There is little room for logic in Amazon Prime Video’s new show, ‘Breathe: Into The Shadows’ starring Abhishek A Bachchan, Amit Sadh, Nithya Menen and Saiyami Kher. It’s a story bereft of belief because as much as the intention of its characters leave you baffled, what’s bewildering is the absolute lack of cohesion in its screenplay.
Written by director Mayank Sharma alongside Vikram Tuli and Bhavani Iyer, ‘Breathe: Into The Shadows’ starts as an introduction to a brand new show instead of trailing as the second edition of its 2018 predecessor, which had R. Madhavan in the lead. Avinash Sabharwal (Bachchan) and Abha Sabharwal (Menen) are well-placed psychiatrist and chef respectively, living the happy family life in Gurgaon with their six-year old daughter Siya, who happens to be a juvenile diabetic. She is kidnapped from a birthday party and much to her parents’ dismay, there are no calls or updates informing her whereabouts for months. One fine day, the kidnapper reaches out to them and instructs Avinash to execute murders as ransom. The motive behind these murders must be led by man’s cardinal sins including anger, lust, fear and so on. On the other hand, Kabir Sawant (Sadh) is transferred to the Delhi Crime Branch after being released from prison, having served a six-month jail term following an accident that costed a civilian dearly, while trying to nab a criminal. He is caught in between departmental politics even as he takes charge of the case. Will Avinash and Kabir unearth the truth about the mysterious kidnapper?
While the show is ably shot by S Bharathwaj, the script is largely uninteresting and fails to apply the faintest modicum of conviction. Not to forget, it's heavily inspired from David Fincher's 1995 film, 'Se7en' starring Brad Pitt and Morgan Freeman. In what could have been a believable scenario, Avinash and Abha would be hoping mad all over the town if their daughter went missing. In the show, however months pass yet there is hardly a sense of urgency between the parents. The dialogues by Arshad Syed are hungover by a portion of Milap Zaveri. Mythology has been smartly referenced recently in more competent shows such as ‘Asur’ and ‘Paatal Lok’, but in ‘Breathe’.. the reference is largely superficial. As much as the premise of a parent going to unimaginable extents to save his family is problematic, you aren’t entirely convinced about the causes that lead Avinash to commit the gruesome murders he does. Equally alarming is the length of the show at almost 9 hours of viewing, Clearly, Sumeet Kotian’s editing could’ve been crisper.
Technical shortcomings leave a lot for the cast to shoulder, which is a pity. Because each actor puts their best foot forward. Bachchan and Menen reveal newer shades of their craft as the desperate parents. Sadh is top notch while balancing the act between teething and emphatic. Shrikant Verma and Hrushikesh Joshi playing cops ease the proceedings with their wisecracks. But the big impressions come from actors adding occasional hefts to the narrative. Saiyami Kher as the escort Shirley, is a huge surprise and adds the right amount of mystique to her part. Special mentions also to Resham Shrivardhankar playing a medical student, who is kidnapped alongside Siya, Shradha Kaul as Zeba, an ambitious police officer, Plabita Borthakur as Meghna, a wheel-chaired, recovering addict and Shruti Bapna as a gay artist and writer who propel the narrative with instrumental arcs. Child actor Ivana Kaur playing Siya is suitably cast.
Fractured by an inconsistent script, ‘Breathe: Into The Shadows’ falters under the weight of our expectations. Watch, only if you’ve exhausted all your options.