddin Siddiqui will be reprising their roles as Sartaj Singh and Ganesh Gaitonde respectively, the video unveiled, Kalki Koechlin, Ranvir Shorey and the supremely talented Pankaj Tripathi who made a brief appearance in the previous season, are expected to play new pivotal roles in the upcoming season.
Based heavily on Vikram Chandra’s novel of the same name, Sacred Games became an instant hit with the audience worldwide, upon its release last year. Netflix even claimed its viewership outside India to be twice as that in the country.
Helmed by Anurag Kashyap who seems to surpass himself with each of his directorial venture, and Vikramaditya Motwane, the thriller series has a well-deserved IMDB rating of a whopping 8.9 and an impressive 92% Rotten Tomatoes in its name. Even more commendable is the magnificent job done by writer Varun Grover and his team who have masterfully tweaked and whittled down the massive 900 page novel, to an 8-episode series.
It can’t be stressed enough how challenging that would have been to achieve given that the novel frequently wanders off to territories starkly different from its overarching theme of a thriller.
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Sacred Games Review: Season 1
Set in Mumbai, Sacred Games is ostensibly a tale of a crime lord, which in this case is an audacious Ganesh Gaitonde (Nawazuddin Siddique), an anarchist with an extremely troubled past who keeps the city’s police force on toes but those have watched the full series know that it is more than that.
Saif Ali Khan as Sartaj Singh is fitting in the role of a jaded and anxiety-ridden police officer whose honesty is pretty much always rewarded with contempt by his seniors. A recently divorced Singh who is struggling to make ends meet, one night receives a call from none other than Ganesh Gaitonde who has returned to the city after a long exile.
Gaitonde who is seemingly feared to the point of reverence even by the figures of authority, tells Singh that Mumbai has 25 days until a looming danger materializes upon it and asks him to save the city while he can. He further fuels Singh’s curiosity by making a fleeting mention of his late father, Dilbagh Singh.
Overcome by his sense of duty, the lure of a high profile case and an obvious determination to trace the unexpected link between his father and a vicious criminal, Singh, with his loyal aide Katekar (Jitendra Joshi) and an ambitious RAW officer, Anjali Mathur( Radhika Apte) ,embarks upon the quest to unravel the mystery behind this threat.
What follows is a twisted journey, fraught with perils, shocking discoveries and disturbing deaths. Throw in a sinister background score and you have all the ingredients to concoct a perfect edge-of-your-seat thriller which is what Sacred Games essentially is but what sets it apart is its narrative.
The show has two stories working in parallel across all the 8 episodes; while one is set in the 80s and 90s Bombay, narrated by Gaitonde where he recounts his rise and then eventually fall in world of crime slowly the other is set in present-day Mumbai, which is Sartaj Singh’s world and as the story unfolds we slowly learn where and how the two converge.
The dynamic between both the protagonists, one an unassuming cop and the other a cunning criminal comparable to a monster, is interesting to watch; despite being diametrical opposites they are similar in their love for their city. From breathtaking skyscrapers which symbolize wealth to the most horrible stinking spaces which house the poor, they romanticize every nook and cranny of the city and the stunning visuals let you appreciate it all.
Sacred Games Episodes – Season 1
Religion remains central to the plot which is rife in religious and mythological texts references. The names of the episodes (mentioned below) for instance are all taken from Hindu Mythology.
- Episode:1 “Ashwathama”
- Episode:2 “Halahala”
- Episode:3 “Atapi Vatapi”
- Episode:4 “Brahmahatya”
- Episode:5 “Sarama”
- Episode:6 “Pretkalpa”
- Episode:7 “Rudra”
- Episode:8 “Yayati”
Gaitonde condemns religion and religious practices and is openly critical of the government who he thinks benefits from its divisive communal practices but cunning as he is, himself uses it as a tool to pit people against each other and achieve his ends.
What to expect from Sacred Games Season 2
The season finale connects all the major dots but ends with a cliffhanger leaving the audience tense, brimming with questions and asking for more. Sacred Games Season 2 of the series is expected to put an end to all our’ miseries by tying up all the loose ends. The shroud of mystery around Tiwari’s fate in the end and the character Guruji will presumably be cleared in the second installment of the series.
The occasional provocative satire, dark humour and extravagant dialogue delivery form the usp of the show.
Here are some of the best dialogues from Season 1
- Hindu Hotel se apan yeh sikha ke, dharam ke naam par janta ka kitna ch*** banaya ja sakta hai. ( Gaitonde)
- Bhagwan ko maante ho? Bhawan ko l*** farak nhi padta.
- Duniyan ke bazaar me sabse bada dhanda hai Dharam. Bhagwan se dara kar ch*** banate hai public ka.
- Jab desh ke PM ka imaan nahin toh apun sidhe raaste chal ke kya karega.
- Hindustan jab Hindustan nahin bana tha tab se politics ki macchi ko dharam ke tel mein fry karte hue aaye hain.
- Tum mardon ko aisa kyun lagta hain ki har aurat ko tumhe hi bachana hai.
- Dharmon ka roop yahi hai. Rahgeer ko prem se ghar bulao. Aadar samit bhojan grahan karao fir uski atma pe kabza kar lo.
- Gareeb logon ka entry sirf mandir me free hai.
- Aadmi andar se jitna kaala hota hai, duniya ke samne utna hi safed banne ki koshish karta hai.
- Kashmir mein Home Minister ki beti kidnap ho gayi thi, Dilli mein Mandal ke naam pe bacche apne pe kerosene daal rahe the, aur sansad mein roz pradhan mantri aise badal rahe the jaise kachha ho.
- 1977 mein Indira Gandhi ki emergency chaalu thi. Sarkar logon ki l*** kaat ke le jaa reli thi.
- Agar mard field pe kaam karena chahe toh passion. Aur agar aurat katna chahe toh bhoot?
Sacred Games Cast
The characters in the world of Sacred Games are complex, layered and just humans. None of them are too powerful in the face of uncertainty, not even Gaitonde who proclaims himself God and none of them too weak.
Nawazuddin Siddiqui with his outstanding portrayal of the cold-blooded, bold as brass crime lord Ganesh Gaitonde, proves once again that his acting prowess is next to no one.
Neeraj Kabi as a police officer of corrupt disposition ‘DCP Parulkar’, Jatin Sarna as the uncouth and ruthless Bunty, Girish Kulkarni as a corrupt and power-hungry politician ’Bipin Bhosale’, Chittranjan Tripathi as the elusive ‘Trivedi’, Vikram Kochar as ‘Mathu’ Luke Kenny as ‘Malcom Mourad’ and Nawab Shah as ‘Salim Kaka’, all give noteworthy performances.
As opposed to the plot in the book which is largely male-dominated, the creators of the show have put a lot of women and in key roles. Radhika Apte is excellent in her portrayal of the focused and ambitious RAW officer ‘Anjali Mathur’.
In a refreshingly progressive move the writers have put a transgender character ‘Kukoo’ in a pivotal role played by the tremendously talented Kubra Sait who has everyone stunned with her stellar performance. Raajshri Deshpande as Gaitonde’s wife Subhadra, Elnaaz Norouzi and Geetanjali Thapa as actresses Zoya Mirza and Nayanika Sehgal respectively, all do justice to their roles.
A riveting tale with a Narcos-style premise when superimposed on a foreign setting with a different culture and ethnicity allows the audience to view a similar story through a different lens. This trope adds novelty to the story every time the setting changes which works like magic with the audience all over the world and Sacred Games is not too different.
This explains its international appeal and as for Indians, we welcomed this Netflix Sacred Games web-series with open arms like a histrionic tear-strewn Bollywood mom who is reunited with her after a billion years. The strict censorship laws and lack of homegrown content which is both engaging and intelligent have had us craving for something like this for years but thanks to movies/series streaming giants like Netflix the web entertainment industry is quickly expanding in India.
If you are a Book enthusiast and want to really feel the magic of the series you can get one from here –
Where can I watch Sacred Games ?
India’s first entrant to Netflix was definitely a success and those of you who haven’t watched it yet, what are you even doing! Catch the show on Netflix before season 2 arrives!