Skater Girl 2021 Movie Review
The Gist: Prerna (Rachel Saanchita Gupta) comes from a low caste family in a Rajasthani village where her father’s greatest ambition for her is to get her married. When Prerna meets Jessica (Amy Maghera), a Londoner who has come to find answers in the place where her father grew up, she is introduced to skateboarding, which may ultimately prove to be the one thing that can save her.
What Will It Remind You Of?: Focused on a young girl who is trying to buck tradition and prove herself, Skater Girl can be compared to the likes of Whale Rider.
Performance Worth Watching: Newcomer Rachel Saanchita Gupta is the titular Skater Girl and she is so warm and full of life in every scene of this film. Your heart will break for Prerna and you will root for her every step of the way, all due to Gupta’s beautiful inhabitation of the character.
Our Take: From the title, one would assume that the main character in Skater Girl would be some sort of savant—a diamond in the rough prodigal skateboarder that was discovered in a small village by pure luck. But it’s not, and the film is better for it. In reality, the film is more focused on the doors that can be opened just by having the opportunity to try things and explore who you are and what your interests are, and the ways that those opportunities can unlock a different level of self-esteem and belonging.
The film is plotted extremely well, culminating in a third act that had me on the edge of my seat. I was initially worried that Skater Girl would veer too close to “white savior” territory in that it would lean too heavily on the concept of foreigners being the change agent in making a better life for unassuming rural Indian villagers, but I’m happy to be proven wrong. The film is imbued with so much love for its female lead and her hopes and dreams, even if they only extend as far as a skateboarding competition a few weeks away. I cried multiple times, shaken by the realities that still face many women in these rural communities (from child marriage to caste-based scrutiny) and the strength of the human spirit.