Sacred Games Review : God, Guns, Gory, It has everything to hook you up
In the opening scene of India’s first Netflix original “Sacred Games”, Ganesh Gaitonde (Nawazuddin Siddiqui) questions ‘Do you believe in God?’ He, himself answers, ‘God doesn’t give a fu*k’ and you are instantly sold. In the same scene a dog is seen falling from a Mumbai scrapper which subtely gives you the indication of the brutality that lies ahead.
Based on Vikram Chandra’s 2006 novel of the same name “Sacred Games” intricately wieves the Hindu-Muslim riots, the demolition of Babri Masjid, the gangster mafia in Bombay (now Mumbai) of the 1980’s, politics, police and much more. It also touches on Indira Gandhi’s emergency and Rajiv Gandhi’s Bofors scam.
The writers – Varun Grover, Smita Singh and Vasant Singh along with the directors – Anurag Kashyap and Vikramaditya Motwane have done a masterful job of fusing the complex storyline, insterspersed with splitting stories of different decades.
Sartaj Singh (Saif Ali Khan) – an honest but anxious police officer receives a mysterious phone call. Sartaj later traces that the phone call was from none other than Ganesh Gaitonde – the Mumbai criminal lord who is on an exile since years. Gaitonde, tells Sartaj that the doomsday is near and he has only 25 days to save the city. Foreign Intelligence Agent – Anjali Mathur (Radhika Apte) is also on her quest to find links to illegal operations she has found out on her surveillance.
Sartaj traces Ganesh and Ganesh shoots himself in front of Sartaj. Sartaj finds a body of a pimp in Gaitonde’s mansion, with links to the film industry. He, later recovers huge sums of stacked cash and there begins your story.
Why had Ganesh Gaitonde come back ? What is the threat that the city is facing? What will happen after 25 days ? Why did Gaitonde contact Sartaj, with practically no credentials except nabbing a Sonu pickpocketeer ? You will get your answers and more in the 8 episodes of Season 1.
Gaitonde’s story is told in flashbacks. His growth as a gangster from being a second fiddle to a gold mafia to being the God of his area. Anurag Kashyap who has directed Siddiqui’s parts has done a brilliant job. His defining style of inducing humour in gory scenes is intact.
Vikramaditya Motwane has directed Saif Ali Khan’s parts, have kept the pace of the story uniform. Vikram has extracted an outstanding performance from Saif. He has sunk his teeth into the character and credit must go to the director.
The dialogues are unapologetic. There are cuss words practically in every scene, which couldn’t have been possible in the “Sanskari” Indian movies and TV shows. The milieu of Mumbai with its Marathi language has been perfectly maintained.
Nawazuddin Siddiqui can simply do no wrong. If he and Kashyap were to make a hundred gangster films, each would be different. Nawaz plays Gaitonde to perfection.
Radhika Apte is a proven performer. She portrays Mathur with equal strength and tranquility, that too in the same scene. She is a treat to watch.
But, bravado points are in order to Saif Ali Khan, firstly for choosing a role that would demand too much from him and secondly it isn’t the big screen. Saif plays the honest cop succumbed to the bad world of office politics. He has turned out to be quite a revelation.
The supporting cast is top notch. Special congratulations are in order to Jitendra Joshi, who plays Katekar, Sartaj’s aid. Neeraj Kabi playing the police commissioner and Girish Kulkarni who plays the corrupt politician, are also great in their parts.
There are at least 4 major moments in the 8 episodes that will make you scream No ! No ! No ! This can’t happen ! Each episode ends with a cliff hanger which will crave you to watch the other immediately. That’s the beauty of “Sacred Games”.It’s a definite binge-watch material and hopefully we don’t have to wait for a long period for the next season.
Verdict : ❤❤❤❤
Directors : Anurag Kashyap and Vikramaditya Motwane
Cast : Saif Ali Khan, Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Radhika Apte, Neeraj Kabi, Girish Kulkarni, Jitendra Joshi