Bhagwan ko mante ho? (Do you believe in God?)
Bhagwan ko l*nd farak nahi padta! (God doesn’t give a f*@k anyway!)
An Indian TV series opening with the above dialogues! Yes, you read it right. Directed by none other than Anurag Kashyap & Vikramaditya Motwane, comes a crime thriller based on the book with the same name by Vikram Chandra.
Sacred Games begins as a story of a troubled cop, who one night is contacted by a ruthless gangster of yesteryears and is given 25 days to save his city from a potentially fatal terrorist attack.
Saif Ali Khan stars as Inspector Sartaj Singh; his wife has left him, needs anxiety pills to sleep, always bullied by his seniors and the DCP. All his life he wanted to be an honest policeman like his father. His life is changed upside-down when he gets that mysterious call and thus the game begins.
Nawazuddin Siddiqui as Ganesh Eknath Gaitonde, born brahman-turned into a sadistic gangster due to circumstances. Gaitonde moves to Bombay with only one aim: to become a ruthless crime boss oh which he does!
Amongst the other notable roles, there is:
- Radhika Apte who plays RAW agent Anjali Mathur, a brilliant security analyst who wants to have one last tryst as a field agent in memory of her father who disappeared on a field mission.
- Neeraj Kabi as DCP Parulkar, a corrupt policeman who registered Gaitonde’s first criminal case back when he was active.
- Kubra Sait as Kuckoo, we will talk about her later.
- Jitendra Joshi as Constable Katekar, Sartaj’s go-to man and loyal assistant.
- Girish Kulkarni as Bipin Bhonsle, current Home minister of Maharashra who was once a local leader aided by Gaitonde.
The first season has 8 episodes and each episode stings you like a bee. Religion is a common thread in the story and plays a significant role in layering the whole series. What begins as a simple cat and mouse chase soon turns into a dark passage as we witness the rise of Gaitonde.
There has been one performance which shines beyond the roles of Saif and Nawauddin and that belongs to Kubra Sait who plays Kuckoo, a transgender muse who has an aura around her, known as Kuckoo ka Jadoo! For decades transgender roles have been used as a comic relief or villains in Indian cinema. I hope this role opens the door for more progressive film-making. Kuckoo is the real heroine of this series.
In case you’re wondering what the apt background score is, it’s Divine singing ‘Jungli Sher’ and boy does this mix well with the trailer, bringing out the ‘Bombay Boy’ in him, who was ‘raised on the streets’. Check out the official trailer here:
With an amazing soundtrack and cinematography, Sacred Games is something the Indian audience has never seen before. Do not miss this show!