“Dunk” continues with its narrative on sexual harassment – and more specifically, who does one believe when such cases occur? Ideally, one should side with the victim and show support. But what if it isn’t clear who the victim is? “Dunk” stars Noman Ejaz, Bilal Abbas Khan, Sana Javed, Azekah Daniel, Fahad Sheikh, Shahood Alvi, Saife Hassan and others in a tale that revolves around sexual harassment allegations. The story has been written by Mohsin Talat and directed by Badar Mehmood. This is a show that toes a very dangerous line, because women are already not taken seriously in South Asian society, so it’s a subject that has to be handled with great sensitivity.
In episode 4, this drama shows the flip-side of the events from episode 3. While in episode 3, it seemed clear-cut that Amal (Sana Javed) was lying about Professor Hamayun’s (Noman Ejaz) sexual harassment attempts, episode 4 shows things from Amal’s point of view. Her version of events claim that she was called into the professor’s office to discuss Haider’s (Bilal Abbas Khan) case. But she states that in exchange for his silence, Hamayun asked for favors, which Amal denied and ran out of the room. This provides viewers with a different version, now left wondering who is telling the truth. However, if this is supposed to be a great mystery, it’s not carried out effectively. Haider is seen looking worried about Amal’s testimony the entire time – and not in a way that a protective fiancé would be, rather the way someone who is guilty of wrongdoing would be. So right away, it’s clear that Amal and Haider are not being honest and Hamayun’s version of events are the truth. If this had been a “true” mystery, it would have been much more interesting, but there are too many red flags from the get-go that make it clear that the accused is actually the victim.
The young actor playing Hamayun’s daughter is really sweet and stands out, as does Yasra Rizvi as Hamayun’s wife. She’s doing a great job playing a worried wife torn between reassuring her husband and protecting her daughter. Noman Ejaz is also doing a wonderful job performing and the audience sympathy does go to him due to this performance. And yet, after four episodes, watching “Dunk” isn’t necessarily an entertaining experience. It’s not that the show isn’t well-made, rather it’s just not being presented well and the pace of the show is not as gripping as it should be for a story like this. It’s almost as though the director and writer have shown all their cards too early. Will things pick up in upcoming episodes? With some family drama brewing between Haider and Amal’s families, it’s likely that the story will pick up. But we still have to hope that with a storyline like this, it doesn’t take a turn for the dramatic and move away from the actual issue (like what happened with “Ruswai”).