‘Breathe: Into the Shadows’ has bizarre plot, shoddy writing

“Breathe: Into the Shadows” is a sequel of sorts to “Breathe.” Supplied
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Updated 15 July 2020

‘Breathe: Into the Shadows’ has bizarre plot, shoddy writing

CHENNAI: The coronavirus pandemic has spawned a lot of multi-episode web series that sometimes have open endings paving the way for sequels. Months ago, “Breathe” had Indian actor Madhavan playing a desperate father trying to find a donor for his little son who suffers from a serious lung disease. He murders patients on the waitlist so his son’s chances for an organ increase.

Amazon Prime has begun to stream a sequel of sorts for “Breathe.” Titled “Breathe: Into the Shadows,” it is helmed by Mayank Sharma and has an impressive cast including Abhishek Bachchan (Amitabh Bachchan’s son), Nithya Menen and Amit Sadh (the only actor from the earlier series).

Over 12 episodes, “Breathe: Into the Shadows” explores how desperate parents would go to any extent to find their missing children. Supplied

In the latest Amazon Prime offering, Bachchan Jr. plays Avinash Sabharwal, a psychologist. His wife Abha (Menen) is a well-known chef at a star hotel in New Delhi. They have a 6-year-old daughter Siya (Ivana Kaur), who gets kidnapped from a birthday party.

Police inspector Kabir Sawant (Sadh) begins a massive search for the little girl, and after nine long months the kidnapper gets in touch with Sabharwal and asks for a strange ransom. He wants a man to be murdered, a man who is terribly afraid of dirt, dust and germs.

Over 12 episodes, “Breathe: Into the Shadows” explores how desperate parents would go to any extent to find their missing children. According to one study, a whopping 174 children go missing every day in India, and only half of them are found. Siya almost gets into the never-found list, and it is not too clear why her kidnapper waited for such a long time before calling her parents. 

The series is helmed by Mayank Sharma and has an impressive cast including Abhishek Bachchan and Amit Sadh. Supplied

The series is dotted with several such bizarre incidents. For example, we do not understand why the couple do not go to the police, who are already on the case, after the first phone call. And in some instances, we do not understand why the kidnapper wants some men and women to be murdered. The links are not well established.

The reason for the kidnapper’s behavior, explained through a psychological analysis, is not wholly convincing. While the first part had a clear motive for Madhavan’s character to resort to the killings, the sequel lacks such clarity.

And to weave into this whole affair a mythological angle seems farfetched, even ridiculous. The mix of religious symbolism and psychology is outlandish, and the conflict between good and evil is so cliched. The murders have been written with a sensationalist angle.

The series is now streaming on Amazon Prime. Supplied

To add to this, there are several sub-plots: Sawant’s anger that finally lands him on a transfer from Mumbai to New Delhi; his brief affair with a wheelchair-bound girl that is left hanging in the air, probably to give more screen time to Abhishek, who remains as wooden as he has always been. Sadh is no different.

The only highlights in the acting domain are Kaur and Menen. Both are just wonderful, Kaur as a frightened kid and Menen as an anguished mother who throws logic out of the window. They could have been still better, but shoddy writing lets them down. 

Lebanese it girls Nathalie Fanj and Nour Arida join protests in Beirut

Updated 3 min 29 sec ago

Lebanese it girls Nathalie Fanj and Nour Arida join protests in Beirut

DUBAI: On Saturday, thousands took to the streets of Beirut’s Martyrs’ Square in anger to protest against Lebanon’s leaders following the devastating, mushroom-shaped explosion on Aug. 4 that killed over 150, wounded thousands, and left hundreds of thousands homeless. 

Among the protestors was Lebanese fashion blogger and fashion week Dior Beauty ambassador Nathalie Fanj, who documented the demonstrations, which took place not far from the blast site, on her Instagram Stories.

Fanj, who earlier this week wrote she was “devastated” and “scared for her kids” following the deadly blast, posted clips of protesters holding up the Lebanese flag and carrying signs demanding an international investigation against the government that seemingly allowed a stockpile of explosive material to sit unattended at their port for more than six years, only to explode on Tuesday with such power that it was felt more than 120 miles away in Cyprus.

Nathalie Fanj joined protests in Beirut’s Martyrs’ Square on Saturday. (Instagram)

Fanj also reported to her 855,000 Instagram followers that the authorities were allegedly firing at the protesters.

“We were not armed, protesting peacefully and they shot at us and it wasn’t rubber bullets!” she alleged in her Stories. “They were firing at us! As if we’re the corrupt ones stealing and killing!”

Among the protestors demanding justice for the lives lost due to government negligence was model and actress Nour Arida. The model also shared pictures and clips from the demonstrations on her Instagram Stories.

“Today we were in the streets to get back this little angel’s rights,” wrote Arida on Instagram alongside a series of images of the protests and a photo of Alexandra, the 3-year-old girl, who passed away during the blast.

Lebanese model Nour Arida was also among the demonstrators demanding change. (Instagram)

Dubai-based fashion influencer Karen Wazen reposted one of Arida’s images of the demonstrators in Beirut and captioned it: “Every expat is there today in spirit. We want our Lebanon back.” 

Lebanese fine jewelry designer, Ralph Masri, whose pieces are beloved by Celine Dion, also shared footage of protestors gathered in Martyrs’ Square on his social media platform. The designer, whose atelier was destroyed during the blast, wrote there was “no going back.”

A number of public figures are showing solidarity for the Lebanese people. Amal and George Clooney recently donated $100,000 to Lebanese charities, while British hitmaker Dua Lipa urged her 50.1 million Instagram followers to help by donating blood.