AnonymousJune 11, 2021 at 10:20 AM
The first time young Prerna (Rachel Saanchita Gupta), a teenage girl living in a small village in Rajasthan, steps on a skateboard, wobbling for balance as she careens down a short dusty slope, her face explodes with joy and exhilaration. Her happiness has more in it than the simple joy of discovery. What you see is Prerna experiencing her first taste of freedom. It’s a transformational moment. Nothing will ever be the same again. Later in the film, Prerna says, “Skateboarding saved my life.” We believe her because we’ve already seen it on her face. This is one of the many moving moments in the sensitive and rousing coming-of-age film “Skater Girl,” directed by Manjari Makijany, with a script by Makijany and her sister Vinati Makijany.
The catalyst for Prerna’s transformational moment is the arrival into the village of Jessica (Amy Maghera), who lives in London, with a high-powered job at a creative agency, and who’s come to the village to seek out her father’s birth-place and to grapple with her ancestral past. Prerna, on the other hand, lives in near-poverty with her mother, father, and younger brother Ankush (Shafin Patel). Prerna attends school off and on, and therefore has trouble keeping up. Jessica attracts the children of the village, because she’s friendly and interested in them. Jessica asks Prerna what she would like to be when she grows up. Prerna is baffled. No one has ever asked her this before. Jessica’s friend Erick (Jonathan Readwin), who teaches in
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