Review: Sacred Games 2 – Guts, Gangsters and Guruji ki maafi
Netflix dropped the second season of its very successful web series, ‘Sacred Games’, on Independence Day. Season 2 is every bit of a thrill ride as Season 1. The first season ended on a cliffhanger – with Sartaj Singh (Saif Ali Khan) discovering an underground bunker designed to survive a nuclear blast. Inside, he finds the body of a political mover & shaker, Trivedi.
Season 2 begins right at the bunker as the police investigate the bunker and the dead body. The story continues of how gangster Ganesh Gaitonde (Nawazuddin Siddiqui) grows his business, but this time in Africa’s Mombasa. RAW agent Kusum Devi Yadav (Amruta Subhash) exploits Gaitonde’s thirst for revenge against his rival Suleiman Isa (Saurabh Sachdeva) to serve her own agenda. The show’s creators tend to veer more towards female intelligence operatives. Season 1 had Anjali Mathur (Radhika Apte), who was killed in the line of duty.
And yes, we finally get to meet the elusive Guruji (Pankaj Tripathi), whom Gaitonde refers to as his “teesra baap”. Speaking in measured tones, Guruji orchestrates several turbulences in the Government, the police force and the gangster world. Spreading spiritual gyaan, Guruji would remind one of Swami Chandraswami and Osho Rajneesh. It is also revealed that Guruji passed away in 2015. With Gaitonde killing himself 25 days before a “catastrophic” event in Mumbai, it is two dead men telling tales.
Sartaj continues to be the “moral” voice in the narrative, pursuing the case in all innocence and a fierce will to save Mumbai. In Season 2, he gets more voice (without losing any more appendages). He forever strives to meet his father’s devotion to duty – a humble constable, Dilbagh Singh had been the lone voice of humanity to the imprisoned Gaitonde.
We are introduced to some new characters who have important roles in the narrative. These include Batya Abelman (Kalki Koechlin), an influential disciple of Guruji, and Shahid Khan (Ranvir Shorey), a hunted terrorist.
As in the first season, there are lot of references to current political developments, though the show’s makers steer clear of making strong political commentaries – one would remember the furore over directly naming the late Rajiv Gandhi in the Bofors scandal and calling him a “fattu”.
Is Sartaj able to save Mumbai? We will have to wait some more time.