Run time: 110 min
Release platform: Netflix
Director & Producer: Manjari Makijany
Writers: Manjari Makijany & Vinati Makijany
Cast: Amrit Maghera, Waheeda Rehman, Rachel Saanchita Gupta, Jonathan Readwin, Shafin Patel
IMDB rating: 6.6/10, Rotten Tomatoes: 83%
My rating: 8/10
Background: Manjari Makijany, Indian writer, director and producer who finds her forté in American and Hindi cinema, is best known for her award-winning short films, The Last Marble (2012) and The Corner Table (2014). She has written and directed Skater Girl so flawlessly and passionately that it justifies its consistent trending at #3 on Netflix India’s Top 10 list at this time.
The characters are beautifully-written with well-defined boundaries for every role, be it Jessica, Prerna, Erick or Ankush. Jessica (Amrit Maghera), a London resident holding a top position in a reputed advertising MNC there visits India in search of some answers related to her past, story of her father and his origin. Visiting Khempur (her father’s birthplace) makes her feel connected to him. It is here that she meets Prerna (Rachel Saanchita Gupta), a teenager from a lower caste family, who in the opening scene is seen sitting by the roadside selling peanuts. She has to skip school because of lack of finances, a proper school uniform and books. Her family can afford only one child’s education which goes to her brother Ankush (Shafin Patel). Prerna’s father is a factory worker who works double shifts to make ends meet and her mother is a homemaker who wants to go out for work and support the family but is barred by her husband and society on grounds of deep-seated social stigmas and taboos. A rather important role is that of Erick (Jonathan Readwin), is a friend of Jessica from L.A. who now lives in India, and is a school teacher and pro-skateboarder. It is Erick who introduces Prerna to skateboarding.