“Dunk” has seen little movement over the last bulk of episodes, so when the story finally began to move in the right direction last week, viewers gave a cheer, excited to see Haider (Bilal Abbas Khan) fight Amal (Sana Javed) in court with the support of other strong characters. Unfortunately, with the latest episode and the preview for next week’s episode, we are moving a circle, the story simply refusing to move forward in any logical way. Starring Bilal Abbas Khan, Sana Javed, Azekah Daniel, Fahad Sheikh, Yasra Rizvi, Laila Wasti, Shahood Alvi, Saife Hassan, Gul E Rana and others, the story has been written by Mohsin Ali Shah and has been directed by Badar Mehmood.
Episode 27 can be summed up fairly quickly – Safeer (Fahad Sheikh) visits Haider (Bilal Abbas Khan) twice in the episode to throw out meaningless words while Haider, instead of explaining anything, stares at him blankly, declaring that he will defend Minaal (Azekah Daniel) as she’s his wife and……that’s it. Saba (Laila Wasti) finds herself under immense pressure with the opposition she faces from Nawaz (Shahood Alvi) and Safeer and Haider visits her to comfort her. Amal (Sana Javed) declares open war on Saba. Minaal and Haider visit Saira (Yasra Rizvi) and tell her that she may have to appear in court – and she refuses. In the preview for episode 28, we see that Haider will decide to take back the case. Why? Why are we back to square one? Absolutely nothing of consequence happens in this episode. Absolutely nothing.
If there’s something I would like to praise about this show, it’s the effort each and every actor has put into their roles. Bilal Abbas Khan shines in every single role, stealing the show as Haider, along with Sana Javed who is just brilliant as the ruthless Amal. Both these actors are naturals while enacting very much complex, difficult characters. Laila Wasti is fantastic as Saba, particularly in the last few episodes as Saba begins to realize that she needs to stand up for her son. Shahood Alvi has some great moments this week as Nawaz and Haider have an exchange and Nawaz still fails to understand his son. Azekah Daniel is endearing as Minaal. Each and every actor is giving their best – but what can they do when they aren’t given much material to work with?
Reviewing “Dunk” has become a mildly difficult process in the past ten episodes. This is not a show with a lot happening – and if something is happening, it’s not necessarily worth discussing. This is not a slight on the actors, it’s a stern message to television channels, directors, producers and writers that we as an audience are no longer interested in this TRP game. It is ruining the essence of every drama with potential. “Dunk” has such a strong story, a concept which came across as intriguingly different – and yet, it has become stagnant over the past….10 episodes? Is it necessary to drag each and every show out to 30 plus episodes? Why can’t the creatives just stick to the topic at hand, flesh out some strong episodes and present audiences with a story that will be memorable in the next ten years….or even two? Isn’t the goal of a show to be memorable? Unfortunately, “Dunk,” despite its incredibly strong, talented cast (all of which are putting forth their best efforts), is following along the lines of “Cheekh,” a show which found itself scrubbed from the minds of viewers due to the treatment it suffered in its latter half. Assuming there are only a few episodes of “Dunk” left, is it possible for this show to redeem itself?