Breathe review: R Madhavan and Amit Sadh’s crime thriller will change the digital content scene for the better

Share it:

Breathe chronicles the journey of Danny Mascarenhas (R Madhavan) from an average Joe to a serial killer, after a terminal illness leaves his 6-year old son dangling between life and death.

The Indian entertainment scenario is all set to strike gold with Breathe. I was lucky enough to watch the first four episodes of the upcoming Amazon Prime web series at an exclusive screening and was left stunned by the show’s brilliance. The main cast of Breathe features R Madhavan, Amit Sadh, Sapna Pabbi, Neeta Kulkarni and it’s been directed by Mayank Sharma. Let’s get to the point right away…

What’s it about

Breathe chronicles the journey of Danny Mascarenhas (R Madhavan) from an average Joe to a serial killer, after a terminal illness leaves his 6-year old son dangling between life and death. The little one’s only chance at survival is receiving an organ transplant. However, he ranks too low on the organ recipient list to celebrate his next birthday. But then, miraculously, he starts climbing up the list, as one by one organ donors begin to die in Mumbai. Kabir Sawant (Amit Sadh) is an alcoholic cop who has his own demons to deal with. But then he crosses paths with Danny and thus begins a riveting game of cat-and-mouse.

What’s hot

Where do I even begin? I am desperate to praise the main cast, but I have to cheer for the writing first. Mayank Sharma has written and directed this show, which should take the internet by a storm when it begins streaming. Mayank etches out characters with an unbelievable finesse. The dilemma he puts you in, when it comes to picking sides between the good and the bad, is poetic irony. His protagonist, Danny, is a good man – he is religious, loves his son and mother, brings flowers to his dead wife’s grave, brushes off sexual advances from a younger neighbour and takes his date on a long romantic walk on the beach. Yet he is the villain here. On the other hand, Kabir is a bad man. He is arrogant and stubborn, and while he is not a corrupt cop himself, he helps his corrupt seniors in making some quick money. He drinks profusely even on job and arrives drunk at his estranged wife’s work place mocking her for getting over their child’s death “too quickly.” And yet, he is the closest thing to a hero we have. So you see, it is almost impossible to root for any one character in the first four episodes. And that is called brilliant writing. Take a bow, Mayank! The plot doesn’t immediately take off but develops at its own pace, getting creepier by the minute.

The first masterstroke by the makers was casting R Madhavan as the menacing main lead. The actor is phenomenal in the thriller that is Breathe. Who knew Maddy from Rehnaa Hai Terre Dil Mein is also capable of sending shivers down the spine. Madhavan, as Danny, has an unkempt beard, wears the same clothes for many scenes. He, what they say in acting, becomes the character. He never gives a single menacing expression which is characteristic of all the serial-killers that we have seen so far and yet he is scarier than many of the best negative characters that we have seen on screen. Amit Sadh is a revelation. Madhavan delivers a tough act to follow and Amit doesn’t disappoint. He, too, is least bothered about vanity. A grieving parent, a sharp cop, a depressed alcoholic – he gets the best characteristics that an actor could ask for in a role and delivers. Kudos! Sapna Pabbi doesn’t get much to do in the first few episodes but she has more to work with after the fourth episode. She is graceful, charming and awesome in the limited scenes that she has been assigned to in the first half.

The Indian entertainment industry has a lot of potential. In fact, we have produced some great ideas on screen but have repeatedly failed when it comes to execution. Breathe might sound silly and make no sense to many but it manages to convince through skillful execution. It is the league of series like How to Get Away With Murder and Dexter that dished up average fare with brilliant execution. Breathe rivets you through tight shots, manic background music and terrific performances.

What’s not

Some things in the show are really hard to believe. The murders, for example, look too easy to commit. However, the sheer brilliance with which it is shown is convincing. Digital audience has the attention span of a child. At a time when any series is one boring episode away from losing its audience, Breathe risks it with the second episode that goes awry before hitting it out of the park in the last 5 minutes. The twists are predictable, but again, it is presented so well on screen that you are left cheering. And I really feel that each episode could have been shorter by at least 10 minutes. Well, I am definitely struggling to find flaws here. But let us not forget that I have only watched the first four episodes. There is a possibility that everything goes downhill from there. However, I hope that is not the case.

What to do

If you are one of those who always complains as to how Indian content lags behind its Western counterpart, let Breathe change that perception. It’s the benchmark of content that Indian cinema, TV and digital platforms should strive for. Breathe comes as a whiff of fresh air after a suffocating barrage of uninspiring content. Watch it!

Rating:4.0 out of 5

Share it:

Bollywood Celebs



Post A Comment: