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Sacred Games Review

The crime adventure story is predicated on Vikram Chandra's novel by the same name and deals with stories of friendships and betrayals.

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With the massive hit of Sacred Games season one, Netflix aired the second season on August 15, 2019.

Directed by Anurag Kashyap and Vikramaditya Motwane, the series stars Saif Ali Khan, Radhika Apte, Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Pankaj Tripathi and Kalki Koechlin. The crime adventure story is predicated on Vikram Chandra's novel by the same name and deals with stories of friendships and betrayals.

Set within the Eighties, the series starts once lawman Sartaj Singh receives an anonymous tip concerning the location of criminal overlord Ganesh Gaitonde, he embarks on a chase around Mumbai in what becomes a dangerous cat-and-mouse game. Amidst the chaos, trappings of a corrupt underworld are disclosed. After being removed from the Gaitonde case, Singh begins his own investigation as he works to save Mumbai from impending doom. Flashbacks reveal a number of crimes that Gaitonde has committed through the years. 

The first and second seasons had eight episodes each with a total list of sixteen episodes. The second season of Sacred Games, like season one, is dense with references to mythology. However, this time around, lead writer Varun Grover and his team have drawn not solely from Hindu mythology but from epics from all around the globe. Season two itself is a more international story, which heavily borrows themes from mythological tales such as the Mahabharata and the Epic of Gilgamesh. Typically, these references are quite easy, however on alternative occasions, they might be rather obtuse. 

For example- Episode one in season one was titled Matsya. Matsya is the fish avatar among the ten primary avatars of Vishnu- the Hindu deity. Matsya is represented as a saviour character, who is said to have rescued Manu and earthly existence from a great deluge. He later merges with the identity of Brahma. The episode has several visual references to fish. It begins with Ganesh Gaitonde lost at sea, eating a fried fish. Later in the season, Gaitonde himself as Brahma in a very drug elicited trance. Guruji in one of his sermons also talks about how humanity has evolved from fish. 

Another example will be of the episode Radcliffe. The episode’s title may be a direct relation to the Radcliffe Line, that was drawn to bifurcate India and Pakistan during the Partition. The episode begins with a flashback to the Partition, and tells the story of Sartaj Singh’s mother, who was separated from her elder sister as her family was fleeing from Pakistan into India. 

The episode’s larger themes subsume Guruji’s master plan, which involves pitting India and Pakistan against one another to bring nuclear annihilation to Mumbai.  

Similarly, the episodes titled Siduri, Apasmara, Bardo, Vikarna, Azrael, Torino, etc. all of these episodes have the clearest indication of a particular episode’s most dominant themes in its title. Like season one, the titles of the eight new chapters of Sacred Games offer clues about its plot - either directly or tangentially. 

The show was rated 8.9/10 by IMDb. The show was also nominated as the top-rated TV #82 by IMDb.  

Sacred Games received thunderous response from the audiences and the critics as well. Film critic Saibal Chatterjee wrote in his review for NDTV, "Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Saif Ali Khan continue to complement each other brilliantly in the follow-up... Pankaj Tripathi is outstanding." 

Saif Ali Khan, Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Pankaj Tripathi’s Netflix India show is even better than the season one. Rating: 4.5/5”, stated Hindustan Times. 

“Sacred Games Season 2 is worth all the hype and your time”, mentioned RJ Stutee Ghosh.  

“Initially, the narrative is slow but the series picks up from the third episode. The series is perfect for a weekend binge, not just for the star performance but also for brilliant direction and script. The build-up to the second season and then the finale makes the series worth the hype,” stated India Today.


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