timespace coordinates: 70’s – 80’s – 90’s – 2010’s MumbaiSacred Games is an Indian web television series by Netflix based on Vikram Chandra‘s 2006 thriller novel of the same name. The series was produced in partnership with Phantom Films. The novel was adapted by Varun Grover, Smita Singh and Vasant Nath, and all eight, hour-long episodes were directed by Anurag Kashyap and Vikramaditya Motwane. All eight episodes were made available for streaming on 6 July 2018.
Sacred Games tells the story of Sartaj Singh (Saif Ali Khan), a jaded police inspector living under the shadow of his deceased father and seeking validation from a police force he nevertheless loathes for its corruption. When Singh receives an anonymous tip-off regarding the whereabouts of Ganesh Gaitonde (Nawazuddin Siddiqui), a notorious crime lord who has been missing for 16 years, it initiates a chain of events that burrows deep into India’s dark underworld.
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The episode titles are inspired by Hindu mythology. The first episode titled “Aswatthama”, was based on the namesake character from the Sanskrit epic Mahabharata. He was cursed with immortality by Krishna after the Kurukshetra war. In the series, Gaitonde calls himself immortal like Ashwatthama, but later commits suicide. “Halahala”, another episode, was named after a poison of the same name, which was retrieved from Samudra manthan. Aatapi and Vatapi were two demons who used to trick travellers with hospitality and kill them. Brahmahatya means killing of a Brahmin, which is a crime in Hinduism. In the episode, the Hindu Gaitonde agrees to try to attract Muslim votes for Hindu politician Bhosale. Sarama is referred to as a dog. Pretakalpa learns the rites of a Hindu to perform the cremations. In this episode, Katekar is killed and Sartaj cremates him. Rudra is the angered version of Shiva. Gaitonde’s wife Subhadra is killed in this episode; he takes revenge by murdering her killers. Yayati was king cursed with premature old age.