“Dunk” is not the only show to currently be suffering from this “illness.” It’s an illness that’s plaguing several of the top-notch, quality shows that bring viewers back each week with vested interest. These are shows with quality actors, writers, directors and interesting stories. Yet, all of our best Pakistani dramas seem to be suffering from this ailment at present: Dragging, lagging, repetition – whatever word you choose to describe it, it all boils down to the same concept, that there are simply too many episodes to tell a story that’s not that complicated. “Dunk” stars Bilal Abbas Khan, Sana Javed, Azekah Daniel, Fahad Sheikh, Nauman Ejaz, Yasra Rizvi, Shahood Alvi, Saife Hassan, Laila Wasti and many other talented actors. The show has been written by Mohsin Ali and directed by Badar Mehmood, telling the tale of a false sexual harassment case and depicting the fall-out on the accuser and the accused afterwards.
In the last episode, we saw Amal (Sana Javed) once again place a false sexual harassment allegation, this time on Haider (Bilal Abbas Khan). This has become her “usual,” a weapon she brandishes against those who get in her way. Sana Javed’s performance as Amal is excellent, there is no doubt about this. Quite honestly, even Bilal Abbas and Azekah Daniel are performing wonderfully. The problem isn’t the performances, it’s what’s actually happening – which is nothing. In episode 22, absolutely nothing of consequence happens. Everyone is discussing what Haider did while Amal sits in “mourning,” stone-faced, repeating the story of her attack to all who will hear, playing innocent and brainwashing all these dim individuals around her. Fortunately, one thing of consequence happens this week, that being that Minal (Azekah Daniel) proves that she sees through Amal’s nonsense stories. She confronts Haider, demanding to know why he didn’t trust her and why he put their relationship on the line like this. She demands to know why their relationship was so weak that he couldn’t rely on her for anything – and this is a breath of fresh air coming from Minal as she voices the concerns the audience has had all along, wondering why Haider has not confided the truth in his wife! This is a great moment, because it puts Haider in his place and cements the idea in his head that this mess has been created by his own actions, something which could have been avoided had he actually confided in someone instead of covering up for Amal this entire time. Azekah Daniel and Bilal Abbas perform very well in this scene.
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Unfortunately, it’s the only stand-out scene. Nothing else of consequence happens. Nothing else important takes place. Sure, Haider’s mother calls him and reaffirms his faith in him. Sure, Sana Javed gives a great performance as Amal while she brainwashes Safeer (Fahad Sheikh) against his brother. But between these two scenes and Minal and Haider’s scene, this takes up all of 10 minutes. What else happens during the remaining 30 minutes? “Main hur jeeva ke mar jaavan…..” over and over again with images of people crying and being frustrated. What’s the point? Why can’t 30 minutes of content be included in these episodes and the number of episodes be reduced by 2-3 episodes? Wouldn’t that make for a stronger show? As it is, there have been more filler episodes in “Dunk” than quality ones and this is only adding to the repetition. Wake up, writers/producers/directors: We are tired of this.