The year 2023 was adorned with critically acclaimed films worldwide, from India's Virupaksha Part 1 and Kaathal The Core to global offerings by revered directors like Martin Scorsese and Christopher Nolan. However, in an unexpected twist, a little-known Bollywood gem, ‘12th Fail,’ emerged as the highest-rated film of the year on the renowned Internet Movie Database (IMDb).
IMDb, a go-to reference for film enthusiasts and industry experts, employs an algorithm based on user ratings to determine a film's overall score. Amidst all the global releases garnering at least 20,000 user votes, Vidhu Vinod Chopra's ‘12th Fail’ secured the top spot with an impressive rating of 9.2 out of 10.
Starring Vikrant Massey and Medha Shankar in pivotal roles, the film narrates the inspiring journey of a UPSC aspirant, earning accolades and finding a place on numerous lists celebrating the best films of the year in India.
Surpassing heavyweight contenders like ‘Oppenheimer,’ ‘Barbie,’ and ‘Killers of the Flower Moon,’ ‘12th Fail’ claimed its throne as the highest-rated film of 2023. The IMDb rankings featured notable releases, with ‘Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse’ following closely at 8.6, while films such as ‘Oppenheimer and Godzilla Minus One secured ratings of 8.4. The top 5 concluded with the Kannada film ‘Kaiva’ boasting a rating of 8.2.
Despite competition from major productions, ‘12th Fail’ experienced a resurgence in interest after its OTT release, adding to its theatrical success, where it grossed over Rs 70 crore worldwide. The film, which defied industry expectations with its modest budget of Rs 20 crore, achieved a remarkable feat, continuing its strong run in theatres even in its tenth week, post-OTT release.
Directed by Vidhu Vinod Chopra, ‘12th Fail’ is a biographical drama depicting the remarkable journey of Manoj Kumar Sharma, who triumphed over extreme poverty to become an Indian Police Service officer. The film initially gained momentum through word of mouth, eventually crossing the Rs 50 crore mark.