Season 2 of ‘Breathe Into The Shadows’ starts from where the first season ended in 2020. Dr Avinash Sabharwal (Abhishek Bachchan) is in an institution, trying to get past the strangle-hold of J, the dominant aspect of his split personality. A mild-mannered family man, focussed on getting his patients’ mental health better, Avinash is revealed as suffering from schizophrenia. When J takes over, Avinash is oblivious to any of his murderous doings, which halt only when he is incarcerated.
So here we are, in Season 2, with Avinash’s doctors cautiously pleased with his progress, but they can’t say for sure whether he is free of J. Which is wise because our evil pal is just biding his time, and the killings begin again. The media is all agog. Has the Ravan killer, thus named because each murder is tacked against a head, escaped? If so, why are the cops keeping quiet? The number of victims, done to death in different ways, rises. But it doesn’t correspondingly raise any feeling of dread, or fear. That’s the biggest problem with this eight-part series, and this is exactly what had beset the first season. This, and the inclusion of all kinds of unbelievable elements and twists.
Here’s one. At a pitstop in Kannauj in UP, Avinash has to spend a night in the local jail. Which, for reasons never shared with us, is also used to make ‘ittar’: is there really a prison in the town which doubles up as an ittar production house? With its dank implements and large water tanks strewn with rose petals, it makes a great setting for a violent encounter. But there are no connective tissues handed out to us, making it all very haphazard. In a similar vein, a principal female character is seen indulging in an act so gruesome that it boggles the mind: who cares about the whys and hows and wherefores.
It’s not to say that it should be all two plus two makes four. But with this level of implausibility, it is hard to take this second season, created and directed by Mayank Sharma, as seriously as the series takes itself. Abhishek Bachchan comes off the same as he did before, stuck between ferocity and frowns. So does Amit Sadh, the conflicted cop who takes responsibility of a young woman’s accident: he’s got control over his quick-to-anger side, but he remains shut in, only breaking into a smile when in close proximity to the little Sabharwal girl Siya, the one who spent most of her time imprisoned in a dungeon in the first season, and her dog.
While most actors reprise their roles (Saiyami Kher, Shrikant Verma, Hrishikesh Joshi), the one new addition that piques our interest is Naveen Kasturia, a young man grappling with the impact of a terrible childhood, and who finds a kindred spirit in Avinash. He looks like your regular fellow, but he has a hidden side to him, just as the older man. He does make things more interesting, but not as much as his character had the potential for. And you that can see last reveal a mile off. Despite the occasional jump, Breathe season 2 remains a predictable plod.
Breathe Into The Shadows Season 2 cast: Abhishek Bachchan, Amit Sadh, Naveen Kasturia, Saiyami Kher, Shrikant Verma, Hrishikesh Joshi
Breathe Into The Shadows Season 2 director: Mayank Sharma