This episode of Dunk explores the ‘exploding point’ so to speak. It talks about the very moment that bomb drops on the family when they find out that their loved one is accused of sexual harassment. And when something like this happens, people explore the accused with those ‘looks’ and expressions which already hold the accused guilty even when they’re not. Yasra Rizvi does a superb job of depicting pain and discomfort and trying to hide her obvious emotional turmoil. It’s the classic wife act, to act okay despite the world falling apart. She also tries to keep it together for her daughter Ghana who is getting a slight inkling of what’s happening but doesn’t quite get it.
On the flip side, Amal and Haider’s family are now trying to deal with the media spotlight that has come forth as a result of sexual harassment allegations by Amal. It also speaks to the larger context of such an issue being highlighted in the media with the alleged victim’s face plastered all across tv etc – it’s not an easy journey for anyone involved because the crime itself is quite horrible and heinous.
Humayun, played by Noman Ijaz, after facing terrible glances and looks from his friends and watching his face splashed all across television, drives off silently whereas his wife also strolls in silence quietly. Goes without saying that Noman Ijaz is an actor par excellence, and his acting is beyond question.
Pertinent to mention that despite all the crazy social media furor around Dunk, we still don’t know who is telling the truth and right now, as far as viewers are concerned Amal’s character is speaking the truth and the world is on her side.
In the episode there’s some really good writing and execution because now we see there’s his word versus hers. Humayun talks about the ‘incident’ with his wife’ and Amal talks about the same incident with her mother. Both of them have their own versions of ‘truth’ and their own support group for their own reasons. The mother obviously believes her daughter, because you know they’re her child. And the wife believes the husband because she trusts him and knows that he cannot lie.
Bilal Abbas’ character Haider gets into a brawl with his fellow students about Amal and we see that he stands resolutely against any negativity against her. Bilal Abbas as usual is on top of his game and you can see that he’s dug his teeth into this role easily. Some super performances by everyone including Shahood Alvi who plays Haider’s father and schools him abt the trauma everyone is going through. I like how the writer has played with the element of anger & explosive emotions and how they impact everyone & play a very strong role in shaping the outcome in situations like these.
Amal also faces shame and victim blaming from those who are so called ‘well-wishers’ which also shows our society’s regressive attitude towards how victims who speak up about sexual harassment are shamed and hated on by society. Sana Javed as Amal and Salma Hassan as Amal’s mother are both extremely convincing as those who are on the ‘other’ side of the story.
The next big question becomes about the FIR. As we all know the courts and the whole police station thana situation can be quite bleak for both the alleged victim and the alleged abuser and at the end of the second episode we see that Amal says she doesn’t want to file an FIR.
The show is well written and well executed and I’m really looking forward to the upcoming episodes.