Bharat Express

Haider Director Vishal Bhardwaj Hails ’12th Fail’ as Beacon for Independent Cinema Amid Theatrical Uncertainties

Vishal Bhardwaj commented, “There are no celebrities, no eccentricities, and the background score is also exquisite.”

Filmmaker Vishal Bhardwaj sees the success of “12th Fail” as a beacon of hope for independent cinema amid uncertain times for theatrical releases. Reflecting on the past, Bhardwaj noted the ease with which films like his Shakespeare trilogy – “Maqbool,” “Omkara,” and “Haider” – as well as movies like “Dev D” and “Oye Lucky Lucky Oye,” used to secure financing.

“Independent cinema has made significant strides, but now it seems to be facing setbacks. The challenges in raising funds for such films are evident as everyone is grappling with uncertainties about theatrical success,” Bhardwaj remarked at a press conference during the recently concluded Jaipur Literature Festival 2024.

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Bhardwaj lauded filmmaker Vidhu Vinod Chopra for “12th Fail,” a film that defied expectations by performing exceptionally well in a climate dominated by spectacle cinema. Despite being available on OTT platforms, the Vikrant Massey-starter, made on a reported budget of ₹20 crore, continues to thrive in cinemas since its October release, surpassing ₹70 crore in box office earnings.

“The success of ’12th Fail’ serves as a silver lining. The absence of star power and gimmicks, coupled with the beautiful background score, exemplifies pure filmmaking by Vidhu Vinod Chopra, making it his best work yet,” Bhardwaj noted.

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He further emphasized the audience’s appetite for diverse content but stressed the necessity for films to justify the theatrical experience. “Whether it’s ‘Animal,’ ‘Jawan,’ ‘Pathaan,’ or mindless South Indian action films, the industry is grappling with an imbalance, trying to discern what resonates with viewers,” Bhardwaj concluded.