May 30, 2024 02:01:37

12th Fail Movie Review: Vikrant Massey’s Outstanding Performance Shines Bright

I was thoroughly impressed by Vikrant’s portrayal in the movie, undoubtedly marking a high point in his career. It’s safe to assert that this is his most remarkable work to date. Vikrant didn’t merely act out the character; he embodied it, capturing every nuance from the local accent to the body language, innocence, enthusiasm, and shyness. He deserves wholehearted praise for skillfully unraveling the character’s multiple layers.

Biopics present a unique filmmaking challenge. While the story is already in place, the real trick lies in how to present it. How do you encapsulate someone’s life within a few hours? How do you make it engaging and inspirational?

Vidhu Vinod Chopra’s “12th Fail” draws inspiration from Anurag Pathak’s book of the same name, narrating the inspiring journey of a young man hailing from a small Chambal town, known for its dacoits, who defied all odds to become an IAS (Indian Administrative Service) officer.

Chopra’s latest release, starring Vikrant Massey, narrates a courageous and inspiring tale of a boy who possessed nothing but determination and a dream of serving as a civil servant with utmost honesty. It delves into how he transformed from a seemingly bleak existence to achieving his goal, battling life’s adversities and destiny.

While there is no shortage of movies and series depicting the struggles of students aspiring to become IAS officers and the challenges they face in Delhi’s Mukherjee Nagar, the question here is what sets Vikrant Massey’s “12th Fail” apart. Is it genuinely a film that will ignite your dreams and encourage you to persist, no matter how challenging the path may be, or is it just another narrative on the journey of Indian civil service aspirants that feels like a TED talk?

So, what’s “12th Fail” all about?

The film commences with a sweeping view of Chambal’s arid landscapes, focusing on a young boy named Manoj (played by Vikrant), earnestly crafting cheat sheets to pass his 12th-grade exams and provide for his family. However, all his hard work is in vain when a new Deputy Superintendent of Police (Priyanshu Chatterjee) cracks down on cheating in the school.

This leads to Manoj and his peers failing the exams. Simultaneously, his father faces suspension for exposing corruption, further complicating their lives. A chance encounter with the same DSP sparks Manoj’s journey toward transformation. Guided by the DSP’s motto of “no cheating,” he embarks on a mission to become an officer.

With his grandmother’s financial support, Manoj leaves for Gwalior to pursue his dream of becoming an officer but ultimately finds himself in Delhi, thanks to a helpful acquaintance (played by Anant Joshi) who introduces him to IAS exams. With unwavering dedication, loyalty, and persistence, Manoj conquers India’s most demanding exam.

Written and directed by Chopra, known for producing projects that comment on India’s education system and poverty, “12th Fail” strikes the right chords. The film wastes no time in setting up the plot and introducing viewers to Manoj’s life in Chambal concisely yet impactfully. The film may lack twists and turns in the plot, but it captivates with its dialogues, emotions, and storytelling. The script is the true winner here, as it adeptly weaves the story of an underprivileged young man.

While Vikrant takes center stage, every character is given a moment to shine, from Manoj’s mentor, who struggled with multiple exam attempts, to his girlfriend Shraddha, who steadfastly supports him.

The film’s music deserves special mention, with tracks like the motivational “Restart” and “Bolo Na” seamlessly enhancing the movie’s impact.

Vikrant: The Star of the Film

Vikrant’s performance in the film left a profound impression on me. It’s evident that this is his finest work to date. He didn’t merely act; he fully inhabited the character, encompassing the local accent, body language, innocence, enthusiasm, and shyness. Several scenes showcase Vikrant’s exceptional acting, whether he’s sneaking through a window, displaying an innocent smile while gazing at the IPS officer, or collapsing to the ground in tears outside an exam hall.

Other actors in the film, including Anant Joshi, Anshumann Pushkar, and Medha Shankr, are equally praiseworthy in their roles.

Final Verdict

As previously mentioned, there’s no shortage of movies and series depicting the journey of UPSC aspirants, illustrating their struggles in coaching hubs with high aspirations. “12th Fail” follows a similar trajectory in that regard. However, Chopra’s film distinguishes itself by eloquently portraying the emotional and inspiring journey of Manoj, a Hindi medium student from the arid landscapes of Chambal to Delhi’s Mukherjee Nagar, culminating in his ascent to the IAS. The cast, dialogues, and Manoj’s story are inspirational and keep the audience engaged throughout. While the narrative may feel somewhat familiar, Vikrant’s performance will leave you brimming with tears of joy.