Sacred Games 2
Cast: Saif Ali Khan, Nawazuddin Siddiqui
Directors: Anurag Kashyap, Neeraj Ghaywan
The wait was worth it. Sacred Games 2 is far bigger and better than the previous season. The making of Ganesh Gaitonde has everything you would expect from a classic Netflix tale, and more. Which means, you’re in for a thrilling time, and this one could put Indian storytellers on the world map.
With a new co-director in Neeraj Ghaywan, Anurag Kashyap has returned to the fore with more bloodthirsty gangsters, more alert cops and a whole bunch of new players with deep entrenched fangs in the Indian government. They can do whatever they want with legitimacy but they need the man from Gopalmath Ganesh Gaitonde (Nawazuddin Siddiqui) to carry out their plans. No more spoilers, but in one stroke, the directors have made the game ‘much bigger than all of us.’
Then there is Kashyap’s trademark style of showing time lapse—news clips, songs and special props. He never lets you lose the temporal sense, not even for a minute. A barrage of political comments is unleashed at us right there, and you understand how political it could be if it actually is based on the people we think it is.
Some scores are also settled. For example, there is a director immensely interested in making films on gangsters and how he gets played. Some deviations from Vikram Chandra’s book of the same name are visible but I happily ignored them as what I witnessed was totally unexpected of any Indian show till date. Calling it mere brave and meticulous would be understatement.
Saif Ali Khan’s Sartaj Singh has slowly come to his own. Without dropping his original ‘morose yet lovable’ character sentiment, he is there investigating the case at his own pace. In a way, more than Gaitonde, it’s Singh who is narrating the story. If Gaitonde tells us the crime part of it, Singh takes us through the police/government side of it with all innocence and curiosity. It’s a double trap for the viewers, who are torn between the two sides finalising which one to root for.
While the first season was an absolute Gaitonde riot, the second elevates some other major characters, and introduces a new one—a terrific Pankaj Tripathi as Guruji. What a revelation he has been in last couple of years!
The many women in Gaitonde’s life also get to unveil their repertoire, especially Jojo (Surveen Chawla). They add a human angle to the bizarrely foul-mouthed mobster. However, it remains a man’s world with occasional women exercising their strength only to get beaten by the circumstances.
Like the first season, this one can also be accused of wrapping and presenting cheap thrills in the name of a thriller, but it’s perfectly mounted and is one of the best shows on Netflix. In fact, it may become another Narcos or Money Heist for the streaming app. India couldn’t have given it a better Launchpad.
Don’t tell me, you still have other plans.