Electrified. Excited. Exhilarated.
These words are an exact reflection of how I felt about the Amazon original series “Breathe”. The show got me out of breath on many occasions (no pun intended). As is the case with so many Indian series hovering on the “thriller” genre, I didn’t really have a great deal of expectations from this when I started watching it. I thought it would just be another Indian TV show with very little to offer. But man, was I wrong or what? Everything from the plotline to the production value and acting in the Amazon Original is absolutely breath-taking and spectacular.
The Advent of Streaming Entertainment and Video-on-Demand
Amazon and Netflix are taking over the traditional Indian Television and this is possibly the best time to launch a new web-based show in India. I personally think that this is a great time for digital content makers to showcase their talent on a new medium, and the digital entertainment industry will experience an exponential boom in the next 5 years. India will mimic movements that the west is already going through. The network’s first Original Series “Inside Edge” left a bad taste in my mouth and I think Amazon has redeemed itself with the launch of Breathe.
Unless you live under a giant rock, it is impossible for you to not know about this new Amazon Original. Everyone is talking about it – it is on twitter, on billboards, on YouTube ads and on radio as well. It is everywhere and is impossible to escape. Amazon Prime’s “Breathe” is most definitely taking a stride in the right direction.
An Overview of Breathe
The Amazon Original follows the story of an unconventional police officer trying to piece together the connection between what seems to be a few unconnected deaths of organ donors. Madhavan plays the part of a football coach and a loving father, Danny Mascarenhas, who discovers that his child has a rare genetic disorder called Cystic Fibrosis and is given half a year to live. Madhavan being a doting father, chooses to make a rather drastic decision to secure his child’s life. On the other hand, we have Amit Sadh playing the part of a cop called Kabir Sawant. He is depicted as an emotional wreckage since he just lost his child and is also going through a divorce. This Amazon Original is essentially a psychological thriller and tries to portray the struggle of a seemingly good man turning bad.
Without revealing too much of the plot, I can say that Breathe starts straight away from the third gear. Not wasting too much time in introducing characters, rather the situations pave way for character development in a quick and organic manner. As Danny (Madhavan) finds out on the first episode itself that his son Josh (played by Atharva) has a genetic disorder that’s causing his lungs to fail him, and requires an organ transplant. However, having realized that his son is actually fourth on the organ receiver’s list and has only about six months to live, Danny decides to take matters into his own hands. He decides to make a “kill list” of organ donors in the city and plans to knock them off one by one in quick succession so that his son can be saved.
In the next two episodes we see Danny carefully plotting and executing the deaths of the donors while also establishing the characters and their strengths and weaknesses of both Danny and Kabir. While the first 3 episodes can seem like slow-burn, the fourth episode kicks things off seemingly quicker with Kabir realizing something is amiss. What follows in the coming episodes is a cat-and-mouse chase between Kabir and Danny which is all based on hunches without having any real proof. Now we’re all set for a dazzling series finale that will let us know if we’ve seen the end of Breathe, or if it will be making a comeback anytime soon to take the story forward.
The Good and the Bad
Although I think this series is absolutely deserving of being binge watched, there are some clichés that this original series cannot escape.
A few parts of the show are effectively unsurprising and just not that exciting. The detective abilities that are utilized are just exceptionally simple and may seem like they could’ve been done better. Madhavan’s character of Danny is by all accounts ailing in the planning department and the execution of murders.
In any case, Madhavan pulls everything together with his acting skills and his battle with the idea of killing people is depicted perfectly. Amit also does an awesome job of portraying Kabir, a man in agony, pain and misery. He is an alcoholic and does justice to the role, but a poorly written script works against him. Hrishikesh Joshi plays a fabulous part of a middle-class sub-inspector that stays in your memory until the end of time. Madhavan’s acting will undoubtedly keep you waiting for more. He is the one doing the heavy lifting in this show, and he has certainly nailed it.
What would You do if you were Danny?
While reading some of the other viewers’ reviews of the Amazon Original series, I came across an overwhelming population saying, “I am scared of organ donation now”. At the moment the organ donation rate in India remains at an appalling 0.8 person per million population. Does the Amazon Original have the potential to make people more skeptical about donation? Well, I think not. But, the show does raise awareness about the issue and brings the topic to the forefront of discussions.
The series also gets you thinking– can a good man turn so evil that he would kill for someone he loves? I mean, is it that easy. The character Madhavan plays is still very likeable and this show gives off some serious Breaking Bad vibes. This got me thinking – If I was Danny, would I have done the same? It’s very speculative to think of it in terms of both agreeing to Danny’s actions or disagreeing. Who knows what a person would go through really when they are facing a situation of losing a loved one. Wouldn’t everybody try everything in their hands to do something about it? Well, like I said, it’s all speculative.
Well worth your time
As a conclusion, I did find the Original Series very entertaining because of its originality, the A+ acting and the way the story pans out. The acting in this series is deserving of a standing ovation and could without much of a doubt compete with any international series. The show raises some discomforting, yet important questions and doubts in the minds of viewers. With some people believing that under no circumstance should one kill innocent individuals to save a loved one, others think certain actions in this show can very well be explained and that these actions can be justified.
Breathe very easily bingeable. You can watch all episodes over a weekend if you’re up for it. Start watching Breathe Amazon Prime Original to have your mind-blown.