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12th Fail: A tale of resilience that succeeds in transcending Bollywood norms

Vidhu Vinod Chopra's "12th Fail" isn't just another Bollywood flick; it's a stirring narrative that echoes the relentless spirit of countless students worldwide.

By Caleb Mathew

Friday, June 14, 2024

Examinations are a step toward a future we all dream of. Coupled with determination and tons of hard work, millions of students around the world write exams with a dream of living their best lives along with their near and dear ones.

12th Fail by Vidhu Vinod Chopra isn’t your regular Bollywood movie. It’s a tale of triumph that resonates with thousands if not millions, of students worldwide. The plot revolves around Manoj Kumar (Vikrant Massey), who is from a family that does not enjoy the luxuries of life. Interestingly, the concept of examinations is a joke for the people of his town, and even teachers let students copy it. Inspired by a superior police officer who comes into his village, Manoj is spellbound by the power and prestige that authority presents, which instantly makes it his ambition to climb up the social ladder.

Soon after, the movie follows Manoj’s struggles as he moves into the city with absolutely nothing. He gets his first taste of life when a female passenger sitting beside him loots him of his grandmother’s lifelong savings. From that moment onwards, Manoj’s unwavering determination against the trials and tribulations of life is evident. The movie vividly captures the fight against the realities of someone of the protagonist’s background. Hailing from Chambal, a town unheard of, Manoj works tirelessly for hours and hours, studying whenever possible and not prioritizing the basic need for sleep. Hunger, soaring temperatures, and distractions don’t stop Manoj from achieving his dream. After failing in 3 of his 4 attempts in the UPSC examinations, Manoj finally gets called for an interview following his 4th attempt. With his heartbeat louder than ever, he gives an interview that cannot be conveyed in words. The raw emotion and the delivery were perfected by Vikrant Massey, a cadence that was remarkable throughout the course of the movie.

In short, the movie is a must-watch. It may not have thrilling elements or striking dances, but it is sure to touch your heart. A truly complete movie.

Cast –

The cast of this movie does not have any mainstream artists or stalwarts. Rather, the movie is filled with soft and charming actors that will reach your emotions. No unnecessary characters but just characters that need to be portrayed. Manoj Kumar was played by Vikrant Massey and Shraddha Joshi is played by Medha Shankr. The characters of the film truly transcend the actors, so the audience does not feel the lack of any well-known actors.

Technicals and Camera –

The theme of the movie doesn’t call for any intricate camera work or detailing. The colour grading of the movie, however, must be spoken about as it enhances the feel of the movie so much more. The slow movements and the wonderfully curated music bring out a wide range of emotions for the viewers to experience.