12th Fail Movie Review: 12th Fail is a 2023 Indian Hindi-language biographical drama film directed, produced, and written by Vidhu Vinod Chopra. Based on Anurag Pathak’s 2019 non-fiction book of the same name, the film chronicles the life of Manoj Kumar Sharma, who rose from extreme poverty to become an Indian Police Service officer. The film stars Vikrant Massey as Sharma, alongside Medha Shankar, Anant V Joshi, Anshumaan Pushkar, and Priyanshu Chatterjee.

Released theatrically on 27 October 2023, 12th Fail received widespread critical acclaim and became a sleeper hit, grossing over ₹69 crore (US$8.6 million) worldwide on a ₹20 crore (US$2.5 million) budget. At the 69th Filmfare Awards, the film won five awards, including Best Film, Best Director, and Best Actor (Critics) for Massey.

12th Fail Movie Review - The Celeb Guru


Born in the dacoit-infested region of Chambal, Manoj Kumar Sharma, the son of an honest clerk, faces adversity early on. His father is suspended for striking a corrupt officer, and Manoj, along with his classmates, prepares cheat slips for their Class 12 exams, aided by their teachers. However, newly transferred police officer DSP Dushyant Singh puts a stop to the cheating, resulting in all the students, including Manoj, failing the exam. Concurrently, Manoj’s father goes to the High Court to contest his suspension. To support the family, Manoj and his brother start operating a traveling rickshaw. When Manoj’s brother is falsely accused of smuggling alcohol after a clash with the local MLA’s henchman, Manoj manages to bail him out with the help of DSP Dushyant. The DSP advises Manoj to “stop cheating” and strive to become an officer.

A year later, Manoj passes his exams without cheating and pursues a B.A. with the goal of becoming a DSP. His paternal grandmother gives him all her savings as he heads to Gwalior to study. However, he loses all his belongings to a thief on the bus. He then learns that the government has postponed the Group I exams for MPPSC for three years, crushing his dream of becoming a DSP. Struggling and destitute, Manoj is helped by a local hotel owner near the railway station. There, he meets Pritam Pandey, who is also preparing for the PSC exam. After learning about the UPSC from Pritam’s father, Manoj travels to Delhi with Pritam to pursue his goal of becoming an IPS officer. In Delhi, Gauri Bhaiya, a fellow aspirant, offers Manoj work and a place to study. Gauri, unable to pass his final attempt, opens a tea shop named “Restart” and helps other UPSC aspirants.

Manoj fails his first attempt at the preliminary examination but clears it the following year with Gauri’s support. At a coaching center, he meets Shraddha Joshi, a UKPSC aspirant, and they fall in love. Shraddha mistakenly believes Manoj is an aeronautical engineer, and he doesn’t correct her. Manoj fails to clear the main exams, and his relationship with Shraddha suffers when she discovers the truth. Determined to make amends, Manoj travels to Mussoorie to apologize and confess his love. Shraddha advises him to return to Delhi and continue his studies. Manoj visits home and learns of his grandmother’s passing, further motivating him.

Back in Delhi, Gauri encourages Manoj to focus solely on his studies. Manoj finally clears the main examinations, and Shraddha succeeds in her UKPSC exams, becoming a Deputy Collector. Meanwhile, Pritam spreads rumors about Shraddha and Manoj, which angers Manoj. Realizing that Pritam wants to be a reporter but is pressured by his father to pursue UPSC, Manoj advises him to follow his true passion.

During the interview round, Manoj answers honestly. Before the interview, he reads a letter from Shraddha asking him to marry her regardless of the outcome. Two months later, Manoj qualifies as an IPS officer. A year later, he meets DSP Dushyant Singh in Mandsaur to thank him for his encouragement. Manoj marries Shraddha, and Pritam starts working as a news reporter.

Main Casts

Vikrant Massey Manoj Kumar Sharma Medha Shankar Shraddha Joshi
Anant Vijay Joshi Pritam Pandey Anshumaan Pushkar Gauri Bhaiya
Priyanshu Chatterjee DSP Dushyant Singh


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