Big Bang Entertainment’s Dunk was always going to be a ‘different’ affair with Naumaan Ijaz, Bilal Abbas and Sana Javed in the lead. However, not even the biggest fans of these actors would have been able to predict that the drama will become so interesting in the coming weeks. Just like the first mid-season finale of How To Get Away With Murder, it threw everything at the audience at the end of the seventh episode, confusing them so much that they don’t know who to believe anymore!
With the suicide of Professor Humayun (Naumaan Ijaz) in the sixth episode, things took a dark turn as no one turned up at the funeral; a masked Haider (Bilal Abbas) saved the day but why was he at the funeral? The question kept the audience intrigued until the climax of the episode where it was disclosed that contrary to what the audience believed, Amal (Sana Javed) accused the professor of sexual harassment on her own, so that he can drop the investigation and exonerate her fiancé. With their wedding taking place, Haider is shown to be in two minds, whether to confront Amal or live with the guilt of being part of Professor Humayun’s suicide.
The Good – Top-notch acting makes Dunk stand out!
Let’s be honest. Viewers were angry at the suicide of Naumaan Ijaz’s character as they wanted him to fight till the end and clear his name. They were also curious as to why the scene where he confronts Sana Javed was muted in the previous episode. But hey, good things come to those who wait and in pure filmi style, it was revealed that a) Haider is innocent, b) Amal isn’t. Both Bilal Abbas and Sana Javed were first-rate in the episode, although Bilal had more scenes, he had more time to emote with his eyes, body movement, and above all, through facial expressions. The way he responded to Azekah Daniel in the car, his frustration on finding out that no one came for the funeral and his anger on realizing that the person he stood with is a liar is only something he could have pulled off.
Come to think of it - Sana Javed is the bad guy here. After playing countless good girl roles, damsel in distress characters, she came out as a badass, who destroyed her professor with her antics and nothing else. So far the viewers felt that Bilal Abbas’ character was the desperate one but in the last episode, she came out as the one who planned everything, except the fact that her fiancé might be overhearing her conversation. The rest of the characters including Gul-e-Rana, Saife Hasan and Shahood Alvi supported her without knowing that they are rooting for the wrong person, and one hopes to see their reaction when they find out the truth. One must mention the guy who played Professor Humayun’s assistant – he hardly had any dialogue in the episode but his expressions were spot-on, especially when he spotted Bilal Abbas’ Haider at the funeral.
The Bad – The funeral proceeding was sad, and a drag!
It might have more to do with Naumaan Ijaz than anything else but somehow the funeral procession looked a little drag to me. The students in his favor didn’t show up either did the media people who are usually looking for occasions to make an appearance. Yes, Bilal Abbas’ entry was a good idea inserted by the makers and kept the story interesting. Also, it seems that Fahad Sheikh is being wasted as the elder brother; after Jalan he should have had a bigger role here instead of just agreeing to his parents and relatives, and giving a pep talk to his younger brother.
The Verdict – From the house of Nand, can come a Dunk anytime!
In 2020, viewers criticized Fahad Mustafa and Dr. Ali Kazmi’s production house for coming up with plays like Jalan and Nand; they even started the New Year criticizing Dunk for being sympathetic towards the alleged harasser. However, as the year 2021 moves into the second month, Dunk is trending on Social Media, the ‘alleged harasser’ is no more in the picture and the twist in the tale took everyone by surprise. Sana Javed undid Ruswai in just one scene, and that scene will go down in history as one of the biggest shockers on local TV.
And yes, Nand is still on the air after crossing its 100th episode but that’s because it is a 7 pm show now, and Dunk is the one that airs in prime time. Both the plays are from Big Bang Entertainment and prove that a production house can offer different flavors, if they have clarity in their mind, and plans. After all, it was the same team (writer Mohsin Ali – director Badar Mehmood) that brought the audience Aisi Hai Tanhai and Ishqiya, and we loved both the plays for showing us the mirror, even if it meant going the long way.