Every time I see an Anurag Kashyap movie, I don’t want it to end. I get so intertwined with the characters and their world that getting out of it is always painful. “Sacred Games” helped me stay in that world longer. It is probably one of the most entertaining series in India in the recent past. The last being “Lakhon Mein Ek”.
1. The Cast is Lit AF
We have all watched countless movies which didn’t get super great reviews but we still went to see them because the cast either had Nawazuddin Siddique, Radhika Apte or Neeraj Kabi in it. This was a wet dream in terms of casting for people who enjoy this genre of cinema.
On the flip side, I don’t remember when I last paid for a movie which had Saif Ali Khan in a leading role. A huge, thunderous round of applause for being the only Khan to be able to truly reinvent himself as an actor.
2. Solid Writing
When I read Godfather as a kid, I was introduced to a very interesting storytelling tool. Mario Puzo would introduce characters into the plot but would not reveal their backstory right then, as many writers do. He let the reader get comfortable with the character and then would reveal their backstory after a few chapters. It’s always more interesting to know the gory/shocking/unfortunate/great past of someone you know rather than someone who you just get introduced to. “Sacred Games” does just that. As soon as you feel you know a character and that you have put them in a stereotype in your head, the directors take us on a journey to reveal another layer of the person.
3. Suspense done right!
All the great international series like “Narcos”, “House of Cards” etc. that are being devoured by the Indian audiences thanks to Amazon Prime, Netflix & Hotstar, have one thing in common – the crazy levels of suspense and twists. We are left with no choice but to binge watch seasons back to back. Indian content has traditionally had either one large twist or a slower pace of revealing important aspects of the story. “Sacred Game” starts the rollercoaster ride right from the first minute. You feel personally involved with the narrative from the first episode itself. SPOILER ALERT: All the scenes where Radhika Apte is walking into crime houses were heart-stoppingly beautiful.
“Sacred Games” must have gotten so many creative brains churning. Hopefully, the best of the Indian creative industry will come together now to break out of the 70mm format and create unexpected formats of storytelling with new and compelling narratives. Stories that must not always pander to mass sentiments. Stories that will rally their own audiences. Stories that will not only entertain but also shape popular culture.
We are at the brink of exciting times.