The highly anticipated Dunk has released its teasers, indicating that the drama is finally about to go on-air. Produced by Fahad Mustafa’s Big Bang Entertainment, directed by Badar Memood and written by Mohsin Ali, Dunk has a very strong team working on the project. Fans of Pakistani dramas had been waiting for a glimpse of the show ever since it was announced earlier this year in April for various reasons. For starters, it was going to reunite Bilal Abbas Khan with director Badar Mehmood, who previously directed him in superhit dramas Balaa and Cheekh. Secondly, the drama roped in Sana Javed to star as the female lead, giving the audience a fresh new pairing to look forward to.
And if that wasn’t all, the drama cemented itself as a potential blockbuster when the veteran Noman Ejaz joined the cast. Nothing much was revealed about the story back then except that Dunk is supposed to be a “modern thriller.” However, after watching the three teasers released by the team, the audience now have an idea about what they can expect from the drama.
Judging from the teasers, it seems like Dunk is going to highlight the prevailing issue of harassment at educational institutions. In the first teaser, some students can be seen protesting against a professor Humayun, played by Noman Ijaz, for allegedly harassing a student Amal, played by Sana Javed. Professor Humayun, however, denies all the claims made against him. Bilal Abbas Khan plays Haider, Amal’s class fellow, who can be seen extending his full support to Amal. Joining them on their cause is Azekah Daniel, possibly playing a student at the same institution. Yasra Rizvi plays Noman Ejaz’s wife.
Rounding out the ensemble cast are Atiqa Odho, Salma Hassan, Saifi Hasan and Laila Wasti. It feels like the actors are in full command over their roles, particularly Sana Javed and Noman Ejaz whose characters are in the direct conflict with each other. For now, it’s hard to tell which one of them is speaking the truth regarding the allegations and that’s the best thing about the teasers – they revealed just enough of the story to get the audience talking about the drama but also leave them wanting for more.
A Sensitive Topic
The teasers of Dunk have definitely made an impactful first impression and the audience has already started talking about it. Many fans are guessing that Dunk is going to be tackling the issue of false allegations of sexual harassment that leads to the accused person’s life being ruined. Last year there was a case of a MAO college lecturer committing suicide after a female student accused him of sexually harassing her. The allegations were proved to be false by the inquiry committee of the college however, the lecturer being unable to handle the stress of the aftermath of the situation that he was put under and getting his personal and professional life disturbed because of it, ended up committing suicide. Judging from Dunk‘s teasers, this case might just be the inspiration behind the drama.
This is not a new thing as Pakistani dramas lately have been taken inspiration from sensitive real-life events. In the past few years, channels have stepped out of their comfort zones by taking up sensitive topics. Unfortunately, majority of them have failed to grasp the fragility of the topics by butchering the storylines and the characters in hope of getting more TRP’s. For example, Sana Javed’s previous drama Ruswai, which also aired on ARY, was criticized for how it had started as the story of a gang-rape survivor’s journey and later became a typical story of saas-bahu drama.
#MeToo movement is already a heavily misunderstood movement in Pakistan. Dunk‘s teasers are promising a story that tells the tale of a victim of sexual harassment taking up a fight against her abuser. But they are also hinting towards Dunk being a drama that tells the tale of the misuse of the #MeToo movement. Such a drama needs to be a one that treats the topic with immense sensitivity and nuance. While there is no denying the fact that cases of false accusations of sexual harassment do exist in the world, the reality is that the real cases of sexual harassment far outnumber the false ones. Dunk has a heavy responsibility on its shoulder to take care to not, even unwillingly, damage the already fragile state of #MeToo movement in Pakistan where the victims have a hard time getting justice to begin with.
Nevertheless, the strong cast and team involved in the project give us hope that Dunk will manage to fulfill our expectations of being a sensitively handled drama. Any drama that doesn’t tell the regular soapy stories of domestic issues is a breath of fresh air and Dunk‘s teasers are promising a thrilling story that will have the audience engaged in how it will unfold. And if nothing else, at least the performances in the drama are guaranteed to be top-notch.