Mirzapur, Sacred Games and India's new wave of mafia TV

Mirzapur, Sacred Games and India's new wave of mafia TV

The Indian screen gangster – long a staple in Bollywood – has evolved in recent years, with Netflix and now Amazon Prime tapping in to the country’s interest in crime stories

The launch of Amazon Prime’s gangster saga Mirzapur marks another milestone in the evolution of the Indian screen gangster. The TV series will go head-to-head with season four of Netflix’s Narcos, providing rich pickings for those wanting to see the grittier side of life outside the western world.

Telling the story of a crime dynasty ruling the town of Mirzapur in the dusty outlaw hinterland of Uttar Pradesh – a vast Indian state with more than 200 million people, which has long been synonymous with violence and corruption – the show is the latest to feed India’s perennial appetite for seeing the raw underbelly of its society on the big screen and on TV.

Related: Sacred Games: can Netflix’s Mumbai mob drama turn India on to TV?

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