Daily Recco, July 27: The righteous and ruthless Sacred Games were a turning point for Indian TV
The Netflix-original two-season series broke new ground for Indian television. These games are too sacred to miss.
- Total Shares
The gangster from the slums of Bombay has been a staple of India's film culture for decades. There has probably been no better reinvention of this tired trope however like 2018's Sacred Games. The show's first season made its mark for its drama, style and background score. And having stars like Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Saif Ali Khan in lead roles have added an edge to the expansive storyline.
Sacred Games was the first Indian Netflix original series. It is based on the 2006 novel of the same name by author Vikram Chandra. The series is directed by Vikramaditya Motwane, Anurag Kashyap and Neeraj Ghaywan.
The story largely follows the stories of Mumbai cop Sartaj Singh and gangster Ganesh Gaitonde, with Gaitonde's entire story in flashback. The use of different directors for the two story arcs is as an increasing overlap between the stories of the two men.
It begins with Gaitonde calling Sartaj and asking him to save Mumbai from a catastrophic event that would happen in 25 days. He shoots himself without giving Sartaj many clues. Sartaj then investigates what Gaitonde has told him on the sly.
The plotlines of the show deviate from the original book from time to time to adapt the story better to the medium. And, the second season was perceived negatively in comparison to the first season. It remains watch-worthy for the sheer freshness that it brought back to Indian screens.
The show features top-notch performances from almost its illustrious cast, which includes Pankaj Tripathi, Radhika Apte, Kubra Sait, Kalki Koechlin, Neeraj Kabi, Girish Kulkarni, Surveen Chawla, Shalini Vatsa and Ranvir Shorey among others.
Sacred Games paved the way for more such shows to push the limits of Indian on-screen storytelling well above the morass that our general entertainment channels remain bogged in. The show also had a major impact on the kind of subjects that OTT platforms picked up. In all, Sacred Games is kind of where the modern Indian television renaissance began.