Have you ever felt the excitement, emotion, curiosity, feel-good factor when you do something which you are passionate about ? Skater Girl is a riveting drama of a simple village girl who follows her passion to skate board as it elevates her feeling to another level.
While few parts India has developed in terms of mindset over caste, culture and religion, the other part is still cruising along the issues of women equality, early-age marriage and caste disparity. In this part of India, it becomes difficult to nurture your dreams and take it forward to ultimately realize it. Set in the remote village of Rajasthan, Khempur, Prerna (Rachel Saanchita Gupta) desires to learn skateboard encouraged by Jessica (Amy Maghera), a Londoner who visits the village in order to know about her father’s early life. Jessica is joined by Erick (Jonathan Readwin) who teaches at a village school. When Prerna watches Erick doing some tricks with Skateboard, she feels the urge to learn the game. Jessica and Erick realizes the potential and feel that a platform should be built in the village where the kids can learn the game and participate in the skateboard competition. However, Prerna faces the challenges from her father who thinks his daughter should not indulge in this “boys” game and should rather focus on the household stuff.
Directed by debutant Manjari Makijani, Skater Girl takes some freedom to divert away from the sports topic and talks about child marriage, untouchability, male hypocrisy and culture disbelief in the rural part of India (which is still existing). However, the silver lining is that Manjari Makijani and her co-writer, Vinati Makijani, also sheds some light how kids, if guided in right direction and with right platform, can do wonders in their life and can become champion, making their family and country proud. ( I can vouch for Geeta Phogat and Babita Phogat in the field of wrestling).
Skater Girl also has few hiccups in terms of predictable writing and few excitements clearly missing, considering it is a sports film but never shy away from keeping you engrossed. The short comings are compensated with the enduring performances by the star cast will leave you satisfied in the end. Music by Salim-Sulaiman, generally used in background, is tuneful and gels well with the mood of the film. Cinematography is spellbinding capturing the essence of village life in its beautiful frame. Art direction is brilliant. The team has actually built a set resembling a skateboarding ring in the village to shoot the film. At the end credits, it is seen that the ring offers free services to the village kids. Dialogues are punching.
Rachel Saanchi Gupta was perfect for the role of a girl who wants to break away from the shackles of society and the clutches of her arrogant father but want to do just skateboard as it gives her an extraordinary feeling. She emotes so well through her eyes and is amazing to watch her act. Amy Maghera surprises as a mentor and displays matured acting. Watch for her. she definitely has long way to go. I liked other actors who does justice to their role which includes Jonathan Readwin, Ambrish Saxena, Swati Das, Vinayak Gupta. Special mention for the veteran actress Waheeda Rehman who shines every times she appears on-screen. I wish she could have more scenes.
Overall, Skater-Girl is a feel-good cinema which succeeds in striking the right chord with captivating message and brave performances. Go for it 3/5
Skater-Girl is produced by Skatepark Films and Mac Productions. The sports drama is currently streaming on Netflix.