Skater Girl Review: This is probably a fundamental difference between humans and other animals. Man can dream and he has enough courage to fulfill his dreams, or maybe he can try to fulfill them. Dreams are those aspirations which arise out of a lack in some corner of the mind and then the heart and mind are covered in such a way that the whole life is spent in fulfilling them. Dreams should always be bigger than their potential. The story of Skater Girl, recently released on Netflix, is a sweet story of such dreams.
Sports Many movies have been made on this subject. From Saina Nehwal’s biopic or Mary Kom, Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s life to the wrestling of the Phogat family… In the last few years, sports subjects have started gaining prominence in Hindi films. Although most of the stories are of struggle, victory against adversity, yet there is something special in films made on sports that they impress you every time.
Skater Girl is more a story of stubbornness than of indomitable courage, a stubbornness that doesn’t fight but tries many times to keep its word, until it wins. While searching for her father’s birthplace from London, Jessica (Amy Maghera) reaches a village in Udaipur in Rajasthan and meets Prerna, the eldest girl from the Bhil family. This family, battling the curse of poverty, kills their dreams a little bit every day. Prerna’s brother is sad because of his low caste. One day, an American Eric who is Jessica’s friend comes to that village. Eric comes riding a skateboard and seeing him fills a different excitement among the children, especially Prerna and her brother. Prerna, her brother and many school children want to learn to skateboard, so Jessica orders a skateboard for them from London and begins the process of learning to ride a skateboard.
As economic and caste conflicts hinder the story, Jessica enlists the help of the Queen of Udaipur (Waheeda Rehman) for permission to build a skating rink in that village. Eric and his friends have fun building this rink and the kids practice at the rink instead of on the village street. Meanwhile, Prerna’s father fixes her marriage and despite all the opposition, the day comes when there is a wedding and there is also a national level competition in the skating rink on the same day. After a little drama, a little crying and a little protest, Prerna runs away from home and participates in the competition and her angry father is also happy to see her. The film is poignant but avoids the sentimentality like typical Hindi films. The events that happen in the film are possible, but the director of the film Manjari Makhijani has made her film career in America, so there is little connection with these events. Significantly, Manjari’s father is actor McMahon and Manjari seems to be the sister of Raveena Tandon. Based in Los Angeles, Manjari has worked as an assistant in Saat Khoon Maaf with Vishal Bhardwaj, Wonder Woman with Patty Jenkins and The Dark Knight Rises with Christopher Nolan and learned the tricks of direction. However, this film of his is completely different from the style of any of his guru’s films. The direction is good, nowhere does the film try to go beyond the script and hence keep the audience hooked. Simple feelings of ordinary people, small joys, big sorrows and difficult life… are the specialty of this film. The battle of caste is not bloody but it is bitter. Freedom to girls, that too seems like a dream in Rajasthan but the character of Waheeda Rehman ji gave wings to that dream to fly in such a beautiful way that something good will happen as soon as they come in the film, it seems.
Rachel Sanchita Gupta is the lead actress of the film. She has done a great job in the role of Prerna. She hails from Delhi and is associated with theatre. There are dreams in their eyes but the face deceives a little. The baraat’s arrival and Prerna running away from the house are good scenes but after that Rachel’s process of getting ready for the skateboarding competition looks incredible. Some scenes like when the teacher in the school punishes her for cleaning the school or when she sits at the computer watching the video, has become very good. There is a lot of potential in this actress. Maybe in the coming time we will be able to see her in glamorous roles too.
Waheeda ji’s character is small and so impressive that acting is done through her eyes. One more thing comes to know from this that till date no substitute of experience has come. Rest of the actors are also good, have small roles and all have done well. Anurag Arora has played a very good role as a school teacher, while Ankit Rao, who is seen in advertisements, has also done the job of guest house owner and multi-business jugaadoo.
Music in the film is given by Salim Suleman and skateboarding is an American sport hence some English and some Hindustani songs have been kept. Mari jumps are loud. Shine On Me plays in the background and fills you up while skateboarding. It is sung by famous rap artist Raja Kumari. The film was made keeping in mind the international audience and film festival, so the songs are like this. There is a lack of a pure Rajasthani song in the film.
This film is based on the story of a girl named Asha Gond at a place named Animal in Madhya Pradesh. Although Manjari denies that the film is based on the story of Asha, in a small village in India, a girl’s rebellion against skateboarding has happened only in animals. Ulrich Reinhardt, a social activist from Germany, built a skating rink in this village for which he took help from friends abroad. Something similar has been shown in this film itself. Well, controversies have started being a part of films and so are right in Skater Girl. The name of this film was first named Desert Dolphin, then its name was made easy for common understanding.
The film can be seen with the whole family and especially it must be shown to the children to develop their independent thinking. There is definitely a foreign point of view to understand the story, but the film has become good.