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Breathe: Into The Shadows keeps the yawns coming

Breathe2

Source: SIFY

By: Aparanjeetha Sambandan

Critic's Rating: 2.5/5

Tuesday 14 July 2020

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Movie Title

Breathe: Into The Shadows keeps the yawns coming

Director

Mayank Sharma

Star Cast

Abhishek Bachchan, Amit Sadh, Nithya Menen, Ivana Kaur

Abhishek Bachchan plays Dr Avinash Sabarwal, a leading criminal psychologist. He and wife Abha, played by Nithya Menen, have a six-year-old daughter named Siya (Ivana Kaur), who goes missing at a birthday party. 

Nine months down the road, the world around them has given up looking for her while the two try to piece together their life. And then comes an iPad with a video on it. Their daughter is alive!

But to get her back they’d have to commit murder. How they go about it and what unfolds should have made for an edge-of-the-seat thriller. But instead, you’re itching to scrub through Abhishek Bachchan’s grim-face that’s on a loop. 12 episodes at 50 minutes each with the same expression does get tiring. 

It’s hard not to compare it with  Season 1. So let’s start there. Season 1 had Maddy as the endearing father who’d go the distance to save his child. That intention - how far would you go to save your child - is the only similarity that Season 2 shares. And that too, a very watered down version. We understand that people deal with grief in different ways but Avinash’s reaction overall was meh. In terms of watchability and cohesiveness, Breathe: Into The Shadows left us frustrated and flummoxed. 

Here’s why - it’s a hall of mirrors, really. There’s a back story to the back story. There are parallel storylines that go nowhere and serve no purpose. For instance, the role of ambitious cop Zeba (Shradha Kaul) trying to work her way in a male-dominated profession could’ve been an interesting watch if the makers cared enough to delve further. But instead, it came off as a very unidimensional addition to the script. Then there’s maverick cop Kabir Sawant’s (a beefed-up Amit Sadh) mild flirtation/atonement project with Meghna (Plabitha Borthakur) whom he made wheel-chair bound. Yes, there’s yet another backstory. And the first couple of fragmented appearances of Saiyami Kher’s Shirley was just perplexing. Who is she? What is she doing in this show? None off that gets cleared up till much later.

What made Season 1 watchable despite knowing who the killer is, is Madhavan’s exception portrayal of a character torn between right and wrong and the need to save his child. Also the script, the way it flowed and shaped out the narrative, was gripping. 

Here, in Season 2 you’re left squinting at the screen, scrounging for random threads that the show flings at you and trying to connect them. Random because no matter what, it always pivots back to Abhishek Bachchan’s character. 

The rapport between the married couple Avinash and Abha is tepid. Whether it’s the upending of their life with their daughter missing or, the second wave of distraughtness when they know she’s safe but rescuing her means doing something awful, barely register on their interactions and relationship. There are glimpses of moments. But that’s all we get. 

The brief but enjoyable parts are those featuring Sub-Inspector Prakash Kamble, loyal to Sawant and always humming a tune or indulging in a wisecrack. His back and forth with Delhi counterpart Jaiprakash (Shrikant Varma) is an absolute delight and a relief from all the Jr.Bachchan brooding. 

The serial killer has a fascination with the traits of Raavan but this mythological angle only comes off as a wannabe attempt at channelling the chilling classic thriller Seven.

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