If there’s a statement that can describe Sacred Games, it is “larger than life”. Humongous in its execution and bold in portrayal, this show has never been shy of exhibiting the taboos of the society which lay conveniently overlooked. It’s a very Indian Crime Thriller, one that’ll keep you on your toes. A show that’ll make you question whether sleep is more important or whether it is to know what Gaitonde meant by “Bachega toh sirf Trivedi hi“.
After the smashing hit that Season 1 was, here we are with Season 2 and it is no less thrilling, engaging, entertaining and gripping. If anything, the second season has upped the ante with its brilliant narration and dialogues. As with the first season, we’re taken through parallel narratives of both Sartaj (Saif Ali Khan) and Ganesh Gaitonde (Nawazuddin Siddiqui). The cast has a few new additions, and they’re every bit as good. Before we go further, you should know that the second season does nothing to clear the mist of inscrutability that season 1 left. It thickens it, and you’re left grasping for clues to get you out. Sartaj inches closer and closer to what is happening, and I really did miss our dear Katekar (Jitendra Joshi) whose death was very painful, à la Hodor. That’s the very strength of this show, the characters grip you and you’re very engrossed in the narrative. Even though it’s hard to fathom the depths of the conspiracies that Sacred Games puts forward, the breakdown is very simple and everything comes together bit by bit.
The plot is dark, alluring and full of twists and turns. Gaitonde has started from the bottom, again. But this time under the thumb of another mysterious woman – Kusum Devi Yadav (Amruta Subhash). Women strongly overpower the narrative in this story. True to his nature, he rises against the ranks and strives to become the kingpin again. His desire for vengeance still intact and as fiery as ever. This drives his part of the plot, and does so brilliantly. Sartaj, on the other hand has taken more of a secondary role in the beginning. He is inching closer and closer, piecing together the little bits of the puzzle. Professionally he’s in a much better place as compared to Season 2, but his demons still remain and play a major part in the story. He is only missing his thumb, not his willpower. The overlaps between the parallels are seamless and feel natural. There is no rush to the show even though the pace is very quick. The characters also grow in a very authentic manner. The addition of the new characters does not feel forced. The script is raw and real. In several shows, swear words are added just because they have to. Sacred Games is an exception, every word fits perfectly and there has been np attempt to mangle the authenticity of the words. However, it doesn’t feel vulgar.
The performance of each of the characters is commendable. Nawazuddin Siddiqui plays his character with immaculate precision and finesse. His acting skills are on full display and every dialogue feels like a punch to the guts. Saif Ali Khan has to fill in some very hard to fit shoes this season, but his acting pales in comparison to the brilliance of the other actors in the show. Kalki Koechlin’s Batya Abelman is such a brilliantly executed character. Reports suggest that she is inspired from real life Godwoman Maa Anand Sheela (watch Wild Wild Country) but it’s a very original character. The characteristic extension of the “sss” syllable that several Holy Figures carry out was a very nuanced touch – it is a known psychological trick to appear more insightful in speech. Pankaj Tripathi as Guruji was a treat to watch. The music score is fitting, morose and something to be mulled over.
In essence this Sacred Games and it’s cast has done a beautiful job of bringing you the best of Conspiracy, Fiction and Reality. It also serves as a little slice of reality, with the current political climate. Season 3 is awaited earnestly.
I give it 4.5 chirps.