When it began its innings last December, many viewers were skeptical about Dunk and its motives. However, after 2 months, it has surely become ‘the next big thing’ with a storyline that is closer to reality, performances that are out of this world and direction that keeps you on the edge of your seats. Kudos to the actors namely Naumaan Ijaz, Bilal Abbas, Sana Javed, and Yasra Rizvi, writer Mohsin Ali and director Badar Mehmood for coming up with a project that elevates the standard of Pakistani dramas, as well as producers Fahad Mustafa and Dr. Ali Kazmi for standing behind their team despite negative publicity.
Since Haider (Bilal Abbas) found out that his fiancée Amal (Sana Javed) framed Professor Humayun (Naumaan Ijaz) so that he can be acquitted, he has been having sleepless days and nights. With his wedding day approaching fast, he is having doubts over Amal’s character, whose baseless allegation drove an innocent man to suicide, made his wife a widow and took away his daughter’s father forever. He wanted to confide in his family but they were all busy in the festivities, leaving him alone and confused. On the other hand, Saira (Yasra Rizvi) gets her hand on the suicide note her husband left, and couldn’t stop her tears from coming out until her daughter’s presence made her change her mind.
The Good – First-rate performances give Dunk the edge over others!
No other actor would have been able to play Haider better than Bilal Abbas; the way he emoted during every scene especially the distrust he showed on seeing Amal as a bride was just perfect. He knows that his fiancée did everything to save him, but was it the best way to handle the matter? Keeping him in the dark eventually made him turn towards the darkness, one that would confuse him about the past, present, and future. Sana Javed matched him every step of the way; every step she takes, every dialogue she delivers now seems dubious because she trapped an innocent man in a vicious manner and anybody in his right mind wouldn’t trust her if he knew the truth. In her mayun dress, she looked like a vision but all the smile and happiness in the world wasn’t enough for Bilal Abbas to fall in love with her.
And then there was Yasra Rizvi, who at times seems to be in the Churails mode and then in the Dunk mode. The Churails mode will go away in a few days but it’s the Dunk mode that has bowled over the audience. The scene where she tells her sister that she will not leave her house, and is in the mood for tea is so natural that you feel for the widow. Also, the moment she opens her late husband’s diary and starts reading it, that’s one of those moments that every writer and director wants to have in their checklist. She not only cried like a maniac who has just lost her husband but connected with the viewers as well, some of them must have shed a tear or two. The moment her daughter brought her water, she realized her error and stopped crying but by then, her fandom must have multiplied three times, at least.
The Bad – In the era of mobile phones, not being able to talk to the family is unbelievable!
The scene where Bilal Abbas’s Haider wants to confide in his family was well-executed but somehow seemed dragged. In an era when everyone has at least one mobile phone, when talking to anyone around the world is a possibility, when some people can’t just stop chatting, it seemed highly unbelievable that no one had time for the groom. His mother (Laila Wasti) should have gone with him because mothers have the tendency to deduce whether the son or daughter is genuinely upset or not. Why the father (Shahood Alvi) was so disgruntled is also not clear; he should have been there for his son who was getting married for the first time!
The Verdict – Dunk is surely becoming the play we wanted it to be!
What began as a crusade against sexual harassers in our society has now turned into a thriller in which the viewers know the antagonist, the motives, and above all, the reason behind the act. The biggest thing that is keeping them on the edge of their seat is the mystery about what will happen next to Haider, Amal, Saira, and others, in the wake of Professor Humayun’s suicide. Will Amal marry Haider and make his life miserable? Will Haider back out of the marriage and set both the families on a warring path? Will Saira take matters into her own hand and ask for the investigation to continue in her husband’s case? Dunk is just more than these three characters and the coming episodes will decide whether it is a step in the right direction or a misstep that shouldn’t have been taken!