Nawazuddin's cold stare will run a chill down your spine Image: Netflix
The god of web series knows that I, and pretty much half the nation, have been waiting for the trailer of Sacred Games to drop ever since we saw it's teaser a month ago. Apart from a stellar cast headlined as much by Saif Ali Khan as it is by Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Radhika Apte, the teaser had seemed heavily inspired by Game of Thrones. And no one gets away by copying GOT.
As it turns out, Sacred Games is no Game of Thrones, but a game of thrones, indeed. Mumbai, with its gritty forbidden charm of the underworld, has been as integral to the Hindi cinema narrative through the '70s till date, as Johnny Lever was at one point. Except, there is nothing rib-tickling about extortion, smuggling, murder. And the fact that an international brand like Netflix chose to tell a story on these lines makes me feel both nostalgic and like a kid in a candy store.
Based on the critically-acclaimed best-selling novel of the same name by Vikram Chandra, Sacred Games follows the life of a policeman, a criminal overlord and a Bollywood film star in an eight-part web series, to release on July 6. The crisp, tightly-knit trailer has a distinct Vikramaditya Motwane-Anurag Kashyap stamp, and you wouldn't be able to miss it even if you wanted to.
Judging by the one-and-a-half minute long trailer, it's going to be a Nawaz-Saif show all the way, with Radhika sprinkled generously on the top. And before the extremists break into a debate about why the woman is only a garnish, let me say that I am okay with it as long as the actors do their job — act. Which they will. Saif as Sartaj Singh is endearing when you see him being stripped of his dignities simply because a sociopath like Ganesh Gaitonde (Nawaz) chooses to use him as a pawn in his sick, twisted game. Ganesh has a very old connection with Sartaj — Ganesh had murdered Sartaj's father, Dilbaug Singh, perhaps when he was all of a trainee goon — but Sartaj is unaware of it. And it is unmistakably the fulcrum on which the entire game will turn.
On the acting department, if Saif showed up with the big guns — which he did — Nawaz showed up with a nuclear weapon strapped to his back. Saif is excellent but Nawaz induces a fear in you that makes you want to curl up under your desk and howl because the world will, slowly and painfully, come to an end. His ruthlessness is on par with the Joker (no, I am not comparing him to Heath Ledger. I couldn't, I wouldn't), where he is on a self-destructive mission, and it doesn't matter whether he is arrested or stopped or not, he will inflict enough damage to last a lifetime.
All I know is July 6 is a Friday, and consider this as my official request for a day off.