Vikrant Massey starrer 12th Fail directed by Vidhu Vinod Chopra recently completed 100 days run in theatres. The movie is earning praise unanimously for its gripping narrative and impressive performances. Based on a book by Anurag Pathak, 12th Fail chronicled the life of Manoj Kumar Sharma, who overcame extreme poverty to become an IPS officer. In a recent event held to celebrate the success of the film, director Vidhu Vinod Chopra revealed how Rajkumar Hirani was keen on directing 12th Fail.
During the interaction, Vidhu Vinod Chopra recalled how he began working on the film. He shared it all began when Manoj came up to him with he book requesting for a blurb. The director recalled, “The book was called 12th Fail. Being who I am, I told him if I read, I will take two days because I am a slow reader, and if I find it ‘bakwaas’ then you will have to publish that as well! He started laughing and requested if I could send the book to few people, like Sanjay Leela Bhansali, Rajkumar Hirani and others, and I sent it.”
“After six months, he came with the printed book. I saw that Sachin Tendulkar had written highly of it behind its cover and so did Raju Hirani. I called Raju and asked him about it, he exclaimed, ‘Sir, aapne book nahi padi?’ I said no! He told me, ‘Sir please read, it is a movie!’ Back then, I wasn’t in the mood to make a film. I asked him if he would make it, so Raju told me he was already writing a film but if I wrote the film, he would direct it. I was ok with this,” he continued.
Chopra further remembered how he fell in love with the script as he read the book. “While I was writing, I fell in love with the script! I told Raju that I can’t work with these actors and even they can’t work with me, thoda mushkil hai. Then he was the one who suggested Vikrant. I had seen his A Death in the Gunj and I really liked him.I remember in my study, I was figuring out the first shot. I wondered how would he play a young guy in the initial portions of the film. Then he went into a child pose–I hope we have footage of that–and it is exactly the first shot of the film, when he is cheating. This actor inspired me to direct this film,” he shared.
Vidhu Vinod Chopra and Vikrant Massey
Apart from Vikrant Massey, 12th Fail featured Medha Shankr, Anant V Joshi, Anshumaan Pushkar, and Priyanshu Chatterjee in pivotal roles. It is currently streaming on Disney+Hotstar.