Over The Top (OTT) players have given a new lease of life to all the entertainment professionals. Yet, there was a time in the past wherein I had stopped watching Indian content on OTT due to a variety of reasons – convenient storylines, distasteful nudity, excessive action, etc. My opinion is changing thanks to a few Impressive shows on the platforms over the last few months. Last week, we witnessed yet another intriguing web series on Amazon Prime – Breathe: into the shadows.
Breathe: into the shadows is a new Indian crime thriller web series that marks the digital debut of Abhishek A. Bachchan who plays the role of Avinash Sabharwal, a well-known psychiatrist in Delhi, who has helped police solve cases that need expert testimony. All’s well for Avinash and Abha Sabharwal’s (Nithya Menen) family until one day when their daughter Siya (Ivana Kaur) gets kidnapped. In exchange for her return, the kidnapper demands an unusual ransom – a series of murders to be committed by the girls mom and dad. What follows next is a tale of helpless parents who are forced to choose their daughter’s life over their moral beliefs. It starts as an intriguing game of cat and mouse between the kidnapper and the cops led by Kabir Sawant (Amit Sadh)
There are many things that worked for this show. To begin with, Abhishek A. Bachchan’s acting throughout the show is commendable. In the first few episodes, you see his character stiffened with responsibility as a helpless father and a vulnerable husband. Instead of using loud dialogues or a loud background score, the actor exhibits his helplessness through body language and using restraint until he finally breaks down in front of the cops. Continuing his association with this franchise, Amit Sadh has played the role of a ‘no-nonsense’ cop earnestly. It was while watching his performance I wondered why haven’t we seen more of him recently. Apart from these two actors, the casting department has chosen talent who have bought authenticity to their characters. Nithya Menen’s portrayal of a restless mother, Shruti Bapna as famous author Natasha Garewal, Plabita Borthakur playing the role of a ‘happy-go-lucky’ Meghna Verma, and Saiyami Kher who essays prostitute Shirley. Even the supporting cast of Hrishikesh Joshi and Shrikant Verma deserve a special mention for their detailed performance as you see two cops engage in some harmless, yet fun banter to one-up on each other.
This series has a few subplots and most of them added no real value to the show. One such loose end is Amit Sadh’s opening scene in which he is attacked by a prison inmate on a rainy day. I did not understand the relevance of this scene. It also reminded me of those Bollywood cliches in which the hero flexes his biceps in slow motion before beating up the bad guy. I thought the show became predictable towards the later half where one could predict how the show would end. Lastly, not to reveal any spoilers, but I don’t think the kidnapper’s rationale behind all the murders was clear (If you have seen the show & get the hint, hit me up & we can discuss it over zoom coffee).
Overall, I think it’s a well-executed series, especially the first half. I recommend Breathe: into the shadows for an intriguing plot & strong performance.
Reviewed by Puneet Ruparel