“Dunk” has come full-circle with this episode, taking the theme of sexual harassment and bringing it back with the female lead, once again, accusing an innocent of harassment. “Dunk” has presented a convincing narrative, one that presents the side of “What if?” What if the victim isn’t the victim and the perpetrator isn’t always guilty? It’s a slippery slope, but “Dunk” has managed to pull it off successfully by giving depth to the characters, particularly the female lead, a sociopath. Starring Sana Javed, Bilal Abbas Khan, Azekah Daniel, Yasra Rizvi, Fahad Sheikh, Saife Hassan, Shahood Alvi, Laila Wasti and others, “Dunk” has been written by Mohsin Ali and directed by Badar Mehmood.
Episode 20 of “Dunk” is a one-track episode. While Amal (Sana Javed) and Haider (Bilal Abbas Khan) continue to face off, Amal has planted yet another seed of mistrust into Safeer (Fahad Sheikh) and Nawaz’s (Shahood Alvi) minds by her reveal that he has opened the case once again. With this, Saba (Laila Wasti) instructs Haider to find his own place so their relationships can remain intact. This is great advice, but unfortunately, it comes too late! Amal takes advantage of an empty house and plots and prepares her next move while the family is out. Haider meets with Zaffar (who is a wonderful character!), discussing his next move to clear Professor Hamayun’s name before returning home – and finding Amal alone in the house. Amal not only confesses how she set up Professor Hamayun, but also recreates the scene and springs into action when her family arrives at the door. She accuses Haider of attempted rape, sending the family, once again, into chaos.
“The truth will set you free.” The truth will set you free – it’s a pretty simple concept, isn’t it? And yet, out of some distorted idea of chivalry or loyalty or respect (which is it?), Haider refuses to be set free. In fact, in his silence, he has single-handedly given all the power to Amal to completely destroy him and that’s exactly what she’s doing. In this entire scenario, had Haider confided in even one person, just one individual, single person, this scenario would not have played out this way. It’s Haider’s own silence that has turned the entire family against him, because he has played directly into Amal’s hands. One may take pause and say “Well, Haider doesn’t realize how evil Amal is.” Valid, but over the past few episodes, Amal has made her true personality pretty visible to Haider. At the very least, he should have confided in his mother and his wife, two women who not only trust him, but are unwilling to see the bad in him. These women know who Haider is at heart and they certainly would have believed him. And isn’t it in Haider’s own best interest to fill Minal in so that her friendship with Amal is “finished”? His own wife feeds information to Amal in her naivete. How did Amal know that she had limited time to act? Minal told her she would be coming back home that night – and so Amal hatched her plan immediately. It’s frustrating watching a story like this, because Haider is a genuinely good person, but he is his own worst enemy by remaining silent. It’s his own silence that has put him in this situation. Had he told his family the reason for calling off the wedding immediately, the situation would be very different. And yet, the situation still could have been very different at any point in this journey – even earlier that day when his mother asked him to consider moving to a new home. But at this point, after this accusation, would anyone even believe Haider if he does tell the truth? He has dug his own grave.
“Dunk” is not a particularly fast-paced show. It tends to be on the lines of “sluggish” at points. And yet, the story is interesting enough to keep the audience coming back each week. Sana Javed owns this episode, playing the sociopathic Amal down to perfection. Amal does not flinch or blink and can change her demeanor on demand – and Sana Javed makes this character so believable in her emptiness, her emotional unavailability and her drive for revenge. Of course, Bilal Abbas Khan is wonderful as well as a man seeking to rectify his mistakes. Will Minal believe Haider’s explanations or has Amal already succeeded in her plan? We will have to wait and watch!