Saturday, April 13, 2024

Entertainment Review: Breathe : Into The Shadows Season 2

The second season of the Raavan killer plot  of Breathe : Into The Shadows continues three years after the last one left off. (The first season was actually the one starring R.Madhavan, but with OTT viewers’ short memory, that has probably been forgotten). It would appear the producers were so thrilled signing up a star like Abhishek Bachchan, that they wanted to extend the franchise as much as they could—both by slowing the pace to a crawl and by hinting at a third season, which might be too optimistic, since the show has already overstayed its welcome.

In the last season, it was established, with some psycho gobbledygook, that Dr Avinash Sabharwal (Bachchan) has a hoodie-wearing, gruff-voiced alter ego J, who goes about killing people that personify the vices (abger, greed, lust, etc.) represented by Raavan’s ten heads. He manages four, before he is arrested by glum, cop Kabir (Amit Sadh), who could be the psychopaths mirror image I appearance and temperament.

Because of his mental health, Aninash/J is incarcerated in an asylum. It is obvious that he has to escape if is to complete his ten-kill spree, and he does so acquiring a sidekick, Victor (Naveen Kasturia) to help him. His wife Abha (Nithya Menen), daughter (Ivana Kaur) and a hooker (Saiyami Kher) are caught up in the murderous drama.

With astonishing plot contrivances he goes wherever he pleases and kills his marks, without the tremendous resources such an enterprise would require.  A Dussehra mela is conveniently scheduled to underline the Raavan burning symbolism.

The series is shot well, keeping the sinister, noir look consistent, but in spite of a few gripping sequences, it never really lifts oft. The murders are carried out with incredible cruelty  including one by a female character, who feels no remorse and suffers no retribution. Still, J is supposed to be a sympathetic character, as if childhood trauma gives a man license to kill.

As it so often happens on screen, mental issues are dealt with in a strangely cavalier or ignorant manner and Abhishek Bachchan’s one note performance does not make it any better.

Deepa Gahlot
Deepa Gahlot is one of India’s seniormost and best-known entertainment journalists. A National Award-winning fim critic and author of several books on film and theatre. She tweets at @deepagahlot

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