Skater Girl (2021)
107 min|Drama, Family, Sport|11 Jun 2021
6.7Rating: 6.7 / 10 from 4,958 usersMetascore: N/A
When a teen in rural India discovers a life-changing passion for skateboarding, she faces a rough road as she follows her dream to compete.

Skater Girl is a US and Indian sports drama film directed by Manjari Makijany. This Netflix release starred several amateur players, Rachel Sanchita Gupta, Shafin Patel, and British actress Amrit Maghera. What is unique about this fictional film is that the story is set in an actual location, Khempur Village, and built a skateboard park there. So, does this film have a new twist on the genre?

Prerna (Gupta) and Ankush (Patel) are sisters and brothers who live in an isolated and underdeveloped area, Khempur, in the Udaipur region of Rajasthan, India. Their families live in poverty which makes up the majority of the people in their village. The caste tradition is still strong. One day, the two of them intersect with Jessica (Maghera), a tourist from London who stays at a motel there. Jessica’s partner, Erick, once came into action with his skateboard. The children of the villagers were soon enthusiastic about this sport, including Prerna and Ankush. Traditions and old-fashioned citizens are their biggest enemies.

For the genre, the story can’t be said to be fresh. Indian sports films have proven to be internationally successful, such as Lagaan (cricket) and Dangal (wrestling). Similar to the two, which have a robust local touch, but Skater Girl has its uniqueness. The resistance of Prerna and the children of the hamlets against the mainstream tradition are the exciting moments in the plot. Their joys and sorrows are the strength of the story. Although the story is not difficult to anticipate, it can still present a touching side of drama, especially for feminists. Freedom and courage became its most powerful message, with actions that inspired many people. Unfortunately, Jessica’s internal problem is not mentioned more in the plot, so it feels like something is missing.

Baca Juga  Wednesday

Although considered a cliché for its genre, Skater Girl provides a unique perspective by colliding the modern side of sports with local traditions and customs. The courage of the producers to make a film on a colossal scale in such an isolated location deserves high appreciation. Unfortunately, the film’s story is not a true story. It’s not a problem. At least, Skater Girl has been able to provide an evocative story, as well as a quality biopic in its genre.

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A lifelong cinephile, he cultivated a deep interest in film from a young age. Following his architectural studies, he embarked on an independent exploration of film theory and history. His passion for cinema manifested in 2006 when he began writing articles and film reviews. This extensive experience subsequently led him to a teaching position at the esteemed Television and Film Academy in Yogyakarta. From 2003 to 2019, he enriched the minds of students by instructing them in Film History, Introduction to Film Art, and Film Theory. His scholarly pursuits extended beyond the classroom. In 2008, he published his seminal work, "Understanding Film," which delves into the core elements of film, both narrative and cinematic. The book's enduring value is evidenced by its second edition, released in 2018, which has become a cornerstone reference for film and communication academics across Indonesia. His contributions extend beyond his own authorship. He actively participated in the compilation of the Montase Film Bulletin Compilation Book Volumes 1-3 and "30 Best Selling Indonesian Films 2012-2018." Further solidifying his expertise, he authored both "Horror Film Book: From Caligari to Hereditary" (2023) and "Indonesian Horror Film: Rising from the Grave" (2023). His passion for film extends to the present day. He continues to provide insightful critiques of contemporary films on, while actively participating in film production endeavors with the Montase Film Community. His own short films have garnered critical acclaim at numerous festivals, both domestically and internationally. Recognizing his exceptional talent, the 2022 Indonesian Film Festival shortlisted his writing for Best Film Criticism (Top 15). His dedication to the field continues, as he currently serves as a practitioner-lecturer for Film Criticism and Film Theory courses at the Yogyakarta Indonesian Institute of the Arts' Independent Practitioner Program.


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