Breathe season 1 was one of the first web series to come out of India and it was equal parts engaging and thrilling with outstanding performances from both R Madhavan and Amit Sadh. I was eagerly looking forward to the second season of the show, especially after it was announced that Abhishek Bachchan will be joining the show with Amit Sadh returning as no-nonsense cop Kabir Sawant.
After watching the first four episodes of the second season, I can say for a fact that Breathe season 2 titled Breathe - Into the Shadows is worth your time and a worthy successor to the previous season. The show is about a couple Dr Avinash and Chef Abha (Abhishek Bachchan and Nithya Menen), whose only child - a 6-year-old daughter is kidnapped. The kidnapper contacts them after nine long months and gives them the task of murdering, so far, two people with a special condition. The cause of their deaths should be anger and lust. Unwittingly, the couple gives into the kidnapper's demand and go on a path that is bound to end in destruction. Moreover, Inspector Kabir Sawant (Amit Sadh) is closing in on them.
What I really liked about the season one was that the characters were well fleshed out. Each of them had their own demons. Breathe 2 is no different. There are Avi and Abha, who are willing to go to any lengths to save their only daughter, there is Kabir, who has to deal with the ghosts of his past once again. There is also another character (Saiyami Kher) who barely had any screentime in the first four episodes but we know the reason for the stuff that she is doing.
The fact that there is a plausible back story to all these characters makes you feel invested in them even if you don't spend much time with them. Director Mayank Sharma hasn't wasted much time and comes straight to the point in the first few minutes of episode one itself. However, the show is more of a slow burner than a roller coaster ride as one would expect from these kinds of thrillers.
The show keeps you hooked from its first episode itself. However, there are quite a few loopholes in the narrative. The plot is not as smart or edge-of-the-seat as Abhishek Bachchan claimed in pre-release interviews. Going by the first four episodes, the pace of the series should've been a bit faster.
The background score works, the cinematography is good and I am glad the makers have not opted for the cliched Delhi shots. The is editing is also fine.
Coming to the performances, Abhishek Bachchan is phenomenal. He shows a range of emotions and nails it at the beginning itself. His outburst will hit you right in the feels.
The ever-dependable Amit Sadh displays new dimensions to his character. The character here is more subdued than it was in the previous season and his look of a gentle giant goes well with his characterisation.
Nithya Menen seemed a bit awkward initially but delivers a good performance in her second venture in the Hindi film industry. Hrishikesh Joshi is a riot.
Overall, Breathe - Into the Shadows' first four episodes promise to be a slow-burning ride that will satiate the thrill-seeker in you.