“Dunk” is a show that explores the consequences of a false allegation of sexual harassment and what the fall-out of such a situation could look like. While the momentum of the show has slowed down in recent episodes, the show has been focusing on the emotional aspects after Professor Hamayun’s death. Written by Mohsin Ali and directed by Badar Mehmood, “Dunk” stars Bilal Abbas Khan, Sana Javed, Azekah Daniel, Yasra Rizvi, Noman Eijaz, Saife Hassan, Shahood Alvi, Tara Mehmood and others.
Straight off, one could easily say episode 18 is not a particularly impactful episode. There are a handful of scenes of consequence, otherwise the episode feels repetitive and serves as a filler – maybe to cash in on high TRPs. Amal (Sana Javed) continues her attempts to cause trouble in Minal (Azekah Daniel) and Haider’s (Bilal Abbas Khan) marriage – but that ship has sailed and Haider makes it clear that he is dedicated to his new wife. He doesn’t fail to point out the lengths to which he went through to protect Amal when she was his fiancé and rubs salt on Amal’s wounds by stating that Minal is his wife, so he’ll go even further to protect her. Amal is not happy hearing this, but there’s something so icy and “distant” about Amal’s expressions, something for which full credit must be given to Sana Javed. She keeps Amal in a certain zone, a woman who knows how to soften her expression when around those she wants to convince of her naivety – and hardens it when exposing her true self. It’s just another demonstration of what a good actress Sana Javed is.
Meanwhile, Professor Hamayun’s assistant visits Saira (Yasra Rizvi) and Ghana and is horrified to see slurs and offensive messages written on Saira’s outside wall. There’s something so kind about this character and he really represents the “good” left in this world as he continues to attempt to shield and protect this mother-daughter duo from harm. After leaving, he visits the Professor played by Tara Mehmood (not clear on her name) and encourages her not only to visit Saira again, but also indirectly nudges her towards re-opening the case. This scene is a real game-changer with the professor now geared up, particularly after visiting Saira and realizing her circumstances, to opening the case again – this time with the police.
The pairing of Minal and Haider has become a real pull for “Dunk” viewers and what’s great to see is how their relationship is progressing. When Minal asks Haider to trust her with his thoughts and secrets, he does exactly that. While he isn’t willing to expose Amal (yet), he does confide in Minal about his worry for Saira (Yasra Rizvi) and little Ghana. Minal proves to be the perfect partner, not only reassuring Haider, but also supporting him in making amends. The two visit Saira and Ghana to apologize, again, but are shocked when they see the writing on the wall outside of Saira’s house.
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As previously stated, there are only a few scenes of consequence here, one being the scene with Tara Mehmood’s character visiting Saira and the other being the scene with Minal’s support of Haider as she encourages him to visit. Otherwise, we have seen all these scenes in some form in previous episodes. An Amal-Haider confrontation twice in each episode is not necessary and isn’t driving home any point. We get it, they are opposing each other now. In fact, there are some issues with Amal’s characterization in how the show, at times, tries to show her as a super-villain. While Amal and Haider were engaged, all of their friends know how Haider abandoned her at the altar. Why then would Amal’s friend ask Amal about her opening the case after seeing Haider there in the previous episode? Armed with this information, Amal has become a sort of character with eyes and ears everywhere – which isn’t realistic. Still, the performances do make “Dunk” a winner, particularly those of Sana Javed, Bilal Abbas Haider and Azekah Daniel. Yasra Rizvi is wonderful too, but has been suffering from a lack of screen time. This episode does have its moments and episode 19 looks promising with the case being reopened. There’s also some family drama on the horizon with Amal’s family intending to “keep an eye” on Minal.