Let’s face it. It’s safe to say that Nawazuddin Siddiqui is the ultimate gangster of Hindi cinema. First as Faizal Khan in Gangs of Wasseypur - Part 2 and now as Ganesh Eknath Gaitonde in Sacred Games. This man seems to be the perfect match for such roles and may as well be the primary reason for the success, the Netflix series is enjoying.
However, what makes every single episode equally breathtaking is the plethora of talent among the role-players: the dark horses of the show.
No one, not even Ganesh Gaitonde had the guts to mess with the personification of Shakti, the divine feminine energy. Running a liquor adda in the mean streets of Gopalmath, surrounded by power-hungry men, Kanta Bai is a total badass. More than capable of holding her own against the world, Kanta Bai believes in helping the voiceless and has a progressive perspective towards the society. Exhibit A—making arrangements for Hindu extremist Bunty’s sister to marry Chhota Badariya, a Muslim. Kanta Bai is the real deal.
The only woman to break “Kukoo ka jadoo,” Subhadra made Ganesh fall for her with her simplicity and kindness. The story about ‘Kharvas’ exemplified Subhadra’s pristine soul. Her ability to arouse the feeling of humanity within Ganesh made her the perfect match for him… Well, she did deduce the lack of vengeance as the reason behind Ganesh’s impotency and brainwashed him to kill 80 innocent people. So…
With the unhealed bullet wound from the infamous 26/11 attack, constable Katekar sees the world in hues of black and white. He’s been around long enough to witness how politicians are the puppeteers and policemen, their puppets. Having said that, Sartaj Singh’s sidekick knows loyalty and would take a bullet for his ‘sir’ (which he probably did). Despite the lack of money and support from the government, Katekar loves his family to the core. Katekar, you are the real MVP!
Even when Bada Badariya rats out Gaitonde, you empathise with the guy. Not because you know that Ganesh is going to put a bullet in his head but because of the very reason he does it. Tired of the communal violence, Badariya was scared for his little brother’s life and for him, giving up Gaitonde’s coordinates to Sulaiman Isa was the only way out of the whole situation. Even when Gaitonde confronts him, he requests him to spare Chhota Badariya’s life.
You take away Bombay’s fiercest gangster’s lady luck and hope to live happily ever after? No, you don’t! Sulaiman Isa doesn’t forgive or forget that easily. While not getting a lot of screen time, you’d always be thinking about what Isa’s up to. Ever since Ganesh wooed Kukoo, Isa made it his primary goal to burn down his whole world. He killed everyone Ganesh Gaitonde ever loved; Kukoo, Subhadra, Paritosh bhai and his wife. All Dead.