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Breathe: Into The Shadows 2 tries hard, but Abhishek Bachchan’s poker face ruins it

Streaming on Amazon Prime, it has a star-studded cast with Abhishek, Nithya Menen, and Amit Sadh. But that doesn't help if the show fizzles out all the suspense.

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An OTT ‘thriller’ where you wait for the climax but it never comes — that’s Mayank Sharma’s latest release Breathe: Into The Shadows Season 2. Streaming on Amazon Prime Video, it features a star-studded cast with Abhishek Bachchan, Nithya Menen, Amit Sadh, and Saiyami Kher in the lead. But having a good cast doesn’t help if the climax ends up disappointing you. 

Breathe: Into The Shadows Season 1 (2020) was primarily appreciated for its unique unfolding of the plot where the protagonist, Avinash (Abhishek Bachchan) is a psychiatrist afflicted with multiple personality disorder. His alternate personality called J compels him to murder people in order to get his kidnapped daughter back. The plot revolves around the extent Avinash will go to in saving her.

This season, though, feels like a formulaic thriller with nothing new to offer — mixing ‘suspense’ elements just for the sake of it. Breathe: Into The Shadows 2 tries real hard to convince the audience that some unusual revelation is coming up, but it just keeps on stretching it. J is on a mission to kill anyone who possesses the 10 qualities of Hindu rakshasa king Ravana — kama (lust), krodha (anger), moha (delusion), lobha (greed), mada (pride), maatsarya (envy), buddhi (intellect), manas (mind), chitta (will), ahamkara (ego). The idea and plot is new, and interesting too, but it all drops swiftly with a predictable ending where the triumph of ‘good over evil’ is rubbed into your face again


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A cast that fails

Abhishek has managed to live up to his season 1 performance, though his all-too-stoic expression brings the energy down. Is he angry? Simply staring? Surprised? You never know. In a nutshell, Abhishek’s poker face acting hurts the ‘surprise’ element that’s so essential in a powerful thriller. 

Even the character development of the rest of the cast — Nithya Menen as Abha, Amit Sadh as Kabir — moves at a snail’s pace. Abha is weak, sloppy, and can’t keep her grip on the plot for long. Amit reprives his brooding, ‘angry young man’ look, which fails to impress too much. 

Seema Biswas plays Dr Indu Rao, one of the victims. Although she is known to play powerful roles in movies such as Bandit Queen (1994), Khamoshi: The Musical (1996), and Water (2005), her character is a bit off and also leads the plot to a lousy end. Mayank Sharma has tried injecting melodrama and sentimentality into the show too, but it’s hard to emotionally connect with the characters. 

However, Naveen Kasturia, who comes later into the show, as Victor has given a decent performance. His camaraderie with Avinash is touching, given the latter’s childhood trauma. The duo are an intelligent combination on screen.

While the cinematography is good in the Surajpur Mela scenes, there’s a grey tonality to the show overall, which is begging for attention. Breathe: Into The Shadows 2 tries hard to be a gruesome mind-bending thriller but gets thrown off as impactless.

(Edited by Humra Laeeq)

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An OTT ‘thriller’ where you wait for the climax but it never comes — that’s Mayank Sharma’s latest release Breathe: Into The Shadows Season 2. Streaming on Amazon Prime Video, it features a star-studded cast with Abhishek Bachchan, Nithya Menen, Amit Sadh, and Saiyami...Breathe: Into The Shadows 2 tries hard, but Abhishek Bachchan's poker face ruins it