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BREATHE: Into The Shadows (Web-Series/Amazon Prime) - The supporting cast leads the series which could have been an entirely different venture without the twist getting revealed in the mid-way ruining the fine build-up. (Review by Bobby Sing)

12 Jul, 2020 | Movie Reviews / 2020 Releases

As the second part of the series, BREATHE: Into The Shadows delivers almost the same things following a similar pattern of a father committing murders for saving his daughter’s life. Yet again scoring in its technical execution, cinematography and energetic background score the series works well in its first four episodes to be specific, but then starts derailing the moment the twist of the hidden identity gets revealed and the burden entirely falls back to the writing department.
 
Giving the details, in the earlier part featuring Madhavan, we exactly knew who will be doing the crimes from the beginning itself and there was nothing to be revealed as a mystery. The focus was entirely on how it will be done by the protagonist and how will he escape the police devising his own clever tricks (that were otherwise quite flawed).
 
However in this second part of the franchise, we begin with a hidden identity wearing a scary mask and the protagonist committing the murders on his specific orders. The basic premise quoting RAVAN from the Indian mythology, strongly reminds you of the references in David Fincher’s classic crime-thriller SE7EN. But the inspiration angle is used quite well till the initial episodes. As the game begins, the first murder keeps you engaged, specifically because of a natural and spirited performance by Delhi’s well known theater artist Kuljeet Singh. The Sikh veteran actor thankfully doesn’t go overboard even in the scenes where he had to show his anger, loudly abusing a person teasing him since many days. These specific episodes truly become worth watching due to Kuljeet

Unfortunately the moment this first murder gets over and the script moves on to the next victim, it starts getting into a predictable and less interesting zone before the next blunder simply kills the entire build up. And the blunder is that in a series of 12 episodes of around 45 minutes each, the main twist and the identity of the conspirator gets revealed in the end of 5th episode itself and then the rest of the series is only about the backstories and how the police nabs him saving the life of the kidnapped girl.

Now in this kind of risky story structure where the villain gets revealed even before the mid-way, the burden entirely shifts on to the writing as it somehow has to keep the viewers intrigued, even when they know who is doing it all without any hidden secrets and suspense. Sadly, despite adding many other sub-plots and an interesting angle of competition within the police officials to solve the case, the writing department struggles to keep the interest alive and that is the reason the series appears to be too long post the 5th episode revealing it all.

Moreover, even when it’s actually about a kid girl kidnapped and the family waiting her to be found for months and not days or weeks, the director fails to establish the painful emotional tragedy and the execution strangely doesn’t have any emotional pull making you feel the pain suffered by the traumatic parents. Interestingly the emotional connect and the family drama was the key feature of the first part of the series which surprisingly goes missing in the present one, heavily affecting or diluting its overall impact.

Adding to the shortcomings, the present series also has too many dark and black-out sequences, where it’s hard to see the faces and the proceedings on screen. Perhaps the makers have forgotten and need to be reminded that this content is not being made for the theaters where the lights are off and the whole attention of the viewers is on the screen itself. Such dark tones work well in the theaters on the huge screens, but not on the smaller formats with screens of 5 to 50 inches, where the viewer is mostly sitting in a well-lit room or watching it on a mobile/tablet/laptop. So the moment such dark sequences go over-length, his attention gets diverted and he starts looking around, picks up his phone or begins multi-tasking. So this important point needs to be seriously considered by the makers, while conceiving their content for the OTT platforms.

Coming to the performances, as expected the focus completely remains on Abhishek Bachchan and may be that is one of the reasons why the series starts losing the grip due to monotony creeping in after the 4-5 episodes. Abhishek, now writing his name as Abhishek A. Bachchan performs well but he also looks quite stiff playing ‘the variation’. Nithya Menon playing his wife acts naturally but again the lack of emotional depth of a mother (as conceived by the writer and director) doesn’t let her excel in her given role. So to be honest BREATHE: Into The Shadows actually belongs to its supporting cast with Amit Sadh impressing the most (literally owning the show) followed by Saiyami Kher (who looks stunning) and Palbita Borthakur (the wheelchair girl spreading positivity) along with Hrishikesh Joshi, Srikant Verma and Shradha Kaul providing their much required support.

In all, the second part of the series BREATHE works pretty well till it first four episodes, but never finds the grip once the twist gets revealed much earlier than expected. To be straight, Amit Sadh, his associates in investigation and Saiyami Kher together with Abhishek surely make it watchable but this certainly would have been a completely different experience had the writers maintained the mystery right till the last episodes.

Rating : 2.5 + 0.5 / 5 (with the additional 0.5 for the supporting cast in particular led by Amit Sadh) 


Tags : BREATHE Into The Shadows Review by Bobby Sing at bobbytalkscinema.com, Amazon Prime Series, Breathe at Amazon, Abhishek Bachchan's debut Web-series, Mystery-Suspense Web-Series
12 Jul 2020 / Comment ( 0 )
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