‘Skater Girl’ Summary & Review – About Liberation & Freedom

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The Skater Girl is written and directed by Manjari Makijany and co-written by Vinati Makijany. The film is set in a village called Khempur in Rajasthan. It takes a critical look at society and how equality is a concept only meant for the textbooks. This film is about courage. It is about freedom. It is about fighting for things that you deserve. Still, most importantly, it is about shedding that age-old outlook that propagates discrimination and is oblivious to inequality.


‘Skater Girl’ Summary

Prerna (Rachel Sanchita Gupta) is the kind of girl who might not speak up against the unfair things in life but would never accept it. However, she is capable of reversing the tide when the time is in her favor. She likes going to school, but her father thinks it’s of no use and would be more useful in doing household chores. Her father believes that education would not lead her anywhere, but cooking and cleaning the house would show her good character when she is about to get married.

Call it good fortune or destiny, Prerna meets Jessica (Amy Maghera). Jessica is a British citizen who has come to see the village from where her father belonged. She meets all these kids, and in them, she sees dreams and aspirations of becoming something great. She wants to give them the same privilege that she had. She knew what she wanted in her school, but these village kids do not have that liberty. Their dreams are chained by their social and economic status. So, with her friend Erick (Jonathan Redwine), she decides to make a skateboarding arena for these kids.

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But this is India, and a quality innate to society is that we are repulsive towards change. A skateboard arena that, too in an orthodox, was going to be a herculean task for Erick and Jessica. They somehow manage to get a piece of land from the wealthy and influential Maharani (Waheeda Rehman), who came from a royal lineage. As soon as the problem of land and resources gets sorted, another problem pops up. Prerna’s father is against her skating, which he thinks will not yield anything for the family and is just not “useful.” He doesn’t allow her to go and practice for the skating competition that had been organized by the local minister. Her marriage is kept on the same day as the competition. Prerna gets suffocated by the idea of sacrificing her dreams, her happiness just to get married to somebody whom she hasn’t even seen. She takes a decision, maybe in all her naivety, that was powerful enough to disrupt the balance of a patriarchal society.


The Highs and the Lows

It is an undeniable fact that the film has its moments of glory. Some dialogs do strike a chord and vibrate your deepest emotions. Amy Maghera is brilliant as Jessica. She can dig out the emotions even when the writing does not provide her with the needed tools. Her scene with Waheeda Rehman is the focal point of this narrative. The evergreen Waheeda Rehman just adds to the beauty of the whole scene. Jonathan Redwine elevates every scene with his fluid performance. The narrative looks the strongest when Jessica and Erick share the screen space. They fill the gaps left in the screenplay with their improvisations and the little subtleties they bring with them.

Skater Girl tries to address many issues but seems patchy at times. The screenplay sometimes tries to fit in some aspects as if the real motive was just to state the facts, even when they do not fit in at that moment. I understand that the film did have good intentions of showing the class inequalities, gender biases, and many such relevant issues. But it fails to extract those deep emotions inside you because it all seems like a forced fit. The screenplay is like that jerky bus ride that breaks its flow and cannot properly harness the strong premise. The big events of the film do not impact you or give you goosebumps because the build was not effectively created.


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Apart from these glitches, the Skater Girl is a refreshing watch especially due to the strong performances and the positive impact it has created for the people of Khempur by actually building a sporting arena in 45 days during the tenure of the shoot. You can watch the film on Netflix.

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Sushrut Gopesh
I came to Mumbai to bring characters to life. I like to dwell in the cinematic world and ponder over philosophical thoughts. I believe in the kind of cinema that not necessarily makes you laugh or cry but moves something inside you.

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