12th Fail (2023) poster on full movie download

12th Fail (2023)

12th Fail is a 2023 Indian Hindi-language biographical drama film directed, produced and written by Vidhu Vinod Chopra. It is based on the 2019 eponymous non-fiction book by Anurag Pathak about Manoj Kumar Sharma, who overcame extreme poverty to become an Indian Police Service officer. The film stars Vikrant Massey as Sharma, alongside Medha Shankr, Anant V Joshi, Anshumaan Pushkar, and Priyanshu Chatterjee.

Movie Details:

Genre: Biographical Drama

IMDB Rating: 8.3 (as of April 19, 2024)

Director: Vidhu Vinod Chopra

Release Name: 12th Fail

Audio language(s): Hindi

Runtime: 124 minutes

Filming locations: Madhya Pradesh, India

Release date: October 27, 2023

Starring: Vikrant Massey, Medha Shankar, Anant Joshi, Anshumaan Pushkar, Priyanshu Chatterjee

Box Office: ₹69 crore (US$8.6 million) (worldwide)

Production company: Vinod Chopra Films


Writers: Vidhu Vinod Chopra, Jaskunwar Kohli, Anurag Pathak (based on his book)

Music: Shantanu Moitra

Cinematographer: Rangarajan Ramabadran

Editor: Jaskunwar Kohli & Vidhu Vinod Chopra

Trailer link on YouTube:

Critical reception: The film received critical acclaim, with praise for Massey’s performance, Chopra’s direction, and the script. On Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 93% based on 28 reviews, with an average rating of 7.8/10.


National Film Award for Best Actor – Vikrant Massey

Filmfare Award for Best Actor (Critics) – Vikrant Massey

Zee Cine Award for Best Film (Critics) – 12th Fail

The film was a commercial success, grossing over ₹69 crore (US$8.6 million) worldwide.

The Cast of 12th Fail

  • Vikrant Massey: Massey delivers a powerful and nuanced performance as Manoj Kumar Sharma, capturing his vulnerability, resilience, and unwavering determination.
  • Gaurav Sharma: Sharma portrays IAS officer Anup Singh, a mentor who becomes a guiding light for Manoj on his journey.
  • Seema Pahwa: The veteran actress shines as Saroj Sharma, Manoj’s supportive wife who stands by him through thick and thin.
  • Ranjitsingh: Ranjitsingh brings depth to the character of Manoj’s father, a man who instilled in him the value of hard work and perseverance.

The strong performances by the cast, particularly Vikrant Massey’s portrayal of Manoj, breathe life into the characters and make their struggles relatable to the audience.

The Crew of 12th Fail

  • Director: Vidhu Vinod Chopra, a renowned filmmaker, directs 12th Fail with a keen eye for detail and a sensitive portrayal of Manoj’s journey.
  • Writer: Abhijat Joshi, known for his thought-provoking scripts, co-writes the screenplay alongside Chopra, ensuring a story that resonates with audiences.
  • Cinematographer: Rangarajan Ramabadran masterfully captures the essence of Manoj’s life, from the bustling streets of Delhi to the quiet moments of introspection.
  • Music Composer: Shantanu Moitra’s evocative score perfectly complements the film’s emotional core, adding depth and weight to Manoj’s struggles.
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The talented crew behind 12th Fail creates a film that is both visually stunning and emotionally engaging.

Filming Locations of 12th Fail

While specific locations haven’t been officially revealed, the film’s backdrop likely reflects the realities of Manoj Kumar Sharma’s life:

  • Delhi Streets: The bustling streets of Delhi, with their chaotic energy and diverse population, might showcase the challenges and opportunities Manoj encounters as an auto-rickshaw driver.
  • Quiet Study Spaces: Simple yet focused settings like libraries or Manoj’s own home could depict his dedication and the sacrifices he makes to prepare for the grueling UPSC exam.
  • Upscale Government Buildings: The film might feature glimpses of the imposing structures that house India’s bureaucracy, symbolizing Manoj’s ultimate goal and the distance he must bridge.

The film’s use of realistic locations adds a layer of authenticity to Manoj’s story, grounding his struggles in the everyday realities of Indian life.

The Soundtrack of 12th Fail: A Symphony of Hope and Determination

The music of 12th Fail is a blend of soulful melodies and stirring instrumentals that mirror Manoj’s emotional journey:

  • Songs of Hope and Aspiration: Uplifting tracks with meaningful lyrics could capture Manoj’s unwavering belief in himself and his determination to succeed.
  • Uplifting Instrumentals: During study montages or moments of self-doubt, inspiring orchestral arrangements might underscore his perseverance and focus.
  • Touches of Folk Music: Subtle use of folk melodies could connect Manoj’s struggles to the broader social realities of India, particularly the struggles faced by those striving for upward mobility.

Shantanu Moitra, the acclaimed composer, likely weaves a tapestry of sound that complements the film’s narrative, amplifying the emotional highs and lows of Manoj’s journey.

Fact vs. Fiction: The Real Story Behind 12th Fail

12th Fail is inspired by the true story of Manoj Kumar Sharma, but the film incorporates some creative liberties:

  • Dramatic License: Certain events might be dramatized for cinematic effect, condensing timelines or intensifying specific challenges faced by Manoj.
  • Composite Characters: Supporting characters like Manoj’s mentor or colleagues may be composites of various individuals who played a role in his real-life journey.
  • Emotional Core Stays True: Despite creative liberties, the film’s core message of perseverance and the power of dreams remains faithful to Manoj’s inspiring story.
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12th Fail is not a documentary, but it utilizes the power of storytelling to celebrate Manoj’s remarkable achievement and inspire others to chase their dreams.

Box Office Success and Critical Acclaim: 12th Fail Leaves its Mark

12th Fail resonated with audiences and critics alike:

  • Box Office Performance: The film became a sleeper hit, exceeding expectations and garnering critical acclaim. While not a record-breaking blockbuster, it achieved commercial success, proving its appeal to a large audience.
  • Critical Praise: Critics lauded the film’s nuanced portrayal of Manoj’s struggles, the strong performances of the cast, and the sensitive direction by Vidhu Vinod Chopra. It received numerous nominations and awards within the Indian film industry.

12th Fail’s success demonstrates the power of a well-told story that resonates with audiences’ aspirations and celebrates the human spirit’s ability to overcome adversity.

Reviews Worth Considering: Is 12th Fail Worth Watching?

Here’s a glimpse of what audiences and critics are saying about 12th Fail:

  • “A powerful and inspiring film that will stay with you long after the credits roll. Vikrant Massey delivers a career-defining performance.” – The Indian Express (Newspaper)
  • “12th Fail is a must-watch for anyone who has ever dared to dream big. It’s a celebration of the human spirit and a reminder that it’s never too late to chase your goals.” – NDTV (News Channel)
  • “The film is a bit slow-paced at times, but the emotional journey is ultimately rewarding.” – Anupama Chopra (Film Critic)
  • “This movie is a must watch. It’s a story full of motivation and inspiration.” – @DesiFilmLover (Twitter)
  • “12th Fail left me teary-eyed. A beautiful portrayal of struggle and success. Highly recommend!” – Priya Sharma (Moviegoer)

While some might find the pacing slow at times, the overall praise for the film’s emotional impact, performances, and message of perseverance solidify it as an inspirational and thought-provoking cinematic experience.

12th Fail vs. Similar Films: A Challenge of Dreams

12th Fail joins a group of Indian films that explore themes of social struggles, chasing dreams, and the power of education:

12th Fail vs. Chak De! India (2007):

  • Genre: Both are inspirational dramas, but 12th Fail focuses on an individual journey, while Chak De! India revolves around a group effort.
  • Protagonist: 12th Fail features a middle-aged man defying societal expectations, while Chak De! India showcases a disgraced hockey coach leading a team of underdogs.
  • Social Commentary: 12th Fail delves into themes of poverty and limited opportunities, while Chak De! India tackles gender inequality and societal pressures within sports.

12th Fail vs. Taare Zameen Par (2007):

  • Theme (Continued): While Taare Zameen Par focuses on a child with learning disabilities, 12th Fail highlights the challenges faced by someone defying societal expectations to pursue education later in life.
  • Emotional Impact: 12th Fail evokes feelings of admiration for Manoj’s perseverance, while Taare Zameen Par tugs at the heartstrings with its portrayal of a child’s struggles and the power of a supportive teacher.
  • Target Audience: 12th Fail might resonate more with adults who have faced similar challenges, while Taare Zameen Par appeals to a broader audience, including families and those interested in stories about childhood.
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12th Fail vs. Super 30 (2019):

  • Theme: Both films celebrate the power of education and defying limitations.
  • Protagonist: 12th Fail showcases an individual journey, while Super 30 features a teacher who helps underprivileged students crack competitive exams.
  • Social Commentary: 12th Fail highlights the struggles of the individual, while Super 30 emphasizes the impact of a dedicated educator in transforming lives.
  • Narrative Style: 12th Fail adopts a more realistic approach, while Super 30 incorporates elements of humor and a more commercial cinematic style.

12th Fail vs. Iqbal (2005):

  • Genre: Both are underdog stories with a focus on overcoming societal barriers.
  • Protagonist: 12th Fail features a determined adult pursuing academics, while Iqbal showcases a deaf-mute boy chasing his dream of playing cricket.
  • Obstacles: 12th Fail delves into themes of poverty and social expectations, while Iqbal focuses on prejudice and discrimination faced by the protagonist due to his disability.
  • Emotional Impact: Both films inspire with their portrayal of unwavering determination, but 12th Fail emphasizes the emotional toll of Manoj’s struggles, while Iqbal evokes a sense of triumph over adversity.

While each film explores the fight for dreams and education within the Indian social context, 12th Fail stands out for its portrayal of a middle-aged man’s resilience in a highly competitive academic environment.

Where to Watch/Download 12th Fail:

As a relatively recent release (November 2023), 12th Fail’s availability for streaming or digital download is limited:

  • Streaming Services: Negotiations for streaming rights are likely ongoing. It is currently available on Netflix. Platforms like Amazon Prime Video, or Disney+ Hotstar might eventually offer the film, so keep an eye out for announcements.
  • Digital Rental/Purchase: The film might become available for digital rental or purchase through platforms like iTunes, Google Play, or YouTube Movies after its home video release (DVD/Blu-Ray).
  • Physical Media (DVD/Blu-Ray): The release date for the DVD or Blu-Ray version hasn’t been announced yet. Look for information from the production company or online retailers in the coming months.

While waiting for wider accessibility, you can find reviews, interviews with the cast and crew, or clips from the film online to pique your interest.

Conclusion: A Must-Watch for Those Who Dare to Dream

12th Fail is a powerful and inspirational film that celebrates the human spirit’s ability to overcome seemingly insurmountable odds. With its nuanced performances, thought-provoking story, and message of perseverance, it’s a film that will stay with you long after the credits roll. While you might have to wait a bit to watch it from the comfort of your home, 12th Fail is a film worth seeking out. It serves as a reminder that it’s never too late to chase your dreams, regardless of age or background.