The moment everyone was waiting for in Dunk arrived and took the spotlight away from the younger actors, and stayed on the veterans who were on top of their game. It was an episode for the fans of Shahood Alvi and Saife Hasan, two of the finest actors of our times who gave their best to a scene that demanded nothing less. Yes, Bilal Abbas remained his classy self but for the first time since the death of Professor Humayun’s character, it was the seniors who had a field day. Kudos to the writer Mohsin Ali for his power-packed dialogues and director Badar Mehmood for his perfect execution, which made the ninth episode of Dunk the most powerful one, yet!
Ever since Haider (Bilal Abbas) found out the truth about his fiancée Amal (Sana Javed), he wanted to opt-out of the wedding, and he did in front of his parents, and elder brother. The father (Shahood Alvi) refused to believe that he was being serious at first but when Haider refused to budge, he broke the news to his younger brother (Saife Hasan) who was about to leave for the venue with his dolled up family. Instead, they all ended up at Haider’s place where all Amal’s father wanted to know was the reason behind Haider’s refusal. Since he didn’t reveal what Amal did to the Professor, Haider opted to leave the house when his father banished him from it. He landed at a friend’s place who was leaving for Haider’s wedding and stayed there till the matter cooled down, i.e. if it cooled down.
The Good – It was a battle of veterans, which neither lost!
Shahood Alvi and Saife Hasan are two of the finest actors in Pakistan, and to watch them play brothers in Dunk is nothing short of a delight. In the ninth episode, they both clashed after the son of the former refused to marry the daughter of the latter, and sparks flew all around. Both the actors used all their experience to play helpless fathers, one of the groom who refused to go ahead with the wedding and one of the bride who had no clue why her fiancé was behaving strangely. When the dejected elder brother (Shahood Alvi) was done with his pleading and banishing his son, it was the younger one’s chance to steal the spotlight, and that’s exactly what he did. The way he told his other nephew to drop his family at home and with folded hands requested his brother not to accompany him to the venue was stuff ‘dreams are made of’.
Even when the elders were dominating the proceedings, Bilal Abbas gave his best in whatever scenes he had. There was a sequence where he shared a mother-son moment with Laila Wasti and the two had excellent chemistry that must have reminded some of the viewers of their mothers; the way his eyes displayed both anger and shock in Amal’s presence was priceless so was his last scene where he ends up in his friend’s house, and asks him to politely stop asking questions, if he wanted him to stay. He is a gem of an actor and must follow the path taken by the likes of Naumaan Ijaz and Shahood Alvi, if he wants to keep rocking his fans, otherwise, there are many examples of successful actors who went down the drain due to their foolish career choices. Sana Javed on the other hand carried the 'shock' expression in such a manner that a) she looked pretty in every frame, and b) she was in shock for whatever happened to her shouldn't happen to anyone else. But that's the way karma works, doesn't it?
The supporting cast led by Yasra Rizvi also didn’t disappoint and even though she had fewer scenes, she delivered a strong performance. It is a welcome change to watch Gul e Rana as a ‘good’ character for she made all hate her in Pyar Ke Sadqay and is doing the same in Raqs e Bismil. Salma Hassan, Tara Mahmood and Fahad Sheikh were also equally good and one must be ready for the 'mother of all twists’ in the next episode when Fahad Sheikh’s character migrates to the major league, from being in the minor one for nine episodes. One must also mention Waqar Ali’s OST and Background Score where Naeem Abbas Rufi’s voice does wonders, especially in the scenes where there is no dialogue!
The Bad – The strange behavior of the mother was not to be forgotten!
There was nothing wrong with the episode except for the fact that the mother’s reaction was similar to an animal in a Sherlock Holmes story. In The Adventure of the Silver Blaze, the master detective told the Scotland Yard detective that one must not forget the strange behavior of the dog that night. When the detective replied that the dog did ‘nothing’ in the night, Holmes was quick to point out that 'that was the curious incident.’ Similarly, when Haider’s father was sending him out of the house for refusing to marry his niece, the mother’s strange behavior was not to be forgotten, for she should have tried to say something, do something especially after Haider tried to tell her his ordeal in a cryptic way earlier in the episode!
The Verdict – Power-packed performances make Dunk a not-to-be-missed affair
With every passing episode, Dunk is becoming something of a modern-day classic; the first few episodes revolved around a sexual harassment incident that actually happened but later turned into the fight between good and evil, the good being Bilal Abbas’ Haider and the bad being Sana Javed’s Amal. Both the actors have done a fabulous job; the staring contest they had when he was descending the stairs and she was looking in his direction was worth a watch. With Shahood Alvi and Saife Hasan raising the bar higher, it would be impossible for even the people behind Dunk to match the explosive sequence, and unless something very out-of-this-world takes place, this episode would remain the best yet.