Sacred Games, Season 2: Web Series Review
Cast: Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Saif Ali Khan, Pankaj Tripathi, Aamir Bashir, Luke Kenny, Ranvir Shorey, Kalki Koechlin, Amruta Subhash, Surveen Chawla, Elnaaz Norouzi, Girish Kulkarni, Chittaranjan Tripathi, Jatin Sarna, Vikram Kochhar, Neeraj Kabi.
Director: Anurag Kashyap, Neeraj Ghaywan.
Genre: Crime thriller.
Release Date: 15th August 2019.
13 days away from Mumbai’s demise, Sartaj finds Trivedi’s dead body in Gaitonde’s bunker- Trivedi, who was promised to be the only person to survive. But that is not the only leading thing they find in the bunker, though. A pamphlet that boasts of Pakistani rule over India is lying around. Grasping at straws, Sartaj and his team goes on hunt to save their beloved city. Gaintonde is doing the same in the past- cast ashore in the waters of foreign sea, he pines for home, unable to go back, doing everything in his power to make it happen. From becoming a snitch for a RAW agent to immersing himself in Guruji’s Ashram life, Gaitonde’s life takes a 360 degree turn- and so does Sartaj’s. Will they be able to get themselves out of the illusion of the Sacred Games in enough time to save the city?
- The expectations for Sacred Games 2 were off the roof, and it delivers on the promise of being bigger than any of us ever thought, exceptionally well. Second season gives meaning to the series title, with higher stakes and risky bets spanning a game that has only two results- you live if you win and die if you lose.
- While the first season established and revolved around Ganesh Gaitonde (Nawazuddin Siddiqui), second season focuses on one thing- the demise of Mumbai. The ominous warning and deadline of ‘25 din’ that was given previously becomes a catalyst as entities larger and more powerful than Gaitonde become the masters. Gaitonde and Sartaj (Saif Ali Khan) are just pawns- important, yes but pawns nonetheless- that are essential in the destruction of the world.
- The story picks up right where the last one ended- Gaitonde cast adrift by Guruji’s (Pankaj Tripathi) goons after being released from the prison, and Sartaj in the bunker. Gaitonde is barred from returning to Mumbai because of the blasts, and as a means to an end, he starts working for Yadav Sahab aka Kusum Devi Yadav (Amruta Subhash), a RAW agent based in Kenya. He becomes the crime lord in Mombasa to aid her and himself, but the God of Mumbai soon gets tired of the double standards and retreats to Guruji’s Ashram, a man who goes on to become his ‘third father’. Enamored by his presence and mind, the crime lord becomes a saint. The man who loves Mumbai more than anything else in the world, get sucked into Guruji’s plan to destroy it.
- Sartaj is as clueless and ambitious as he was in Season 1. As he gets sucked deeper and deeper into solving the mystery task Gaitonde left for him, he is swallowed by the vortex that is Guruji’s scheme of Satyug. With a personal life that is at the rock bottom (need we remind you Katekar’s painful death?), Sartaj is beaten down by one blow after another, with one question looming in his mind- Is this world worth saving? Shaped by their fathers’ choices (or lack thereof), both Sartaj and Gaitonde fall prey to the serenity that Guruji’s visions provide.
- And these two major characters are overshadowed and shaped by the master of second season- Guruji. With a calm and sure demeanor that makes you want to do anything he says to please him, Guruji is Krishna of this new age Gita. He preaches one thing- escape from the darkest era of Kaliyug into Satyug, an era of absolute peace. He insists that it can only happen out of total destruction, a war, which will pitch countries against each other in a death match. And out of the fire will be born a world without any violence, betrayal, and suffering.
- These three characters- Guruji, Sartaj and Gaitonde– play at the center stage of Sacred Games, and they play extremely well, courtesy of the actors. Their character arcs take such a drastic turn in the story that it leaves us flabbergasted- leaving viewers confused between liking them and despising them. All three are intricately woven together in a way that links and distinguishes them in the most curious manner.
- Nawazuddin, who previously played God, now plays a man desperate for a place to belong to, a place to be himself- something that has driven him all along. From an arrogant lord to a faithful devotee, Nawazuddin does justice to his character’s journey over time. Pankaj’s Guruji is a complex character that leaves you in an unexpected awe at the power he yields. All the major players of the season 1- from Malcolm to Bhosale– are a byproduct of Guruji and his teaching. Imagine a manipulator so strong that he can convince people of nuclear destruction, never losing his era of tranquility, and all of it for his father’s belief. Saif is his usual stoic yet endearing self with Sartaj, making mistakes and striving to correct them.
- These three characters and their story is influenced and shaped brilliantly by the supporting characters- from Kalki’s Batya Abelman, Amruta’s Yadav to Ranvir’s Shahid Khan. All the links left loose in Season 1 come a circle as the old and new characters’ subplots come together to create a plot larger than life.
- This larger than life story is sublimely supported by cinematography that spans the expanse of beauty and grit. From the drug induced tranquility (amazingly achieved by Dolly Zoom and/or Fish-eye technique) to the brutality of humanity (with Close-up shots), the visuals do justice to the murky and bright lines of Sacred Games.
- The nail biting cliffhanger at the end leaves one in conflict. As per the reports, there will be a third season, but what is there to take forward? All the loose ends have been wrapped up; it’s just a question of Mumbai’s destruction. But if second season was the last, then it definitely leaves us disappointed. As much fun as open-ended films can be (think Inception), Sacred Games, and its viewers, definitely deserve a farewell that is wholesome.
Sacred Games, Season2 , is a holy war that is bigger, better and greater, than anything ever created by Indian storytellers.
- Sacred Games 2 marks Neeraj Ghaywan’s first web series; he has to his credits various short films on digital namely Shor, The Epiphany, and the award-winning Juice.
- Vikramaditya Motwane, who was a co-director with Anurag for season 1, turns the showrunner for season 2.
Watch The Trailer Here:
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