Nawazuddin Siddiqui’s portrayal as a gangster under the direction of Anurag Kashyap is a perfect recipe for a thrilling blockbuster. We saw it in “The Gangs of Wasseypur” and we have seen it again in Sacred Games. The platform is different, shifted from silver screen to online streaming but the recipe and end result the same – a thrilling engrossing adventure.
The series bleeds with authenticity of Mumbai street life under the shadow of gangsters. The characters are intriguing and diverse – a Sikh cop, a transgender love interest of a Brahmin antagonist, an Afghanistani Bollywood actress and an Egyptian gangster who speaks perfect Hindi.
The story develops under two time frames- the present led by Sikh cop played by Saif Ali Khan and a narrative of past events focussed around Nawazuddin’s character Ganesh Gaitonde. The former is solely directed by Vikramaditya Motwane while the latter is under the sole direction of Anurag Kashyap. Based on the 2006 novel of the same name by Vikram Chandra, Netflix India’s maiden Original, Sacred Games is winning accolades from around the world.
The New York Times wrote, “Replicating the constant juggle of styles and voices in Sacred Games, a feat stretched out over more than 900 pages in Mr Chandra’s novel, is a major challenge on screen — despite its verve and visual inventiveness, the series feels muddled and a little wearying at times. (And a lot of cultural and historical references will go over the head of non-Indian viewers.) But as Gaitonde says, his story is like a scorpion — once it stings you, you’re done for.”
The Hollywood Reporter said, “There are clear flaws to Sacred Games (the story cliches, some avoidable poor decisions that characters make, etc), but there’s also something riveting about India’s bleaker, darker heart being exposed as opposed to some upbeat, colorful explosion of dance scenes.”
Sacred Games seems to be ticking all the right boxes. The series was released on July 6, 2018 across 191 countries on Netflix. With Netflix becoming a prominent destination when it comes to entertainment and with projects like Lust Stories and now Sacred Games, this looks like a good start.