Actor Saif Ali Khan, who has entertained Bollywood buffs with a slew of family dramas, comedies and thrillers in his over two decades long career, says he finds cop-mafia stories — a genre he is exploring in Netflix series Sacred Games — romantic.
The actor has himself produced films like Go Goa Gone, Agent Vinod and Cocktail. If he had to produce content for the dynamic world of digital entertainment platforms, Saif told IANS: “Given an opportunity, I would have produced something exactly like this (Sacred Games) for a platform like Netflix.
“It would not be a family drama or a love story but a cop-mafia story set in Mumbai because I think such stories are really romantic. It is interesting to watch how the lack of opportunity that the poor suffer makes them develop their set of surviving strategy.
“Such elements make it a romantic story for the international audience… How they (the poor) get into the crime scene. Universally, we can relate to a situation that exists between rich and poor, people with legitimacy, ingenuity, and yes, there is always a story there.”
The story of Sacred Games is adapted from Vikram Chandra’s book of the same name. The novel takes you into the life of police officer Sartaj Singh and into the criminal underworld of Ganesh Gaitonde, the most wanted gangster in India.
It is described as a story of friendship and betrayal, of terrible violence, of an astonishing modern city and its dark side. Saif plays Sartaj Singh, while the versatile Nawazuddin Siddiqui steps into the shoes of Gaitonde.
Saif says he relied more on the show’s script as a reference point.
“There are certain changes made because of the change of media from book to audio-visual. So, the screenplay is a little different. In the book, my character is quite passive
and internal. That looks dull on-screen, so we made it little external,” said Saif.
“However, reading the book helped me to understand the essence of the character, and I love reading books anyway,” he added.
Also read | Sacred Games review: The Devil of the Details
The show’s cast also features actors like Radhika Apte, Rajshri Deshpande and Surveen Chawla.
Will this show — out on Friday — give him a chance to build his audience better globally?
Saif said: “It is surely a great platform to reach the greater audience because it reaches 190 countries – big deal. But the intention was not to build my audience out there. It is a good opportunity for the storyteller, so we grabbed it.
“Whether it opens doors to be associated with more international projects was not in my mind when I did the show. I think because it is an international format, people in UK or the US that I know, will be watching this show rather than a Bollywood film.”
In her review of Sacred Games, Indian Express critic Ektaa Malik said, “For those who have read the original source material — the novel Sacred Games — they might find the series a bit jarring with regards to certain plot developments. But they only make the show edgier and more layered. Perhaps this is why even after the first four episodes, you are still undecided whom to root for. Which should register as a win in such games.”
(With inputs from IANS)