Netflix’s first Indian original series ‘Sacred Games’ was released today and it is definitely safe to say that the series is one of the finest thrillers produced in India. It’s a run-and-I-chase thriller about two men who have agendas and morals that are pole apart. One is a rough cop and other is a dreaded gangster but despite having different ideologies they comprise of some uncanny similarities that they always agree to disagree. The crux of the story is ‘Good Vs Evil’ – to say the least.
Saif Ali Khan plays an outright cop who has a strong moral ground and he always believes to support the righteous act. He is often allured by money and women but doesn’t compromise his morals. There is this scene where his police department asks him to support them for a cover-up of a murder but he profusely disobeys. Everyone in his department is riding high on success while he is settled in a scattered apartment grieving for his failed marriage.
He is always mocked for his honesty but one day his fate changes as he receives the call for the lifetime – on the other side of the phone call; we have the estranged gangster who had been missing for 17 years, Ganesh Gaitondey, played by the exemplary actor Nawazuddin Siddiqui.
He warns Sartaj that the Mumbai city is going to fall in the next 25 days and if he has the guts, then he should save it and this sets the timer for Sartaj to go beyond extreme limits to save the city from an unexplained and unseen threat.
Anurag Kashyap and Vikramaditya Motwane - who share directing duties - have made a classic noir story, complete with layered central characters, a damsel in distress of a city, and corruption that goes all the way to the top. Overpowering all else, as he usually does - for no fault of his own, mind you - is Nawazuddin Siddiqui.
The god of neo-noir drama Anurag Kashyap teams up with Vikramaditya Motwane to direct this edge of the seat story, completed with – nuanced characters, a city that never sleeps, heart racing moments and corruption that is rotting the system.
Talking about the screen presence - it’s a ‘Nawaz show’ all the way. He plays the character of Gaitondey with utmost conviction; he excels in portraying the eeriness of Gaitondey and gets the most badass lines to throw. He is a character that will linger in your cine-lines for a long time.
Saif and Radhika did a good job too; I just wanted Saif to get more meaningful lines.
The writers Varun Grover, Smita Singh and Vasant Nath have sprawled the dense narrative of Vikram Chandra’s critically acclaimed novel in a more structured manner which has certainly benefitted the pace of the thriller. They have done a thunderous job.
The direction – as expected – is top notch. The director duo perfectly capture the essence and underbelly of the Mahanagri, the build-up of tension and the release of it is done in a very smooth manner. Three cheers for the apt direction.
All said and done, Netflix’s drama is a rigid thriller that excites at various intervals and urges you to bite your nails.