By Chetan Mehrishi
The intrigue deepens, the doomsday conspiracies and unholy connections assume a sharper, more alarming edge and surprisingly playful undertones enter the frame in the second season of Sacred Games, adapted from and expanded beyond Vikram Chandra’s 2006 novel of the same name.
The perverse landscape that has humanity gasping for breath is populated with terrorists, cult members, gangsters, failed starlets and overstressed policemen and secret agents and yields many an engaging narrative element. The eight new episodes of the Netflix original series not only measure up to what was going to be a hard act to follow but also, in many ways, improve upon the build-up that was crafted with style and precision in Season 1.
Sacred Games Season 2 delivers a dynamic tale that harnesses the flexible power of the source material to not only entertain but also to provoke and disturb. Read on to find out more about our detailed dissection of Sacred Games Season 2.
Mumbai was sitting on a time-bomb in Season 1, here the threat widens to pull all of mankind into a diabolical web. A war of civilizations rages in Sacred Games as the narrative moves back and forth between the present and the past in trying to understand the genesis of the danger of complete annihilation that Mumbai faces. Sartaj Singh and Ganesh Gaitonde look (rather slip) a little deeper into the mystery that is Guruji, played brilliantly by Pankaj Tripathi, as both try to sort their own issues.
Sartaj Singh and Ganesh Gaitonde look (rather slip) a little deeper into the mystery that is Guruji, played brilliantly by Pankaj Tripathi, as both try to sort their own issues.
Why Is It So Good?
Siddiqui and Khan continue to complement each other in the follow-up. Now joined by Pankaj Tripathi (who was seen briefly in Season 1), Kalki Koechlin, Amruta Subhash and Surveen Chawla in key roles, the two actors only got better. Ranvir Shorey’s presence as Shahid Khan is brief but menacing. It was a delight to see the actor breaking typecasting and sound something which entirely different from what he’s done previously. The episodes are appreciably livelier in tone while being more complex and demanding in terms of substance.
Paralleling the life of Gaitonde with mythical characters (Matsya, Vishnu’s first incarnation and Apasmara, just to name a few) writers Varun Grover, Dhruv Narang, Nihit Bhave, and Pooja Tolani have created a script worth using as a reference by budding screenwriters. Kashyap’s direction has no match. Neeraj Ghaywan replaces Vikramaditya Motwani in the co-director’s chair this time and delivers top-notch work. Following the same pattern as Season 1, the narrative flits between the present and past unearthing the mystery piece by piece.
All In All
The show is a grim warning and a reflection of the dark turbulent times that the world and our country is currently facing. The bomb is literally upon us, and if we don’t get our act together, well, we might not have a Sartaj Singh to save us. The eight 50-minute episodes are intense, layered and keep you on edge. Part one was the beginning of the slow burn. By part two, it has simmered to near perfection.
I’m going with 4 out of 5 stars for the show. By the time part two ends, one feels that one is a participant in this ‘theatre of the absurd’, and all hope is lost. But it is the necessary poison that we all need to partake if we wish for our future generations to even see the light of the day. Oh, but, all is not lost. Seeds for season three have been sown!