Web Series Review: Sacred Games 2 -- A thrilling reconnect

Sacred Games, the much loved, critically acclaimed, first original Indian Netflix web series by Anuraag Kashyap and Vikramaditya Motwane, brilliantly written by Varun Grover, based on Vikram Chandra’s best-selling novel, gets its second season with Anuraag and Neeraj Ghaywan at the helm and the high-standard thrills and vicarious engagement thereof are back at the same level where season 1 left off.

In his quest to save Mumbai from cataclysm, honest Cop Sartaj Singh (Saif) continues to pursue the cryptic clues left behind by fugitive gang boss Gaitonde (Nawazuddin).

The first season ended by keeping the audience dangling after developing heightened interest. There was no closure so obviously anticipation of what is to come next was amplified.

The absolutely stellar cast, impeccable performances, breath-taking imagery, raw unpolished language and uninhibited dishabille scored highly on the rejuvenated OTP audience minds.

Season 2 is dark, high on tension and is as likely to generate controversy as the first. The backdrop of history and politics sits well with the time frame that harkens back into the past.

The language is bold and daring, past politicians come in for some name calling and religion too gets some harsh ribbing. The story continues from where season 1 ended. The objective here is to shed light on prominent characters who were relegated to the background in season 1.

This entire season 2 revels in an endless loop of thrilling revelations that keep our interest sky high while building momentum, intrigue and tension for the next assault.

Sartaj Singh ferrets out substantial clues regarding Trivedi and the nuclear bomb, we get to see some bits and pieces about how Gaitonde sprung from jail, the origins of Guruji and how he turned into the psychopathic mastermind,

Sartaj’s father’s relationship with the Kalyug group, Batya’s efforts to brainwash Sartaj, how Gaitonde was being betrayed and many more such underlying multifarious (sometimes unforeseeable) connections that successfully positions the narrative towards an explosive finale. It’s 14 days yet to D-day and this new season basically circles back to the time of the first season.

Pankaj Tripathi, Saif Ali Khan, Nawazuddin Siddiqui are prominent in the play that reveals answers to unanswered questions from season 1. The new characters introduced, add intrigue and augment interest,

with maze like complexities, unsettling situations and stunning perfidies coming to the fore as Sartaj, Gaitonde and Shahid Khan hurtle towards a doomsday expectation. The intentionally dense arcs of the story adds primacy to the thrills.

Episode 8 of Season 2 ends with Sartaj trying his hand at the password required to access the bomb when all other efforts have failed — leaving the entire area deserted and abandoned. It’s as open-ended a set-up as you can get — thus leaving the series’ faithful audience eager beavers for what is to come.

The actors, cinematography, direction, editing and background score combine beautifully to increment interest as the stories play along. The episodic variations in pacing are essentials for a narrative structure that does well to inveigle and enchant.

There is no doubt that this season is just as explosively inventive as the first - even though it may seem slightly more circumspect in terms of language and wanton displays of flesh.

Neeraj (Masaan) Ghaywan’s involvement appears to have lent originality and crispness to the setup. Season 2 is certainly well primed to generate excitement and entertainment!