There is a shot of the central character of Breathe – Danny (Madhavan) - driving his car on a bustling Mumbai highway and just for a split second, the camera lingers a wee bit longer on a huge wall art – a Big B still from his 70s hit film Deewar. At the outset it’s just one shot that any Big B fan will save to memory, but as Mayank Sharma takes you through his psychological thriller, Breathe, this painting comes back to haunt. Like Deewar was a tale a two brothers – one good and the other bad, in many ways Breathe too is tale of two similar people – two dads – but the similarity ends there and like Deewar, both these characters chart extremely different courses to achieve their means which as the audience will find out are intertwined in a devious plot that will bring them together.

Photo by Phadke, Aparna

Diametrically opposite dads

One dad – a cop, Kabir Sawant (Amit Sadh) loses his little daughter in a freak accident, while the other dad, a football coach Danny (Madhavan) is about to lose his son to a congenital disease. Kabir’s personal life is a mess after his child’s loss and his divorce is draining him emotionally. Danny, on the other hand, plays single dad to perfection and is in a pretty happy space in a relationship. Kabir drowns his misery and loss in alcohol, while Danny starts plotting murders inside a garage. And ironically the viewer sees a wall with “polio - save a life” message each time Danny comes to this area to think of his next victim. Kabir, for all his flaws, is hell bent on connecting seemingly unconnected murders related to organ donation. Danny, for all his external affable and charming persona, goes rogue to get his dying son move up the organ recipient list.

Director's cut

Mayank Sharma manages to weave a rather bizarre plot rather convincingly and takes his viewers through a tautly told story that involves organ donation and to what length a father will go to save his son. While the lead stars – Madhavan, Amit Sadh, Neena Kulkarni and Sapna Pabbi play their roles with ease and conviction. In fact, it's the attention to every little part that makes Breathe engrossing. Every character in the series does justice to his/her roles. Whether it’s Hrishikesh Joshi – Sadh’s partner cop, Shriswara – Madhavan’s doc friend, cops you see in the police station or the actors small but meaningful roles, each one has given it his/her everything. Of course the child artist Atharva Vishwakarma is adorable too.

Breathe, produced by Vikram Malhotra, has managed to tease the curiosity of the viewer in just 5 episodes. What do we expect next? Which dad will be the last man standing? Will the child get the organ? Well, we will just have to breathe easy and wait!