YES, this was the reason for me finally getting a Netflix subscription,
one of my favourite crime novels and with my favourite male actor
Nawazuddin Siddiqui in one of the 2 major roles, as the Master criminal
Ganesh Gaitonde, and with Anurag Kashyap as director.
If you have Netflix, and even though you may not ever have watched a
Bollywood film, please watch this TV series. Kudos to Netflix for
producing an Indian crime TV series and for giving exciting indie directors
as Kashyap and Motwane the honors of directing it. Thanks!
I have a hunch there must be some fans of the Bollywood New Wave hidden
among the Netflix directorials.
Just think of all the awful Bollywood directors they could've chosen
to mess this dark masterpiece of a novel up .... it makes you shudder.
Interestingly, Anurag Kashyap directs
the Ganesh Gaitonde/Nawaz scenes and Vikramaditya Motwane
the Sartaj Singh/Saif Ali Khan scenes,
and you clearly can notice the differences in directing style. This
works very well as the novel shifts between the flashbacks and narration
of Gaitonde and the "today" scenes with Singh's and Anjali's
investigation of Gaitonde's death and the possible meaning of his warning.
Nawaz (in a scene from another epic crime story
- The Gangs of Wasseypur, 2012)
This Netflix TV series can be seen in something like
190 countries around the world and hopefully the interest for Bollywood
film and for
it's great actors will rise also in the last bastions that Bollywood
haven't yet conquered (as e.g. Sweden where i live).
There will be two seasons with 8 episodes each, and when this is written
in february 2019 i'm eagerly awaiting the second season.
The great 2006 novel was massive in all aspects. Thick as a brick, with
something of a 900 pages and a truly fascinating read dealing with
subjects as organized crime, corrupted politicians and police, terrorism
and espionage. Yeah, i know, just about the stuff that almost every
Bollywood crime movie deals with somehow, but .... this time it's done
in a more interesting way than usual with this great novel as a source.
Also, just like in the book, there are sex, and with nudity .... in
a Bollywood film ? NO, the usual strict censorship rules doesn't apply
as US Netflix has produced this as a web series. A good thing as the
novel had a very gritty tone with lots of sex.
Vikram Chandra's epic novel is even beyond massive,
it's a whole universe in itself and one of the most impressive crime
novels i've ever read
Great Saif Ali Khan from the indie classic Omkara
One thing that shines in this TV series, this crime
mystery and gangster movie, besides the skilled direction is the acting.
Wow, India really
has got some fine actors to show the world, the very best. Acclaimed
King Actor, and my favourite actor in the whole world, Nawazuddin
Siddiqui gives a mesmerizing performance (as usual) as the
almost mythical super criminal Ganesh Gaitonde who suddenly turns up
Mumbai and really stir things up with the Police, Gangsters and the
Indian Secret Service.
Gaitonde is a very, VERY evil man and probably the killer of hundreds
of people, but still, Nawaz does that thing he does, and makes us see
him as a human worthy of our pity. These small moments of his,
and of Anurag Kashyap's, magic, as e.g. when Gaitonde talks to his wife
Subhadra in the car. About nothing much really but with a beautiful
serenity to it. Even during a shoot-out, moments of stillness.
Saif Ali Khan is also very good as
the Sikh Police officer Sartaj Singh, a sad slightly overweight man
considered to be a bit dimwitted and a not
very successful cop, if an honest one, by his corrupted superiors. One
day he's suddenly contacted by the legendary, almost mythical, gangster
Ganesh Gaitonde who has some, for Sartaj yet unknown, ties with him.
Gaitonde enigmatically says "that everyone will die, except
and the amazing first episode ends with Gaitonde waiting in his bunker
for Sartaj to arrive and then commits suicide.
Sacred Games - Slightly apocalyptic, mysterious and fascinating to watch
and very recommended. I've watched it two times now on Netflix,
and it was even better the second time, when i did notice the different
directing styles and the social commentary, the fantastic acting, not
least from Neeraj Kabi as Police Commissioner Parulkar,
he's fantastic and you can't take your eyes from him, wow!
Jitendra Joshi as Singh's best friend, constable Katekar,
another even more below average cop than Singh, is also amazing, even
As Gaitondes underling Bunty Jatin Sarna really shines
also, very good, and Kubbra Sait as GG's transgender
girlfriend is sensational, and
the question many wonders about after the full frontal dick scene, is
she a transgender for real ?
Radhika Apte is OK too, even though she wears the same disgruntled expression
all through the 7 first episodes she's in. She can do better.
Anurag Kashyap's 2012 gangster masterpiece Gangs
The first episode is amazing. Mysterious
and Apocalyptic and one of the greatest openings of any TV series, EVER,
and with lots of
Anurag Kashyap directed scenes i suppose, with that style of his, the
magic. Naturally, with this being a TV series of 8 episodes it just
go on like this, with fireworks blazing. So, however great this TV series
turned out to be it saddens me a bit to think of what Kashyap could've
done with this novel if condensed into a normal movie playing time or
into another GOW epic. How sensationally good it could've been.
Sacred Games is 1. a slightly philosophical
crime mystery and 2. an Indian gangster movie,
and regarding the latter we have seen it for decades,
the gangster gangs fighting over their turfs in Bombay - Mumbai, essentially
most of them moulden out of Brian De Palma's Scarface, probably
the most influental gangster movie ever made (yeah, yeah, The Godfather
bla bla, the 1930's US one's etc.).
I've seen many fine Bollywood gangster movies as i.a. Vaastav, Satya,
Company, Maqbool and Gangs of Wasseypur and maybe GOW
the ultimate gangster saga, The Indian Goodfather and/or Scarface. Yet,
that is, hopefully Kashyap could better it in the future, he's still
And, the stylized and impressive shoot-out scenes in
Sacred Games done the unique Kashyap way resembles the one's in GOW.
Now, we are all waiting for the second season of Sacred Games with,
i hope, the final 8 episodes of the series, and i've read that Anurag
will continue directing the Nawazuddin scenes and that Neeraj Ghaywan
(acclaimed director of indie artmovie favourite Masaan) will replace
Vikramaditya Motwane in directing the Saif Ali Khan scenes.
I can understand that Anurag wants Nawaz for himself, having access
to this unique high performance instrument in his directorial tool-shed.
OK, maybe i have a small complaint regarding the script
writing, in the novel our "hero" Sartaj Singh was a bit more
shady, more of a Film Noir
protagonist than the Saif Ali Khan one, who's almost all good. Only
in the 6th episode we get to see that police buddies Singh and Katekar
as bad as every Indian cop, as seen in countless of Bollywood movies,
Corrupted and with a taste for some good old torture. When a cop is
killed by a young street thug Sartaj Singh doesn't bat an eyelid when
he's told that the police has murdered 2 of the other kids in vengeance.
In the second episode we get to see Gaitondes history
in flashbacks and how the investigation is taken from Sartaj. Then Nawaz
narrating his story in flashbacks alternating with scenes of Singh and
Anjali sleuthing to reveal what Gaitonde's warning was about.
This TV series have been critically acclaimed and everyone
seem to like it. Very recommended ! I've watched it 2 times now