When Varun Grover, one of the writers of Netflix's much-talked-about series Sacred Games announced on Twitter that he'll be hosting a Reddit AMA (Ask me anything) on Saturday, all of Internet got excited.
India's first Netflix original -- Sacred Games-- has been doing the rounds on social media ever since it dropped on the online streaming platform.
As netizens have already had serious discussion threads breaking down the plot and title of every episode, while some were busy meme-ing Katekar, the loyal cop, director Vikramaditya Motwane and Varun Grover decided to answer curious questions on Reddit to reveal much more what met the eye of the series' audience.
Doing a #SacredGames AMA with @varungrover this Saturday at 6pm. @redditindia pic.twitter.com/sm56JN176O — Vikramaditya Motwane (@VikramMotwane) July 27, 2018
From revealing their favourite character in the series to the first pirated Netflix show they saw, the writer-director duo answered it all in the Reddit AMA.
>What's the most legitimate criticism you are working towards improving in future seasons?
Varun Grover: Better-written female characters.
(This is something Grover has acknowledged even on Twitter when several users pointed this out.)
The Women: Radhika Apte's character. No background except for her father went missing on the field. That's it. That's all I know. You've taken pains to colour every single character in: Sartaj, Gaitonde, Katekar, even Bunty. But not Anjali. — Anuya Jakatdar (@anuyeaah) July 10, 2018
Even Kanta and Shalini, who essayed their roles with aplomb, are sidetracked. The message in the series is rather clear: in the Sacred Games that men play, women are collateral damage. That was disappointing. Especially in 2018. — Anuya Jakatdar (@anuyeaah) July 10, 2018
Now the Cuckoo character. Kubbra Sait was uff, she was amazing. What a crackerjack of a performance. We all loved it. But this would've been a perfect opportunity to cast a transperson. So... why not? This is the platform that gave us Sophia Burset. Representation matters! — Anuya Jakatdar (@anuyeaah) July 10, 2018
>In the first episode, Gaitonde's eyes are closed when he shoots himself and they are open when Sartaj looks at him again..... just tell me is this thing intentionally done for the story or is it just a creative touch to depict his background voice?
Vikramaditya Motwane: It's to make a deeper connection. Sartaj's imagination.
>Who is your favourite character? And what makes him/her your favourite?
Vikramaditya Motwane: Unfair to answer that really but if pushed against a wall, I'd say Katekar. Because he's so transparent. He was the most interesting character in the book for me and so see that translated to screen has been very satisfying. But it's also great to see what Jatin Sarna brought to Bunty, or what Kubra brought to Cuckoo. The actors really raised those parts.
>Have you ever seen pirated version of Netflix shows?
Vikramaditya Motwane: Yes. Before Netflix was here. House of Cards S1
>I really loved the design and references to mythology that you guys have on the show and the title/titlecards, Whose idea was to incorporate these elements in the show? They added a great new dimension which we rarely see in Indian shows.
Varun Grover: Some of it jumped from the book. And some of it we decided in the writers' room. The central idea - that Gaitonde suffers from a God complex - was the first big break while writing. We kept thinking why would he call somebody and tell his story. It just didn't translate neatly from the book to the screenplay. So then we came up with the idea that he thinks of his life as mythology - a story for all the ages. And from there on, jumping on to the mythological motifs was an easy task.
>If Netflix brings in David Fincher/James Watkins and asks you to step down from director of Sacred Games season 2? Would you do it?
Vikramaditya Motwane: F*ck yeah!!
>Hey Vikram, any of your favourite scenes that didn't make the final cut? Can you share anything about them?
Vikramaditya Motwane: Not so much entire scenes, but I miss some longer scenes that we cut shorter - When Sartaj comes to the bunker, he takes a whole chakkar around it. We had some shots of him looking for the car in episode 2. that kind of stuff. But that's just me as a director...
The one scene I miss is a scene in episode 6 where an old constable is retiring and all our police characters watch him break down. It was a lovely performance by the actor but unfortunately, the scene didn't work in the full episode.
>After the response you've received for the show, how mature do you think the Indian audience has gotten over the years? And do you think at this pace, sacred games will be just an average show in the time to come?
I think our audience has always been (mostly) mature. I just don't think we've given them much of a chance like this. If SG is an average show in a few years, that would be amazing.
>Hey Varun, which genre you feel you have not explored and would like to do it the future?
Varun Grover: Science Fiction for one. And a Musical may be. (I was in the minority but I loved JAGGA JAASOOS.)
>Max Mueller said that "Mythology is a disease of language." That human beings have a habit of creating ideas/things and worshiping them as real things (reification). Is there no way to counter the power of these tribal tendencies? Are we stuck between religious symbols on one hand and patriotic/nationalistic symbols on the other? What do you think about Yuval Noah Harari's hypothesis in Sapiens that myths are necessary for large number of humans to co-operate?
Varun Grover: Interesting question. I don't think we can counter tribal tendencies while being the tribe. The maximum we can do, only a small number of us, is to be aware of this design and 'disease'. History has shown us time and again, tribes have a standard way of beginning and ending. (We are close to the end I feel.)
>Could there be a separate Netflix special of Katekar?
Vikramaditya Motwane: I would sign up for that :)
>There is this one thing which was baffling: how realistic was the portrayal that Gaitonde didn't know Kukkoo was a transgender, even after having sex for months?
Vikramaditya Motwane: What makes you think he didn't know :)
>What were some of the constraints you faced while making SG S1?
Varun Grover: The guy who ends up killing Katekar has a whole chapter in the book. His name is Aadil and has a great back-story. We wanted to write and shoot that but time constraints came in the way. One regret we will have forever is not being able to pull that off.