USA

Stream It Or Skip It: ‘Breathe: Into The Shadows’ on Amazon Prime, A Promising Comeback for Abhishek Bachchan

The name Bachchan carries weight in Indian entertainment. Audiences have flocked to Amitabh Bachchan for years, and many expected his son Abhishek to pick up the mantle. But for a while now, Junior Bachchan has had a fledgling Bollywood career and has largely receded from high-profile films, now starring in unknown projects that contrast deeply from his early career as a leading man (seriously, one of his 2015 credits on IMDB is “Man sitting down”). As global media expands more freely into episodic streaming storytelling, Abhishek is the latest Bollywood star to turn to the new industry where some of his contemporaries (like Saif Ali Khan) have found success. But is the second iteration of what is now the Breathe franchise the answer to his career woes?

BREATHE: INTO THE SHADOWS: STREAM IT OR SKIP IT?

Opening Shot: An eerie overhead shot of an Indian town enveloped in the darkness of night slowly swoops low to land on a young woman with an anatomy textbook jamming out to music playing through her headphones instead of the religious service happening in front of her.

The Gist: Avinash Sabharwal is a successful psychiatrist who is often summoned to court on matters of abnormal psychological behavior. But at home, he’s a happy father to a young daughter, Siya—that is, until she goes missing at a birthday party. Avinash and his wife Abha are despondent after months of searching, until they receive a ransom note that demands Avinash kill another man in return for Siya’s life. 

Our Take: I won’t lie, I find these stories fascinating. How far would I go to save someone I love? The question is hard to answer until your back is against the wall. This creates such an exciting space for fiction to flourish—imagining the scenarios that play out as your morality is at war with your heart. 

Breathe: Into the Shadows‘s pilot is relatively strong in setting up the stakes for the season. We spend time with Avinash (Abhishek Bachchan) at work, where he convincingly spews some medical jargon to prove that a murderer on trial is suffering from schizophrenia, and at home where he has an extremely adorable relationship with both his wife Abha (Nithya Menen) and daughter Siya (Ivana Kaur). So when his idealistic life is torn from him, we are at least marginally upset and invested on his behalf. 

But judging solely on the mechanics of the pilot, there are many loose ends or scenes that feel unrelated to anything happening in the surrounding plot. One scene in particular stands out: in a dingy makeshift prison, a murder is attempted but not before the victim fights back with his bulging muscles in the pouring rain. It’s a classic Bollywood-style fight scene, but felt completely foreign in this show (I literally had to rewind and make sure I was still watching the right episode because this scene came so out of left field, disconnected from anything that came before or after it). I’m hoping these threads will come together in future episodes, but it felt jarring in both the tone and the visuals as compared to the rest of the episode. 

Still, all things considered, Breathe: Into the Darkness is a nice comeback for Junior Bachchan. He really shines as a doting father and that charm only bodes well for what will likely be his descent into madness. 

Parting Shot: Discovering Siya’s hand-drawn picture of their home, which they just witnessed her holding on the ransom video, inside the car parked on their driveway, Avinash has an indiscernible look on his face—surely contemplating the decision on his hands. 

Sleeper Star: Abha, played by Nithya Menen, holds her own with Bachchan, embodying a mother’s grief with ease. Primarily a South Indian film star, her performance will likely be noticed by audiences across India as long as she is given enough to do in the remaining episodes.

Most Pilot-y Line: While not necessarily spoken aloud, the ransom note encapsulates the entire premise of the series: “How far will you go to save your daughter?” The rest of the series will surely spend its time exploring the answer to that question.

Our Call: STREAM IT. It’s not perfect but Breathe: Into the Darkness sets up an intriguing cat-and-mouse game that could develop into a worthy character study.

Radhika Menon (@menonrad) is a TV-obsessed writer based in New York City. Her work has appeared on Paste Magazine, Teen Vogue, and Brown Girl Magazine. At any given moment, she can ruminate at length over Friday Night Lights, the University of Michigan, and the perfect slice of pizza. You may call her Rad.

Watch Breathe: Into The Shadows on Amazon Prime

Football news:

Shakhtar forward Moraes before the semi-final with Inter: the Matches we always want
Ocampos on Sevilla – Manchester United semi-final: Historical confrontation. We're really hungry
Chelsea can give Bakayoko on loan to Milan for 3 million euros with the right to buy out for 35 million^. Milan intends to return Chelsea midfielder Tiemoue Bakayoko, who played for the Rossoneri on loan in the 2018/19 season
Lopetegui Pro 1-0 with Wolverhampton: Sevilla deserved to win against a very good team
Kashtru about the defeat of Basel: a Difficult match, but Shakhtar dominated almost all the time
Nuno about 0:1 with Sevilla: Disappointment. Wolverhampton conceded too often in the final minutes
Immobile about Newcastle: They called my agent when the sheikhs bought the club