Throwback Thursday: Before Breathe Into The Shadows, a look back at R Madhavan’s Breathe Season 1

Abhishek Bachchan’s Breathe: Into The Shadows will be out tomorrow and the crime-thriller promises yet another exciting ride. From the trailer, we know that the show is about a father (Abhishek Bachchan), being blackmailed after his daughter was abducted. A psychiatrist by profession, he teams up with Season 1’s Kabir Sawant (Amit Sadh), and together, the two attempt to catch the killer.

Breathe: Into The Shadows is a follow-up series to Breathe Season 1 that was released in 2018, starring R Madhavan and Amit Sadh in the lead roles. Sapna Pabbi, Shriswara, Atharva Vishwakarma, Hrishikesh Joshi and Neena Kulkarni, among others, played supporting roles.

Breathe Season 1 told the story of a father who would do whatever it takes to save his son. Even if it meant killing others or laying down his own life. R Madhavan played Danny Mascarenhas, a widower whose son, Josh, has a lung disease and has about six months to live. In order to survive, Josh needs an urgent lung transplant. The problem is that he is fourth on the list of organ recipients and getting a donor who matches his rare AB-negative blood group is extremely difficult.

In order to give his son a new life, Danny sets out on the path of crime. He begins killing the donors, one by one, so that Josh moves up on the waiting list and gets a transplant in time. All goes as per the plan until the last donor whom Danny must kill is revealed to be Ria Ganguly (Sapna Pabbi), ex-wife of Senior Inspector Kabir Sawant, played by Amit Sadh. Towards the last episode, Sawant catches Danny red-handed as he attempts to murder Ria. Sawant kills the criminal but also fulfils his dying wish, of saving Josh.

Breathe Season 1 worked wonders and was loved by the audience and critics alike. Some of the credit goes to the fact that it came out at such a time, in January 2018, when only a handful of Indian web series had been released. Breathe was Amazon India’s second Indian original, first one being Inside Edge that came out in the year 2017. Thus, for Amazon Prime Video subscribers, Breathe was the first-ever Indian crime-thriller to be released on the streaming platform.

This, however, does not mean that all credit of the show’s success goes to its perfect timing. The content matters too. And Breathe Season 1 had that aplenty.

So, what makes a good crime-thriller? Is it the dialogue, the settings, the background score, the performances or the story? Well, all these factors are crucial, but the most important one is the way the criminal goes after his/her victims. And in Breathe, every kill was a carefully planned move. The show gave an insight into the mind of the criminal by focusing on his planning before each murder. Be it smashing a mannequin’s head or holding his breath in water to see how long it will take to drown a person, Danny does it all. His kills are tricky. He doesn’t only have to kill his victims but also do it in such a way that it looks like an accident. And without damaging their organs. On top of this, there has to be somebody to take the victim straight to the hospital so that their organs can be donated within the permitted time.

Watching Danny, a seemingly simple family man with grey hair, thick glasses and a warm smile, reminded us of Walter White from the show Breaking Bad. Enough comparisons have been drawn between the two shows, which is why Breathe was also termed as India’s response to Breaking Bad.

Moving forward, the show also had several twists that were well-placed. A great twist is, of course, that we do not see coming. And Breathe gave us those several times. Especially the scene where Danny pushes his girlfriend on to the road, resulting in her instant death because she finds out about his criminal activities. In fact, the very first scene shows a young woman committing suicide and recording it on a video for her parents, evoking intrigue as well as terror.

Not just twists, the show also had humour (although limited) placed in such a way that it didn’t seem forced. One of the most hilarious moments, perhaps, was when, while talking about coincidences, a police constable reminds Sawant that Rajkummar Rao did a film named Shahid and Shahid Kapoor did a film named R Rajkumar. Okay, that might not have made you laugh but in the show, it is way funnier.

The superb and gripping storyline, moving at a comfortable pace, was further elevated by the performances. Especially that of R Madhavan and Amit Sadh.

Madhavan was fantastic in his role as Danny. We first saw him playing with his son Josh at the little one’s birthday party. With love in his eyes and a big smile on his face, one could never imagine from the first scene that this is the antagonist. Madhavan, as Danny, is a heartless criminal, as well as a doting dad, whatever the script demands. In one of the scenes, we see him crying in a bathtub and contemplating his actions too. Perhaps the most moving scene of the show.

Then there was Amit Sadh as Kabir Sawant, with his glaring, sad eyes, lamenting the loss of his daughter. He carried a flask wherever he went and regret haunted him. The scenes where Kabir recalls time spent with his late daughter Shreya were emotional as well as eerie. He played the perfect rule-breaker cop who likes to do things his way. And nothing could harm his loved ones as long as he is around.

As Sadh returns as Kabir Sawant in Breathe: Into The Shadows, we can’t wait to see what he has in store for us this time.


The show will be streaming on Amazon Prime Video from July 10.

ALSO READ | Amit Sadh on Breathe series: It has given me a lot, and I gave a lot to it as well

ALSO READ | Breathe Into The Shadows trailer: Abhishek Bachchan tries saving his daughter, Amit Sadh back as Kabir

ALSO WATCH | Abhishek Bachchan opens up on comeback, trolls and love story with Aishwarya

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