“Dunk” is a drama which offers a different story for viewers, one that not only cashes in on the Me Too movement, but also offers a different perspective: What if the allegation made is false and the irreparable damage done is the true injustice? The story is an interesting one, as while we all would love to amplify and support female victims, allegations are simply that – allegations. “Innocent before proven guilty” is a concept that has long since been thrown out the window with the surge of social media justice without substantial proof being provided. Starring Bilal Abbas Khan, Sana Javed, Fahad Sheikh, Azekah Daniel, Yasra Rizvi, Saife Hassan, Shahood Alvi and others in important roles, the drama has been written by Mohsin Ali Shah and directed by Badar Mehmood. Now while this is a promising storyline and much of the show has successfully painted this picture, the story did fall off-track in the middle, turning into a twisted love quadrangle of sorts. However, the show took a turn and came back to the real point – the issue of sexual harassment allegations, the falsity of the claim and getting true justice. Unfortunately, the show has swerved once again and not only fallen off track, but has become gratingly repetitive.
In episode 21, we see little of value. Haider (Bilal Abbas Khan) has been tossed out after being accused by Amal (Sana Javed) of attempted rape. Of course, not even one individual in this entire family or Haider’s in-laws raise an eyebrow. But why would they? Haider is the perfect, mute punching bag. I’ve said it before and will continue to say this – Haider is his own worst enemy. He has remained silent about Amal all along, not only with his own family, but also with Minal (Azekah Daniel), his wife. Amal continues to play victim, turning Safeer (Fahad Sheikh) against his brother with her innocent act, painting Haider out to be a monster not only within their own family, but also in front of his in-laws. While Amal remains under Safeer’s “protection,” Minal returns home with her brother. Even more frustrating is that while Haider goes to speak to Minal at her brother’s home, he thwarts his efforts and later, listens to Minal give him an earful about not showing his face. This, again, is where Haider’s silence becomes irritating. It’s not difficult to say “I was outside your house and your brother wouldn’t let me come in.” It is really not difficult. It’s not difficult to say “I didn’t marry Amal, because I found out her allegations were false and I felt responsible for Professor Hamayun’s murder by supporting her.” It’s not that difficult. It’s not difficult to say “Amal has been harassing me and turning my family against me with her lies.” It’s not difficult. Amal isn’t as much of a villain as the writers would have us believe. It’s simply that Haider is too much of a victim to successfully shake off Amal’s plans. One word to his wife and he would have had solid backing. But alas, we are treated to not one, but two episodes of more false allegations of sexual harassment, this time completely unnecessary.
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It’s been stated by writers in the past that production houses require a certain number of episodes and I’ve only recently written about this in a review for another drama (Raqs E Bismil). Viewers would be much happier without the dragged-out episodes, because we would have a solid, well-written show worthy of recommending to others. The “filler” episodes and unnecessary storylines only serve to put a blot on an otherwise interesting show. Saira (Yasra Rizvi) is nowhere to be seen and she has not been seen in the past two episodes, which is ridiculous. Where is Saira’s justice? Where is Ghana’s justice? In the last two episodes, we have not been given even one scene cutting to any discussion about this. Sana Javed is doing a wonderful job as Amal, she really is. This is a brilliant performance. However, this much focus being placed on the accuser – the show would be better served putting more focus on the victim’s family rather than the family politics surrounding Amal and Haider.