The second installment of India’s biggest web series has finally been released at the stroke of midnight of the country’s 73rd Independence Day. Anticipating fans waited in bated breath to catch a glimpse of this Saif Ali Khan and Nawazuddin Siddiqui thriller, and the show doesn’t disappoint one bit. The eight-episode second part is a slow burner alright, but is more intense, intricate, gritty, and gripping than the first.
In the first season, the Mumbai based gangster Ganesh Gaitonde (Nawazuddin Siddiqui) calls constable Dibagh Singh’s son Sartaj (Saif Ali Khan) now a police officer in the financial capital of the country. Gaitonde spells about a massive threat to the city and that Sartaj has 25 days to save it and its people. The now-forgotten warlord’s sudden appearance in the city makes everybody anxious. Sartaj traces Gaitonde’s hiding, only to find him dead. Season 1 left us with many questions and puzzles that have been answered in Season 2.
The second season opens into a boat in a vast ocean. Ganesh Gaitonde is captured by the RAW and is on the journey to the African country of Kenya. Gaitonde has to exact revenge from the Dubai-based don Isa who he thinks has killed his wife Subhadra and put him to rot behind bars. Gaitonde joins hands with RAW’s Kusum Devi Yadav (Amruta Subhash) as a part of a quid pro quo. He wants his vengeance and the RAW wants the country safe from terrorists.
Meanwhile, Gaitonde comes in close proximity with a Croatia based Guruji (Pankaj Tripathi) and his teachings. Gaitonde calls him his third father and practices what he preaches. Until Guruji’s idea of the doomsday comes to his notice. Guruji repeatedly says that he wants to go back to Satyayug from Kalyug. For doing so, he wants to nuclearly attack Mumbai, so that would lead to a war between India and Pakistan. Russia, China, and the United States will jump into it, destroying the entire world. Then, Guruji and his disciples will start a new world from scratch.
With Gaitonde dead and a few days remaining for the impending attack, the onus falls upon the police force and especially Sartaj Singh to find the hidden clues and stop this dastardly attack on Mumbai.
Nobody can beat Nawazuddin Siddiqui in playing gangster roles. The man is outrageously supreme. Diving deep into the character, he makes us feel his loneliness, his anxiety, and his fear every bit. Pankaj Tripathi playing the Osho-like Guruji is flawless. Tripathi’s soothing presence and well-mouthed dialogues make this character one for the ages.
Saif Ali Khan is sincere and shines completely in the final moments. Kalki Koechlin, Ranvir Shorey, Suvreen Chawla are top-notch. Brownie points are in order for Amruta Subhash, playing the RAW agent, she is brilliant. It’s impossible to take note of someone when Nawaz performs, but she holds her own and how!
In a scene, a boy who happens to be a Muslim is abducted by an MLA’s son over an argument on the Cricket field. He is then lynched monstrously by a mob with boys not more than 25 years old. Sartaj tries to save him but is unable to do so. Does it ring any bells? A similar scene took place in Ramnagar, Uttarakhand in May 2018, a Sikh Police Officer Gagandeep Singh saved a Muslim man from being lynched. However, Sartaj wasn’t as successful as Gagandeep.
In another scene, Batya (Kalki Koechlin playing Guruji’s aide) questions Sartaj, “What world are you trying to save when a 3-year-old is getting raped?” A minister spewing hate on the Muslim community, a Muslim police officer not finding a place to live for his family isn’t a novelty, is it? Yes, Sacred Games is a thriller but you cannot miss the social commentary that the makers have so strongly made.
Directors Anurag Kashyap and Neeraj Ghaywan, writers Varun Grover and company, and showrunner Vikramaditya Motwane have given the Indian audience their very own Narcos. Stunning cinematography and a power-packed background score make this one a must-watch. However, do not expect cliff hangers after every episode as the first season.
With the source material – Vikram Chandra’s 2006 novel by the same name – being exhausted, the makers have to find new ways to thrill the audiences, for a next season definitely has to be on the cards.