Bollywood Movies

Movies like 12th Fail that you need to add to your binge list

February 4, 20249 Mins Read

Vidhu Vinod Chopra has always created impactful cinema. His movies like 1942: A Love Story (1994), Lage Raho Munna Bhai (2006), 3 Idiots (2009) and PK (2014) have had a great influence on the audience. These films are considered to be cult classics because of their gripping plots, stellar casts and the important message that the films have tried to convey. The same kind of effect was seen recently when his film 12th Fail arrived. Just like his earlier movies, this movie too became the talk of the town in no time.

The filmmaker sat on the director’s chair after a break of three years. Just like his other movies, 12th Fail was also a passion project of his. Released in October 2023, the film was a sleeper hit. A strong word of mouth and its OTT release helped the movie become one of the biggest releases of the year.

Starring Vikrant Massey in a lead role, the film is a biographical drama based on the life of Manoj Kumar Sharma, a poor man from Chambal who overcame excessive poverty to become an Indian Police Service (IPS) officer. The story is based on the 2019 eponymous non-fiction book by Anurag Pathak about Manoj and is an inspirational story about how anything is possible if you put your mind to it.

The Vikrant Massey starrer made such a powerful impact that 12th Fail was submitted to the Oscars as an independent nomination. It also became the highest-rated movie on IMDb. Interestingly, just like 12th Fail, there are several other Bollywood movies that are inspirational and have had a great influence on the audience. If you like this Vidhu Vinod Chopra directorial, here is a list of films like Shah Rukh Khan’s Chak De! India (2007), Aamir Khan’s Dangal and Abhishek Bachchan’s Dasvi (2022) that can inspire you. Check it out.

Inspiring movies like 12th Fail that should be on your list

Directed by: Shimit Amin
Cast: Shah Rukh Khan, Vidya Malvade, Shilpa Shukla, Nichola Sequeira, Sagarika Ghatge, Chitrashi Rawat, Tanya Abrol, Shubhi Mehta, Sandia Furtado, Anaitha Nair
Release date: 10 August 2007

Synopsis: The film revolves around Kabir Khan (Shah Rukh Khan), a former men’s field hockey team captain who is disgraced after losing a critical match against Pakistan. Kabir resurfaces as the coach of the Indian women’s hockey team with a mission to redeem himself and lead the team to victory in the upcoming Hockey World Cup. Kabir faces numerous challenges in training the team, including overcoming internal rivalries, cultural differences, and the players’ lack of discipline and teamwork but gradually earns the trust and respect of his players through his unconventional coaching methods and unwavering dedication.

Awards won: Chak De! India bagged the National Film Award for Best Popular Film Providing Wholesome Entertainment at the 55th National Film Awards.

Directed by: Aamir Khan
Cast: Aamir Khan, Darsheel Safary, Tanay Chheda, Vipin Sharma, Tisca Chopra
Release date: 21 December 2007

Synopsis: Ishaan Awasthi (Darsheel Safari) is an 8-year-old boy who has trouble following school. This leads to him being sent to boarding school by his father. At the school, he meets a new art teacher named Nikumbh (Aamir Khan), who is able to take note of Ishaan’s artistic imagination. Nikumbh decides to spend more time with Ishaan, only to realise that he is dyslexic. He then decides to help him overcome his reading disorder and explore his talents.

Awards won: Taare Zameen Par was India’s official entry at the 81st Academy Awards for Best Foreign Film. At the 55th National Film Awards, the film won 3 awards including Best Film on Family Welfare, Best Lyrics and Best Male Playback Singer.

Directed by: Rajkumar Hirani
Cast: Aamir Khan, R Madhavan, Sharman Joshi, Kareena Kapoor, Boman Irani, Mona Singh, Omi Vaidya
Release date: 25 December 2009

Synopsis: Farhan Qureshi (R Madhavan), Raju Rastogi (Sharman Joshi) and Ranchhoddas Shamaldas Chanchad aka Rancho (Aamir Khan) join the prestigious Imperial College of Engineering (ICE) in Delhi. The three form a great bond only to be separated after college. A certain event leads Farhan and Raju to find out where Rancho is. The journey is a nostalgic trip for the two as they remember the good old college days and the lessons they learned through their friendship.

Awards won: 3 Idiots won three National Film Awards including Best Popular Film Providing Wholesome Entertainment.

Directed by: Amole Gupte
Cast: Divya Dutta, Partho Gupte, Divya Jagdale, Raj Zutshi, Amole Gupte
Release date: 13 May 2011

Synopsis: The film revolves around a young boy named Stanley (Partho Gupte), who is a fourth grader at Holy Family School. Despite his challenging circumstances living as an orphan, Stanley is always cheerful and optimistic. Things get complicated when his Hindi teacher, Babubhai Verma, (Amole Gupte) imposes a rule that every student must bring a tiffin box (dabba) to school, something that Stanley is unable to do. As the story progresses, the story dives into Stanley’s home life and the struggles he faces and how despite the hardships, Stanley finds solace in his creativity and imagination.

About the film: Amole Gupte began shooting the movie with a five-man crew and shot during four-hour workshops every Saturday for a year and a half.

Directed by: Nila Madhab Panda
Cast: Harsh Mayar, Hussan Saad, Gulshan Grover, Dharmveer Jakhar, Beatrice Ordeix, Pitobash Tripathy, Meena Mir, Suresh Acharya
Release date: 5 August 2011

Synopsis: The story follows an underprivileged boy named Chotu (Harsh Mayar), who forms an unlikely friendship with the son of a nobleman. Chotu aims to become someone like Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam. However, his circumstances force him to work and earn for his family. But things change when a foreigner woman
tries to explain the importance of education to his parents.

Awards won: Harsh Mayar won the National Film Award for Best Child Artist and an award at the Silent River Film Festival (SRFF), California in 2011.

Directed by: Gauri Shinde
Cast: Sridevi, Adil Hussain, Mehdi Nebbou, Priya Anand, Amitabh Bachchan
Release date: 5 October 2012

Synopsis: The plot revolves around a middle-aged woman named Shashi (Sridevi), who faces ridicule and lack of respect from her family due to her inability to speak fluent English. Her self-esteem takes a hit when she travels to New York City to attend her niece’s wedding and struggles to communicate in English. Determined to overcome her language barrier and gain confidence, Shashi enrols in an English language course and forms friendships with her classmates, who come from diverse backgrounds and share similar struggles with language and self-esteem.

Awards won: Gauri Shinde won the Best Debut Director award at the Screen Awards, Filmfare Awards, Star Guild Awards, Zee Cine Awards and 14th IIFA Awards in 2012.

Directed by: Nitesh Tiwari
Cast: Aamir Khan, Fatima Sana Shaikh, Sanya Malhotra, Zaira Wasim, Suhani Bhatnagar, Sakshi Tanwar, Aparshakti Khurana, Ritvik Sahore
Release date: 23 December 2016

Synopsis: The film revolves around Mahavir Singh Phogat (Aamir Khan), a pehlwani amateur wrestler and narrates the story of how he trained his daughters Geeta Phogat (Fatima Sana Shaikh) and Babita Kumari (Sanya Malhotra) to become India’s first world-class female wrestlers.

Awards won: The film won the inaugural Best Asian Film award at Australia’s 7th AACTA Awards, Best Foreign Film and Top Foreign Actor (for Aamir Khan) from China’s Douban Film Awards 2017 and two Jackie Chan Action Movie Awards.

Directed by: Siddharth P Malhotra
Cast: Rani Mukerji, Naisha Khanna, Supriya Pilgaonkar, Sachin Pilgaonkar, Hussain Dalal, Vir Bhanushali, Neeraj Kabi, Vikram Gokhale, Harsh Mayar, Asif Basra, Riya Shukla, Sparsh Khanchandani
Release date: 23 March 2018

Synopsis: The film’s plot revolves around the story of Naina Mathur (Rani Mukerji), a woman with Tourette syndrome. Naina aspires to become a teacher and faces rejection and discrimination from various schools due to her condition. However, she eventually lands a teaching job at an elite school, St. Notker’s. Initially, she faces resistance and scepticism from both the students and the school’s staff. But as Naina begins to teach her class, which comprises students from economically disadvantaged backgrounds, she encounters behavioural issues and apathy among her students. Through her unconventional teaching methods and understanding of their struggles, Naina gradually earns the trust and respect of her students. The film then explores Naina’s journey as she navigates the challenges of teaching while dealing with her Tourette syndrome.

Awards won: Rani Mukerji received the Best Actress Award at the Indian Film Festival of Melbourne. The film was also screened at the International Film Festival of India, the Shanghai International Film Festival, and the Giffoni Film Festival.

Directed by: Vikas Bahl
Cast: Hrithik Roshan, Mrunal Thakur, Nandish Sandhu, Pankaj Tripathi, Vijay Varma, Amit Sadh, Rajesh Sharma
Release date: 12 July 2019

Synopsis: The story revolves around Anand Kumar (Hrithik Roshan), a mathematician who helps 30 underprivileged students prepare for the entrance exams of the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs). The story is based on the life of mathematics teacher and educator, Anand Kumar and his educational program called Super 30.

Awards won: Hrithik Roshan bagged the Best Actor Award at Zee Cine Awards 2020.

Directed by: Tushar Jalota
Cast: Abhishek Bachchan, Yami Gautam, Nimrat Kaur, Manu Rishi Chaddha, Abhimanyu Yadav, Arun Kushwah, Chittaranjan Tripathy, Danish Husain
Release date: 7 April 2022

Synopsis: The story revolves around the character of Ganga Ram Chaudhary (Abhishek Bachchan), who is a charismatic and complacent Chief Minister. Implicated in a scam, Ganga is sent to jail where he meets Jyoti Deswal (Yami Gautam), a new superintendent. She embarrasses Chaudhary by making fun of his lack of education, which eventually encourages him to learn and gain a 10th-grade diploma.

Awards won: Abhishek Bachchan bagged the award for Best Actor (Male) for his performance at the 2022 Filmfare OTT Awards.

All Images: Courtesy IMDb

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