Sacred Games Web series review: This game is not for the faint-hearted
Aarti Bajaj's editing deserves a special mention. At the end of the first season, this show leaves you craving for more.
U/A: Crime, drama
Dir: Anurag Kashyap, Vikramaditya Motwane
Cast: Saif Ali Khan, Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Radhika Apte
The warp and weft of Vikramaditya Motwane and Anurag Kashyap's Sacred Games is love, deceit and chaos hinged on a good-versus-evil hook. The director duo turns the concepts of good and evil on their heads, moulding their lead characters — cop Sartaj Singh and crime overlord Ganesh Gaitonde — as vulnerable and volatile. This cat-and-mouse chase thriller kicks off when the crime kingpin calls up Singh, bearing a simple message — he has 25 days before Mumbai is razed to the ground.
It's a classic Mumbai noir, a world masterfully painted by the filmmakers. So you are spared nothing — the grime of the gullies, gore from body parts scattered on the road, gloss of the silver screen, gangsters and their gunfights. Writers Varun Grover, Smita Singh and Vasant Nath retain Vikram Chandra's critical prism of the socio-political scenario, which ironically carries the same relevance even today. The beauty here lies in the writing, which deftly weaves out a smooth narrative from Chandra's dense book.
Gaitonde isn't a monotoned villain — you can see his different hues in his heartwarming romance with a transgender he believes is his ladylove, his democratic set-up within the gang where brains and bucks rule the roost, his steely faith that religion is a weapon that divides. Nawazuddin Siddiqui brings that colourful pulp value to the show, relishing the villainy in every frame.
He also gets the best lines, some of them full-blooded lessons in Hindi cuss words, including the opening line where he convinces you that he is God. In comparison, Saif Ali Khan makes his lacklustre Sartaj Singh impress you with his sincerity. He remains faithful to the character who could even pass off as a loser, on most counts, but Khan makes you empathise with him.
Aarti Bajaj's editing deserves a special mention. At the end of the first season, this show leaves you craving for more. It honestly captures the mayhem of the Maximum City where, as Chandra puts it rightly, "Good men must be bad to keep the worst men in control."
Watch Sacred Games Trailer
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