What would happen if the universe of Netflix’s Sacred Games collided with that of Dharma Productions’ Dhadak?
The ill-fated lovers of this crossover would be Nawazuddin Siddiqui’s dreaded gangster Ganesh Gaitonde and Kubbra Sait’s Kukoo. Gaitonde would be urged to serenade Kukoo in English, and some bloodletting and gun violence would ensue as the lovers fought to be together despite the odds, according to a recently released video that juxatposes visuals from Sacred Games with the trailer of Dhadak.
Dhadak, starring Janhvi Kapoor and Ishaan Khatter, is the Hindi remake of Nagraj Manjule’s Marathi blockbuster Sairat and was released on Friday. The film traces the love story between the wealthy Parthavi and poor Madhukar, who strive to be together despite a difference in social status. Sacred Games, Netflix’s first Indian original series, revolves around Mumbai policeman Sartaj Singh (Saif Ali Khan), who teams up with Research and Analysis Wing agent Anjali Mathur (Radhika Apte) to unveil a conspiracy threatening the city of Mumbai, based on a tip that Gaitonde (Siddiqui) gives the cop before killing himself.
Though their premises are starkly different, the squabbles between Kukoo and Ganesh as well as scenes of police brutality and street violence from Sacred Games fit right into Dhadak’s trailer.
Sacred Games, directed by Vikramaditya Motwane and Anurag Kashyap, is based Vikram Chandra’s 2006 novel of the same name. It was premiered on Netflix on July 6 and has received rave reviews.
Sacred Games has also sparked the imagination of artists and meme-makers of the world. Popular digital artist Prasad Bhat, also known as Graphicurry, led the way with Sacred Games fan art that picked up from the many looks of Gaitonde throughout the series that spans over four decades, and his love story with Kukoo.
Another artist, Upamanya Bhattacharya, has come up with rather sinister iterations of various Sacred Games characters.
The first Indian Netflix series has also given domestic meme-makers some home-grown material to work on. The Facebook page Sacred Games Unofficial has been the most prolific, doling out hundreds of memes based on the show’s characters, themes, and jokes. Especially popular are the wonderful constable Katekar (Jitendra Joshi) and Gaitonde’s scenery-chewing dialogue (the most popular being “Kabhi kabhi lagta hai apun hi bhagwan hai” – Sometimes, I feel I am god).
Meanwhile, Sacred Games’s dark undertone and its exploration of Mumbai’s grisly crime world have also made it ripe for tribute videos. Videos feature footage from the series cut to rock and pop hits like Casanova by Sickick, We Will Rock You by Queen, and Welcome to the Jungle by Guns N’ Roses.
A more whimsical interpretation is offered by a video that edits a scene of Sartaj Singh staring wistfully at his ex-wife’s apartment in the dead of the night to the song Aj Din Chadheya from the movie Love Aaj Kal (2009), which also featured a love-struck and turbaned Khan.