The second season of Sacred Games was the tentpole event for Indian streaming. Audiences had their hopes up. The first season specifically told content creators how a binge-worthy web series should be made. It also told audiences what kind of content could come up with the freedom that the streaming platforms provided. With the second season now out, here’s our complete review of
Sacred Games, Season 2.
The second season follows right after the first, with Sartaj unravelling a conspiracy that’s as much about him as it is about the city he so loves – Mumbai. With new characters, more story arcs and an unending race against time, Sacred Games Season 2 should have been an intense, gripping series with a mind-blowing climax that would have made memes for years to come.
What’s wow : Sacred Games is a rapid reader course in the pop-culture of Mumbai. The writers take all the buzzworthy instances that Bombay/Mumbai remembers to create a screenplay that has the city as much as a character as Sartaj and Gaitonde.
Kids who grew up in the eighties and nineties will find themselves grinning as the screenplay and characters cock a snook at real life incidents that inspired the screenplay, including the long forgotten story about a man who claimed to have created the perfect son by controlling all aspects of the conception. That’s forgotten now, but this reviewer remembers it happened sometime in the 90s.
Of all the performances, Nawazuddin still stands out. Nobody, repeat, nobody could have brought the egotistical, emotional and aggressive sides of Gaitonde like Nawazuddin has. Ever since the first season, Saif’s underplayed character is the perfect foil for the Gaitonde’s outrageousness. Surveen Chawla knows she’s got the role of a lifetime and grabs it with both hands, giving us one of the most enigmatic female characters in streaming. Pankaj Tripathi, as Guruji has the ethos that’s required of his character. Amruta Subhash plays her character with elan, and makes the audience want to know more about her – which brings us to the next part of this review…
What’s Blah : All said and done, Sacred Games falls for the age-old curse of the second. The first part was gripping, and the last couple of episodes had the requisite twists and turns to exhilarate an audience. In the second season, it seems like the screenplay is prodding along to a questionable end.
We get it, open endings are a great way to close a web series. It also creates an opportunity for the next season and keeps the internet abuzz about the series for a tad bit longer. But you can’t have the best of both worlds – you can’t have a depressing, nihilistic web series with an open ending.
In Sacred Games, good news is few and far between, whether it’s the first season or the second. Good people die, better people lose their limbs, and all the characters are settled in an unforgiving, corrupt world.
Traditionally, such nihilistic content has a bright, jawdropping climax that has the people walk out of the theatres with a grin – or log out of their streaming accounts. The content that comes to mind at this point is Shawshank Redemption, The Green Mile, and other such films. How would we have reacted if Shawshank Redemption without the retribution, or the Green Mile?
It’s not just the shambling screenplay that reaches a lame climax that’s frustrating the audience. Time and again, the writers unravel a whole new arc with the chutzpah of a magician unveiling a new magic trick and then discard it like leftovers – quietly and without fanfare.
One of the story arcs that were added to just mess with the audience’s mind is so intense and infuriatingly real, and yet, it doesn’t find any place after that incident. If we had to know about infuriating incidents with no retribution, we’d read the newspapers, thank you.
Parting Shot : Sacred Games is a must watch for the fans of the second season. New viewers won’t get hooked onto it.
Cast & Crew :
Cast: Saif Ali Khan, Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Pankaj Tripathi, Kalki Koechlin, Surveen Chawla
Writers: Varun Grover, Smita Singh, Vasant Nath, Dhruv Narang, Pooja Varma, Nihit Bhave.
Director: Anurag Kashyap, Vikramaditya Motwane, Neeraj Ghaywan
Watch the trailer here :