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Breathe 2: Abhishek Shines in OTT Debut



Breathe 2: Into The  Shadows (Amazon Prime Video)

Starring Abhishek Bachchan, Nithya Menon,  Amit Sadh,  Saiyami Kher

Directed  by Mayank Sharma


 In  Mani Ratnam’s  Raavan Abhishek Bachchan  played Raavan. In  Breathe 2, Raavan plays Abhishek. There are  mindgames based on the expression of each one of Raavan’s ten heads, manoeuvring Abhishek’s character  through a series of clumsy  capital crimes . So mindless are these  mindgames  that one is grateful Raavan  had only 10 heads.If there were more, this series may have extended  itself  into  some more episodes. And Breathe  would have killed  us all with  the sheer  lack of  breathing space  in the  plot.

 This  is  not to say  that the  storytelling is  taut. Not at all! Loose-lambed and  shaggy to the point of seeming lazy, the indolent  tone  of narration would have been excusable  were  it not so ridiculously self-important.  It is hard to believe  that  it took four writers(Bhavani Iyer,Arshad Sayed,Mayank Sharma,Vikram Tuli) to put together something as slapdash and  implausible as  this.

It’s not all  bad though. Abhishek Bachchan infuses  an incommensurate  degree  of  honesty  into his messed-up role. Breathe 2 opens with  a teenage girl at  a jagran in Delhi being kidnapped  by a masked marauder. We are quickly introduced  to  our psychiatrist-hero  Avinash Savarwal(Bachchan) and his chef-wife Abha. Together  the Shrink and  the Cook couple should have given us food for  thought(chef, shrink…food for  thought,get it?).  But  the writers have no patience to let relationships and feelings grow in the plot.

These are  people in a  hurry, though it’s  never clear where  they are heading.

In  Episode 1  itself the Savarval’s  cute  little daughter  Siya(Ivana Kaur) is kidnapped. Though Abhishek’s  Avinash has  one big meltdown sequence in  the first  episode , I  didn’t feel the  couple to be  majorly  traumatized.  Quite  often  you get  the feeling that the couple believes  itself  itself to be  in  a   find-your-missing-child video game where the players(sure that their  kidnapped child would be  returned  to them)  go from task to task like obedient  team players.

It’s hard to take the progressively preposterous  plot seriously. There is  this  entire slab of storytelling involving  self-made lesbian writer  whom  Abha Savarwal seduces  to murder. It is incredibly  inept  and far-fetched  writing made  worse  by the fact that the actress playing the gay writer(Shruti Bapna) seems far  more sensible than the script .

Saiyami Kher as  a practical unrepentant  hooker makes intermittent  appearances  reminding us  that sex is  a  reality  just out of the reach  of the artificial characters  of this series. These  people  belong to a soap opera that has long winded  up its shooting. The  happy hooker  finally gets  Abhishek into her  bedroom and asks if he would like to eat something.I waited for a  naughty answer.

Agar aap banaake khilayengi,” mumbles  our saintly hero coyly reminding us rudely that by this  point, the script has  all but forgotten Avinash’s chef wife. Food for thought, forgotten.

Shockingly enough ,the  production values  are  way below what we see in the premium  OTT products  these days. The  lighting is  so poor  in the  night sequences that one can’t tell the faces  of  the actors.

Fumbling and doddering all over with plot points that have you suppressing  your giggles, Breathe 2 is an exercise in pointless selfimportant suspended suspense. If it wasn’t for  the  credibility that Abhishek Bachchan brings to his scattered  part, as too the gravity that  Amit Sadh, Nithya Menon and some  excellent supporting actors, bring to the creaky table Breathe 2 would collapse under the weight  of its own selfimportance.

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