While the new Netflix series Sacred Games is being talked about for many reasons, most notably the performances of Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Saif Ali Khan as well as the gripping plot, not many have noticed that the spoilt brattish movie star Karan Malhotra (played by Karan Wahi) and his clever girlfriend star Zoya Mirza (Elnaz Norouzi) seem to be based on two of Bollywood's biggest stars - Salman Khan and Katrina Kaif.
As played by Wahi , the bratty superstar Karan Malhotra is so possessive of his girlfriend that he doesn’t allow her to work with other heroes. In a sequence he boasts of how he has gotten her expelled from a film with ‘Ranbir’ and that she better busy herself doing a film with Karan that has just been offered to her.
The steely cold-war between Salman Khan and Ranbir Kapoor is well-known in the entertainment industry. At one point in the series, Zoya is seen with bruise marks on her face seeking sympathy from a senior cop (played by Neeraj Kabi). When the cop offers to help, Zoya says, “Nothing can be down. He once killed two people in a hit-and-run accident. Nothing happened.” This plot point harks back to Salman’s infamous hit-and-run case. Similarly, Zoya is shown as a non-Indian though this facet of her life is not known to many. There were similar controversies about Katrina's origins too in the early days of her career.
While no one from the film’s team was willing to shed light on this star and his girlfriend’s actual identity, social media chatter is abuzz with the parallels to the stars' life while others say it's a random reference to spice up the plot. Sacred Games in based on Vikram Chandra's book of the same name. It's a searing tale of Mumbai's underbelly that involves corrupt copts, venal politicians, the dangerous underworld and a bit of Bollywood glamour thrown in. Is it a case of life imitating art? Or just a smart way of mining Bollywood gossip and rumour about stars into a ficticious plotline?