The first all-Indian Netflix original series, “Sacred Games,” based on Vikram Chandra’s best selling crime novel of the same name, launched its first official teaser trailer on YouTube on May 3. The gripping minute-long first look of the series has murder, drugs, gold, money, glamour and everything you need for a great crime thriller. After the teaser went viral it is already being called the new “Narcos” by Esquire Magazine and several other major international media outlets.
The first few shots of the teaser show Nawazuddin lighting up a dumpster and we hear his inner thoughts, which say: “Sometimes, I think I am God.” Then it is a series of shots teasing the series’ storyline with murders, dead bodies, gangsters, drug cartels, criminal overlords, money and gold laundering, a Bollywood film star, politicians, cultists, spies, and even terrorists paired with a trance like Indian folk fusion soundtrack.
According to Netflix, “Sacred Games” will get its international premiere on their streaming platform on July 6. The series stars Bollywood superstar Saif Ali Khan as Sartaj Singh, a police officer who investigates the mysterious circumstances leading to the death of gangster Ganesh Gaitonde, played by internationally acclaimed Indian actor Nawazuddin Siddiqui. Directed by acclaimed filmmakers Anurag Kashyap and Vikramaditya Motwane, the series reportedly comprises eight hour-long episodes.
Radhika Apte plays an agent of RAW (Research and Analysis Wing), the foreign intelligence agency of the Indian government.
The novel has a dozen other major characters and plotlines and delves into many emotionally charged worlds of contemporary India, in particular the spidery links between organized crime, local politics and Indian espionage that lie below the shimmering surfaces of its economic renaissance.
Money and corruption form its golden thread. With its interweaving narratives and voices, celebrity casting and Kashyap and Motwane magic, “Sacred Games” will surely turn out to be a world class crime thriller series.
On another note, Netflix announced “Sacred Games,” as their first Indian Netflix original series based on the novel in partnership with Phantom Films back in June 6, 2016. In a recent Business Insider report Consultancy Media Partners Asia estimated that India has more than 500,000 subscribers. To help grow its subscriber base in India, the company plans to release five to six Indian originals each year, and it also announced recently that three more new Indian original series are in the works.
Compared to that Bangladesh has an estimated Netflix subscription of 200,000 since 2016 when the company decided to expand their reach to 130 countries. It is just a small fraction of Bangladesh’s overall digital content audience but compared to India’s population and their Netflix audience this number is huge.
The question is when will Netflix start partnering with Bangladeshi media production companies and local content providers and invest in local Netflix original Bangla content as there is a huge Bangla speaking audience in Bangladesh, West Bengal and around the globe.