Review: ’12th Fail’ Film by Vidhu Vinod Chopra – A Genuine Hug of Hope

Vikrant Massey stars in the film ’12th Fail,’ a heartwarming tale that celebrates integrity in both public and private life. Filmmaker Vidhu Vinod Chopra tells the story of Manoj Kumar Sharma, a young man from the Chambal region who overcomes poverty and corruption to achieve his dreams. Inspired by an honest police officer, Manoj learns to use his pen and write his own destiny, ultimately striving to don the uniform and deliver justice.

In this film, Chopra skillfully captures the everyday discrimination and dehumanization faced by those living in impoverished communities. The movie exposes the cheating mafia, which operates with political support, to keep the masses ignorant. It also sheds light on the slow wheels of justice that crush the spirits of ordinary citizens. Chopra effectively portrays the struggle of the underprivileged, who are compelled to seek positions of power in order to escape their circumstances.

Based on a true story, ’12th Fail’ follows the journey of Manoj as he navigates the challenging terrain of the Union Public Service Commission. The film highlights the biases faced by candidates from non-English medium backgrounds, using former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s poem “Haar Nahin Manooga” (Won’t Give Up) to convey its message. Manoj’s optimistic approach and determination to overcome obstacles are portrayed through this poem.

Despite the film’s didactic tone and occasional exaggerated treatment, it is a heartfelt production that embraces viewers with its message of human goodness. Chopra has previously achieved similar success with movies like ‘Munna Bhai M.B.B.S.’ (2003) and ‘3 Idiots’ (2009), and ’12th Fail’ feels like a spiritual cousin to these beloved films.

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Vikrant Massey delivers a standout performance as Manoj Kumar Sharma, portraying the character’s unwavering resolve and positive attitude in the face of adversity. His subtle approach balances some of the broader aspects of the storytelling. The supporting cast, particularly Medha Shankar as Manoj’s girlfriend Shraddha, impresses with their poise and warmth.

However, Chopra occasionally leans too heavily on the physicality of Manoj’s modest background, reminiscent of the film ‘3 Idiots.’ The storytelling also stumbles in certain aspects, veering into moral lessons rather quickly. While the initial setting in Chambal is captivating, the story eventually settles into a predictable pattern that is familiar to audiences. The background score by Shantanu Moitra fails to fill the gaps in storytelling, and the excitement in the voice-over narration feels somewhat forced. Despite these flaws, ’12th Fail’ remains an important film that deserves attention.

In conclusion, ’12th Fail’ is a powerful and inspiring film that sheds light on the challenges faced by those living in poverty and corruption. Vikrant Massey’s performance, coupled with Chopra’s direction, brings Manoj Kumar Sharma’s story to life. Although the film occasionally lacks originality and pacing, its message of hope and resilience resonates with viewers. ’12th Fail’ is a testament to the enduring power of the human spirit and the pursuit of justice.

(Note: ’12th Fail’ is set to release in theaters on October 27th.)

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