“Dunk” has been controversial since its release, depicting a false case of sexual harassment. Despite all the controversy, the show is moving on to tell a different story, one of emotional turmoil, guilt and consequences. The cast includes Noman Ejaz, Bilal Abbas Khan, Sana Javed, Azekah Daniel, Fahad Sheikh, Shahood Alvi, Saife Hassan and many others. The show has been produced by Fahad Mustafa’s Big Bang Entertainment, directed by Badar Mehmood and written by Mohsin Talat.
The bulk of episode 9 is one-track, focusing on Haider (Bilal Abbas Khan) and Amal’s (Sana Javed) marriage. Haider is bogged down under the weight of his actions, feeling guilty for having supported Amal in her accusations, which lead to Hamayun’s death. Haider is torn over this situation, considering Amal hatched her plan out of her desire to protect Haider – and yet, Haider was genuine in his anger and desire to protect Amal, his partner, when he thought she had been Hamayun’s victim. The fact that Amal was dishonest about the alleged harassment and those accusations led to Hamayun’s death has completely turned things around for Haider now. He has no desire to malign Amal or publicly declare what she has done, but he also no longer wishes to marry her. Considering the two are cousins, this obviously plays out as an ugly scene when Haider refuses to marry Amal right as the mehndi function is set to begin, the two families gathering in an emotional moment. It’s particularly difficult for the two brothers, played by Shahood Alvi and Saife Hassan, and their mother (Gul E Rana) as the two children chose this bond themselves. And yet, can anyone blame Haider for this decision? While his family certainly can, the audience wholeheartedly sympathizes with this character who has developed a conscience – or has he always had it? Bilal Abbas Khan does a brilliant job in this episode once again, depicting Haider’s dilemma through his eyes and body language.
There is a strong scene between Anjum (Tara Mehmood) and Saira (Yasra Rizvi). Anjum has a heavy heart over what has happened with Hamayun (Noman Ejaz) and not only does she hold herself responsible, but realizes that Saira also holds her responsible for the sequence of events. Logically speaking, Anjum did not do anything wrong and she only tried to stand up for herself. She never intended any harm. However, it can’t be argued that what transpired after her approaching Hamayun over the videos ultimately led to an absolute tragedy. From Saira’s point of view, she cannot get over the loss of her husband, particularly because his death was due to the fallout of those events. The exchange between these two women is raw, realistic and believable. Tara Mehmood and Yasra Rizvi give stand-out performances in this short 3-minute scene.
This episode is a focused one, setting the stage for upcoming events. The promos for the next episode show the family scrambling to do what’s best for Amal. It’s clear that Amal will find herself married to Safeer (Fahad Sheikh) and these two will have to learn to live with each other as spouses. But will Amal’s truth coming out affect her marriage to Safeer as well? And what will Haider do after this point? Where will his quest for redemption lead him? “Dunk” seemed like a questionable topic initially, but as the show progresses, it’s moving towards a gripping story.