Review - Breathe Is Madhavan's Own Baazigar
It was Shah Rukh Khan 's quest for honor and justice that made him get away with murder (well, literally!) and even bag all the sympathy in Baazigar .
Now 25 years down the line, Madhavan gets his own Baazigar as he turns into a monster to save the life of his only son and goes on a murderous rampage across the city of Mumbai.
Core pretext of Breathe was revealed in the promo itself. However, after watching the first four episodes of Season 1, you get an idea that there was so much little that was actually exposed in the promo. What you see is something that is exciting, exhilarating and breathtaking, which goes well with the title of Amazon's latest web series, Breathe.
(Spoilers ahead) The character played by Madhavan understands that what he is doing to save the life of his son (Atharva Vishwakarma, adequate) is wrong and he is even willing to confess for his crimes. However, he is also sure that he would do that only after accomplishing the mission of placing his son on the top of the organ receiving list. While this means that donors start meeting with an unexpected death, the man who starts getting the sniff of this is an intelligent but emotionally broken cop (played quite well by Amit Sadh). In the midst of it all, you find yourselves playing the guessing game episode after episode.
While the core subject ensures that what unfolds in front of you is a dramatic thriller, there are emotional moments played well too. The family scene is set fine and though there are Christian stereotypes staring at your face, thankfully it is not overdone after a certain point in time. Meanwhile, the back-story of the cop and his wife (Sapna Pabbi) doesn't really lend much of a suspense element and while you do go along with the play, somehow you want the needle of the drama to point back at Madhavan and his escapades.
Nonetheless, what is interesting other than this are the many conversations that take place between Amit and his junior (Hrishikesh Joshi) as well as the other cops in the department. Yes, you have been a witness to this in several Ram Gopal Varma films (Ab Tak Chappan comes close) but still to have a Mumbaiya drama play in a web series is a nice way to be in touch with the Bollywood scene of things.
Meanwhile, director Mayank Sharma (who has been an Associate Director on Table No. 21 and definitely knows his job) goes about ensuring that Breathe keeps building in momentum. Except for some of the back story elements that could have been tightened, he keeps the pace right as you follow Madhavan in his journey from one victim to another. Especially exciting is the entire sequence of events centered on the third murder which is that of an aspiring actress. You have to see it to believe it, and this is where the Baazigar reference comes across as the strongest too.
Mayank is supported well by his composer Alokananda Dasgupta who keeps the narrative further exciting with her background score. As for the set design, cinematography, sound design and shoot at real locations, everything fits in well to give Breathe a polished look that could have well propelled the storytelling to the big screen as well.
In that aspect, it is good to see Abundantia partnering well with Amazon to come up with content like Breathe which indeed fulfills its promise of taking Indian web series to the next level. As actors, the ever reliable Madhavan pairs up well with a confident Amit Sadh and now one waits to see how from this mid-point, the next four episodes play on.