Following the massive “RRR” and “The Elephant Whisperer” win at the Oscars last year and the recent Emmy win of Vir Das and Ekta Kapoor, India’s cinematic talent is well on display at the global level. And we could not be more proud. Another feather to this international journey of Indian cinema is that the critically acclaimed movie “12th Fail” has been nominated for the Oscars 2024 as an independent film.
The makers of the movie mentioned a few days ago that they intended to submit it to the 2024 Oscars. Vikrant Massey, who plays IPS officer Manoj Kumar Sharma in ’12th Fail’, announced that director Vidhu Vinod Chopra‘s latest release has been submitted to the Oscars as an independent entry from India. After its theatrical release on October 27, 2023, the movie was showered with appreciation and praise, right from the story to the actors’ performances.
12th Fail received immense love from the audience and the positive reception also reflected in its box office collection. Released in Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, and Kannada languages, the movie emerged as a sleeper hit, grossing over ₹55 crore (US$6.9 million) on a ₹20 crore (US$2.5 million) budget. Several big names from the industry including Kamal Haasan, Rishabh Shetty, Sanjay Dutt, Farhan Akhtar, Anil Kapoor, and many more also took notice of the marvellous film and applauded it.
Directed by Vidhu Vinod Chopra, the Vikrant Massey and Medha Shankar starrer ’12th Fail’ centres on UPSC aspirants and draws from personal experiences. Based on the 2019 non-fiction book of the same name by Anurag Pathak, it tells the true story of Manoj Kumar Sharma, who rose from extreme poverty to become an officer in the Indian Police Service.
The movie is based on the real-life hardships faced by millions of students who take the UPSC entrance exam. But at the same time, it goes beyond that one exam and encourages people to not lose heart in the face of failure and to restart. “12th Fail” touched and inspired many hearts. “My heart is full. I couldn’t have asked for anything better. When people walked out [of the theatre], they thanked us for making the film and that’s what matters most,” Vikrant Massey said in an interview.
The Stellar Director
Vidhu Vinod Chopra shot a major chunk of the film’s portion in the real-life locations of Mukherjee Nagar, Delhi. Talking about the film, he said in a statement, “In today’s times, I wanted to tell a story of hope, a story of never giving up. 12th Fail is all that and more. I laughed, cried, sang along, and had fun making this movie. I truly believe that this film will find a universal connection when it comes out in theatres.”
When asked about his decision to cast Vikrant in the film, Vidhu Vinod Chopra replied, “Nobody knew Vidya Balan. She was a girl from Chembur and she became a star after Parineeta. Similarly, Boman Irani became a household star after Munna Bhai MBBS. Vikrant will become a star after this film. Because he is the finest actor we have in this country and people like him should be stars.”
The Star Performer
Describing his initial reaction after reading the script of 12th Fail, Vikrant Massey said, “When I read the script for the first time, I cried so much for almost 15-20 minutes because I had never heard, watched or even knew of such an amazing story and I was really moved. And somewhere or the other I even saw myself in this story.” Vikrant has said, “The movie is very typical Vidhu Vinod Chopra movie which is based on hard reality and is a very hard-hitting film. The role was very challenging. I had to lose weight and darken my skin.”
At one press conference, Vikrant spoke about how his career in movies began when he was just fifteen years old. He remembered how he had to look out for jobs so that his father wouldn’t have to bear the cost of his college education. He began his journey with the television show ‘Dhoom Machao Dhoom.’ Later, he appeared in ‘Qubool Hai‘ and ‘Balika Vadhu‘. Along with that, he has acted in movies including ‘Gaslight‘, ‘Half Girlfriend‘, ‘Lootera‘, ‘Dil Dhadakne Do‘, and ‘Chhapaak‘. We look forward to watching him in ‘Phir Aayi Hasseen Dillruba’.
It is rumoured that Emmy Award winner Jimmy Kimmel is back as the host for the upcoming 2024 Oscars ceremony, marking the late-night star’s fourth time fronting the show. This year’s celebration of film achievements will be executive-produced by Raj Kapoor, Katy Mullan and Hamish Hamilton. Kapoor will also serve as the showrunner. The 96th Oscars will be held at the Dolby Theatre on Sunday, March 10, 2024.
The film’s unexpected success and its entry into the Oscars race reflect the acknowledgement of its cinematic merit and the talent involved in its making. The anticipation surrounding this development adds an extra layer of excitement for both the cast and the audience. We have our fingers crossed! May we bring the coveted golden trophy home.