Breathe 2: Into the Shadows

Abhishek Bachchan, Amit Sadh, Nithya Menen, Saiyami Kher and others.
Amazon Prime Video
Mayank Sharma

Given the huge appreciation for season one, season two of Breathe comes with great expectations. Having Abhishek Bachchan debuting in it takes those expectations a notch higher. For no reason, but the surname. Something he cannot escape even on the OTT platform.

Breathe begins with Avinash (Abhishek Bachchan) exposing a girl for faking schizophrenia. Yes, he is a psychiatrist who works closely with the Delhi police helping them adhere to the laws without getting manipulated by their subjects. When he is not with patients or police, he turns papa and pati to his girls. The family is buzzing with love and laughter till the time when his daughter gets kidnapped. 

With the kidnapper never attempting contact with the parents, Abha (Nithya Menen) and Avinash are lost. They don’t know how to get their child home, desperation starts causing distance between the couple, until the day the kidnapper contacts them with a bargain. The safety of their child depends on whether or not, Avinash is ready to kill to keep her safe. As parents they do what is asked, and wait for their child’s return. The only thing that comes to them is yet another coordinates of a person they have to kill. How long do they have to go on like this, what if the police gets them before they get their daughter?

To add to their conundrum is the fact that the Delhi police force had a new man in, Kabir Sawant (Amit Sadh), the officer who is known to solve every case.

What starts with one killing, graduates to another and yet another… with Abha as his accomplice, Avinash manages to feed their Ravan’s evil mind one after another. They even manage to elude the police. But every moment is like a dagger dangling over their heads. It eats them up, it kills their soul but they cannot not do everything in their capacity to save their daughter. With the lines between good and bad blurring in their heads, alongside that of the audience. The director reveals the suspense to us mid series. Suddenly, the fear of the unknown is replaced by the whys, and frankly, getting the whys answered for the next six episodes isn’t as exciting.

Mixing mythology with mystery or a criminal mind, isn’t new for the OTT platform. Asur was a mythological thriller and it did wonders. Breathe, on the other hand, is all promise but slow on deliverance. Despite the way it ends, the mystery becomes predictable and cannot sustain full interest for 12 episodes. Breathe 2 could have easily be concluded in 8 episodes and been far more engaging with a faster pace. 

There have been a few changes from the first season, to begin with it is not an all male domain. It was wonderful to see women; strong women brushing shoulders with the men. Nithya Menen works with vulnerability and strength like an ambidextrous genius juggling with their eyes closed. She doesn’t miss a step throughout. Plabita Borthakur (Meghna) as Kabir’s friend seems high on stimulants given her constant cheerful visage, which also attributes to making her mildly annoying. In stark contrast is Kabir’s nemesis Zeba (Shradha Kaul) who is supposed to be sporting a perennial frown, except her frown is more of a deer-caught-in-the-headlight look. 

The men also have their hits and misses. At times, Bachchan Jr seems confused - His confusion might have stemmed from how half baked his character appeared in parts. Given it took four writers (Bhavani Iyer, Arshad Sayed, Mayank Sharma and Vikram Tuli) to put Breathe 2 together, it is unfortunate how neither of the four reasoned with the need to provide more logic to the script. Given his was a linear character, Amit Sadh appeared seasoned and a pleasure to watch. 

Director Mayank Sharma who has already started working on C-16  good for Saiyami Kher who plays Sheirly), a sequel to Breathe 2, needs to watch the watch and stretch the limits. For someone who was looking forward to seeing Bachchan Jr on a different platform, it was disappointing to see his growth encumbered by so much justification and insulation. Why Sharma, why did it have to be so defensive? For Abhishek’s sake, we hope his next, sets him free.

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