Entertainment,  Review

Sacred Games: Historical Romance With a Menace That Is Bombay


Shubhangi Dixit

“Bhagwaan ko maante ho?”

“Bhagwaan ko l*** farak nahi padta.”

… states a husky voice drenched in anguish as the camera turns to the pomeranian splattered over the floor. The white of its fur contrasting the streams of blood that surround it.

In the first minute itself, Anurag Kashyap and Vikramaditya Motwane set the tone of Sacred games – painting the scene with two core issues – religion and violence, dilemmas that reside in the hearts of the majority of its targeted audience and soon grab hold of this weak link.

Source:  Scroll.in

Depiction Of Religion In Sacred Games

It is not as if religion and violence haven’t been merged and talked about in Bollywood before, but what sets Sacred Games apart is its crude and raw handling of these aspects.

There is no sugar coating. Episode titles and narrative frequently sprinkled with references from Mahabharata and Ramayana help provide the saffron shade to the already bleak colors of Bombay, that the directors’ romance with.

What further adds sparkles to this dim frame are Gaitonde’s blasphemous opinions on religion and the blunt depiction of the rise of Hindutva, as the directors zoom out on the Isa-Gaitonde rivalry.

From this point forward, it only takes a noob to notice how national-level religious politics trickles down to the lives of individual characters.

Source: thenewsminute.com

Religion, in this thriller, is heavily adorned with gruesome violence and the credit mostly goes to Anurag Kashyap for this.

Kashyap, who directed Gaitonde’s narrative in Sacred Games, makes sure that the violence is depicted with utmost authenticity. But the menace isn’t created with the gaping wounds or the squirting blood.

It is created with a prolonged duration of shots in a single take as the action is played out. In this way, as the scene reaches its peak, Kashyap makes his first cut without losing tension that builds up to a crescendo.

Another reason to use this technique is to create immediacy. In a single take, the action occurs in real-time as the slaughtering and bloodbaths create that fear – making it as organic as it gets.

Sacred Games Screenplay

However, it is not the story that makes this series great, its the telling of this story. The screenplay of Sacred Games is split into two parts – the present featuring Sartaj (directed by Motwane) and the past featuring Gaitonde (directed by Kashyap).

The first episode ends with an important incident that is an amalgamation of the two. From one perspective, this scene marks the beginning of the 25-day chase and from the other, it’s the end of the chronological timeline, a piece that will come way later in the show’s regular sequence of events.

Kashyap and Motwane use this as a bait to capture his audience’s attention. For us then, it is not only about how the show is going to end but how did it get here.

We subconsciously question the importance of this episode for the directors to choose it at the beginning while consciously paying attention to every single scene leading up to this moment.

The comprehensive articulating of the characters, however, does not go beyond their assigned roles for it isn’t their story. It is the story of Bombay, the black widow, and its macabre lifestyle.

There are no main characters, the character is the history and the extraordinary evolution of gangster cult, religion and politics caught between the adrenaline of those 25 days fused with Gaitonde’s forever.

Also, read our review of Netflix’s Ghoul will keep you on your toes.

If you are into classical Hindi comedy, The favorite Indian classic, Sarabhai Vs Sarabhai!

Let me know what you think about Sacred Games in the comments below.

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