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12th Fail Honest Review: Passes All Tests, A Top Class Tale

by Mansi Gadre   ·  8 months ago   ·  

12th Fail is about a hero who stands up for himself, despite all odds. Witty, inspirational and amazing. Here’s our honest review.


There are movies that are made to inspire you. Then there are movies that bare realities, punching you in your face – like 12th Fail. Inspiration is an understatement – 12th Fail ignites a fire that would fuel your motivation for days. 

I decided to watch 12th Fail solely because it is a Vidhu Vinod Chopra film. It also is one of the few films that you can watch with your children. So, before I share with you my honest review of the 12th Fail, let me share with you what this hard-hitting, thought-provoking story is about.

Is 12th Fail A True Story?

12th Fail is inspired by the real-life story of IPS officer, Manoj Kumar Sharma. The movie chronicles Manoj’s journey from the wilds of Chambal, a place where poverty and corruption are a way of life to cracking the toughest exam in the country through sheer grit, determination, and passion.

Manoj’s life is wrought with heart-wrenching struggles. Tortuous paucity, rampant dishonesty, class discrimination, bias against ‘Hindi medium’ students, and the backbreaking effort of his family. But nothing stops Manoj from chasing his dream. Every failure is nothing but a ‘restart’ for this righteous, optimistic, and earnest son of a farmer. 

What is the Story of 12th Fail?

When Manoj sets out to become a police officer, little does he know that he will be robbed of his grandmother’s savings. He finds himself without a roof or food for the next several days torn between his self-respect and hunger. He receives help from a stranger and soon finds himself on a train to Delhi as one of the thousands of UPSC aspirants. From dusting bookshelves to cleaning toilets, Manoj works 15 hours a day to make ends meet. All while trying to navigate an exam which saps the courage of the best of students. How he finally overcomes the insurmountable odds with his love, Shraddha by his side is the heart of this real-life story.

12th Fail boasts of a stellar cast featuring Vikrant Massey as Manoj, Medha Shankar as Shraddha Joshi, Anshuman Pushkar as Gauri Bhaiya, Priyanshu Chatterjee as DSP Dushyant Singh amongst others.

Should You Watch 12th Fail? My Honest Impressions

This 147-minute movie is an earnest story made with a lot of heart about an honest man who reminds us that perseverance and resilience can lead to extraordinary achievements.

Vidhu Vinod Chopra’s cinematic artistry shines through in every frame breathing life into the characters, painting emotions, and etching lasting moments.

Vikrant Massey’s portrayal of Manoj Kumar Sharma is intense and easily his career’s best so far. He seamlessly conveys the character’s pain, determination, love, and eventual triumph with a captivating performance. Chopra develops his characters with authenticity and depth and their chemistry on-screen is palpable. Be it Manoj’s friend, Pandey, a government servant’s son, Gauri bhaiya, Manoj’s mentor, or DSP Dushyant Singh, an upright police officer- everyone has a story of their own, woven beautifully into the main narrative. 

The movie brings to mind the famous quote:

‘When you want something, all the universe conspires to help you achieve it’.

Paulo Coelho

Manoj was not alone in his journey; he found support in several people along the way. As Gauri bhaiya puts it – ‘Kya samajhta hai tu, ki bas tumhara ladayi hai ye…hum sabka ladayi hai’ (This isn’t just your fight, it is OUR fight too)

While 12th Fail is not a romantic film, it does capture the essence of love and friendship. It talks about love that takes a leap of faith defying logic. And also standing by the partner through thick and thin. There are no grand gestures, only tender moments of vulnerability and togetherness. 

Shantanu Moitra’s beautiful background score complements the on-screen drama flawlessly. It enhances the emotional impact and the viewer’s connection to the characters and Manoj’s journey. The cinematography is outstanding making the film a visual feast through the intelligent use of light and shadow to heighten the viewing experience. 

Why Should You Watch 12th Fail With Your Children?

12th Fail is an Indian story. A story not just about UPSC aspirants but also about the overall education and political system which makes it a must-see for all generations. What makes 12th Fail a cinematic triumph is its ability to leave a lasting impact long after you have left the theatre halls. 

Manoj is a hero in his own right. He makes a life for himself that makes him and his family proud. He proves that whatever life throws at you, it is ‘YOU’ who can make all the difference. Not your conventional ‘angry young man’, Manoj asserts himself in the face of challenges. Manoj never loses his modesty, optimism, honesty and hope even in the face of unthinkable circumstances. 

The movie has many life lessons for adults and children. But the most important thing that it conveys to children is the importance of finding something they can excel in. To find and dedicate their passion.

Our children are brought up too comfortably to want something they are willing to strive for. This film will not just make them smile but also make them think with a renewed perspective on the pursuit of success.

To Summarize…..

12th Fail passes with immense distinction and is a worthy nomination for the Oscars. Mr. Vidhu Vinod Chopra turns moments into magic and weaves a story that is relatable, heart-warming, and inspiring. If you have ever experienced failures, or faced challenges, if you believe in the power of hard work and inherent goodness in people, if you want to pursue an impossible dream with an honest effort, then go watch this movie for all that it stands for.


Author : Mansi Gadre

Mansi finds solace in exploring new horizons and loves to weave tales that talk about travel, parenting, and life’s myriad experiences. A marketer, teacher, content writer, and above all a mother, she will take you on a journey of discovery guided by the wisdom of an educator, the curiosity of an artist, and the soul of a wanderer.

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