12th Fail (2023)


Shows what’s wrong with India, the beauty, the spirit and the indomitable spirit of the common man who is ready to fight to make his mark through sheer will power and tenacity.


Language : Hindi

Director : Vidhu Vinod Chopra

Writers : Vidhu Vinod Chopra, Jaskunwar Kohli, Anurag Pathak, Aayush Saxena

Cast : Vikrant Massey, Medha Shankr, Joshi Anantvijay, Anshuman Pushkar, Pushpa Sharma, Ramveer Sharma

Genre : Biography | Drama

Imdb: 12th Fail (2023)

Streaming in Disney+Hotstar

This review contains very slight spoilers about the nature and theme of the film.

Before I get into the review, I want to give a nod to Aditya Reeja Ajithkumar, for very strongly recommending this movie last year.

Also it’s never too late to start sharing or recommending great movies, so here we are, let’s go,
“If citizens were educated, it could be a real problem for leaders.”
-Manoj Sharma. 

“Dad used to say fear not the darkness outside but the darkness inside.”
-Manoj Sharma.

If I could sum up the film in one word: Beautiful ❤️.

Shows what’s wrong with India, the beauty, the spirit and the indomitable spirit of the common man who is ready to fight to make his mark through sheer willpower and tenacity.

When Manoj enters Delhi for the first time, the director expands the cameras used to capture the chaos of Delhi – that sequence has been shot with a mix of different iPhones, and DSLRs as well as the main film camera.

The edit pattern also expands to include blend shots, and overlays to represent the state of mind and experience of the primary character, Manoj.

This level of detail is not only found in this sequence but in many sequences, even the underlying plot is not at all convoluted in this film, the director has taken adequate steps to help you taste all the different feelings you can feel watching this movie and that itself is a success on its own. You are taken along Manoj’s journey and you will find yourself spiritually with Manoj as he toils and struggles in a country that has too many kids to take care of properly. The kid is forced on his own to grow, succeed and win based on someone else’s vision. This is not America. This is not a Metropolitan area of India, this is what India is to probably a majority. However, there is still a lot of beauty, innocence and fortitude in the hearts and lives of these people that you may not necessarily see in the richer parts of the Nation. I absolutely loved this film, the real parts of it, the reel part of it, and how well it connects to the viewer.

Don’t get me wrong. I am not glorifying the examinations or the systems in place. But rather praising the artists (Vidhu Vinod Chopra and his team) who brought this “real” tale to the big screens. They have added a lot of soul and heart to the film which will surely move people and give them Hope of a more beautiful tomorrow.

Cause sometimes that’s what we all need; a glimmer of hope.

Verdict : 5/7 stars



  • This film went through an extensive casting process. At least 35+ actors were tested for every one of the chief characters – Shraddha Joshi, Pritam Pandey, Gauri Bhaiya, Ranveer, Pushpa, Dadi.

  • The only character for which only one actor was tested was Manoj.

  • The screenplay went through approximately 200+ rewrites over a span of 3 years.

  • This film was initially supposed to be directed by Rajkumar Hirani, but while writing it with new writers VVC became so attached to the characters that he leaned towards directing it himself. He was doubtful about directing it even after that because it was unlike any film he had ever made, but once he saw Vikrant Massey’s test, he was determined to direct it himself.

  • While they could have easily shot the village sequence in any village in India closer to Mumbai, the director decided to go the extra mile and locate an actual village near Chambal river. The crew had to travel and 3 hours up and down everyday to reach this remote village.

  • The shot of Manoj speaking to Shraddha on the phone in Mussoorie is the longest shot of the film, clocking in at almost 4 minutes.

  • The film pays tribute to the music of Pt. Ravi Shankar’s iconic music from the Apu Trilogy in its soundtrack.

  • The first feature film to ever be shot in the real Mukherjee Nagar, New Delhi, and also featuring real UPSC students who still reside there.

  • The big clock in the Gwalior railway station is a tribute to Platform 9¾ in Harry Potter. Just like that platform is the transition between the normal world and the world of magic, likewise this platform in Manoj’s life is the transition between his old life (Chambal) and his new life full of undiscovered magic (Delhi).

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Rahul Rana

Rahul Rana is an Entrepreneur helping Businesses make RRATIONAL decisions in marketing. He is also the creative director of the project Bloodybrilliant which is both a personal project and a community project simultaneously. Aside from films and technology, Rahul loves football and gaming.

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