Skater Girl is that kind of story that you can’t watch without smiling through your tears. It is an inspiration, it is a story of female empowerment, of strength and of hope, especially of hope because girls who have nothing except dreams, are capable of finding themselves and fighting for what they really want.
First, how about background? Here’s the trailer for Skater Girl.
Skater Girl tells the story of Prerna, a young Indian woman who had to drop out of school to help at home because … well, that’s what her father thinks she should do: help at home and get married to take care of her husband, her children and a build a home.
But Prerna dreams of something more, of being herself, not someone’s wife or someone’s mother, but being her. She is not exactly clear who she wants to be in the future but she knows what she does not want to be and finds herself… trapped. She knows that her family, especially her father, will not allow her to be anything other than what he believes she should be. And she doesn’t want to disappoint her family.
So Prerna is caught between not wanting to disappoint her family and being who they expect her to be and being who she wants to be. Prerna finds herself caught between duty and her heart.
In the midst of all this confusion, she meets Jessica, a London woman who comes to India trying to find her roots. The two become friends and, like a little game, skateboarding becomes part of Prerna’s life. It’s normal for Jessica and her partner but not for Prerna and her brother, who barely had a log with a rudimentary rope to play with.
When Prerna gets on the skateboard for the first time she feels free. Fears, worries, duties, that feeling of internal division just flies away, it goes away and only she remains, that skateboard, the wind in her face … and everyone in front of her.
Jessica realizes that skateboarding can be a good means to help the children of that village, so that they have a chance to be children and play and have fun and not have to worry about the duties that should correspond to adults , so she intends to help them by organizing a competition.
While Prerna discovers a new world through skateboarding and feels free and happy, her family doesn’t feel the same. His father is determined to nip that dream in the bud and her mother … her mother wants her to be strong, for her to be whoever she wants to be … but she knows what that would mean for everyone so she just … she doesn’t dare to let Prerna fly, not completely … but she does help her by covering her as much as possible so that her husband does not realize what is happening.
But secrets do not stay hidden forever … and Prerna’s father finds out about everything and in a heartbreaking scene, while Prerna cries inconsolably and we scream in frustration, he burns her skateboard. He burns Prerna’s dreams, her freedom, her free will, her wings, he burns everything.
And I don’t understand how someone like that, who can hear his daughter cry inconsolably, who can be so cruel, can call himself a father. He doesn’t listen to her, he doesn’t listen to her wishes, her emotions, her dreams. Also, he goes to see Jessica and complains about what she is doing.
And I can’t bear it. Jessica taught those children, especially Prerna, what it was like to be children and play and have fun and laugh and live, while men like Prerna’s father just clip their wings and see no further than their own ass. Jessica is doing something nice for those kids.
But Prerna’s father can’t see it, he doesn’t want to see it. So he arranges for her to marry someone she doesn’t even know and her mother dresses her for the occasion. But Prerna is stronger than that, she is stronger than anything and with the help of her brother and Jessica, she manages to compete in the skating competition. And she gets her parents there and they feel proud of her, even her father.
Her mother breaks free too, it is the first time that she has opposed her husband, and she does it for her daughter. Because her daughter gave her the strength she needed to do it. And the two of them just look at her. Her daughter is different but she is wonderful as well. They are proud of her, they love her for who she is.
The Queen herself congratulates Prerna. She is in a position of power but in such a sexist society it was not easy to get there, it was not easy to earn everyone’s respect, that is why she helped in Jessica’s project, because she knows what it is to feel that you have no way out, no more future other than which is imposed on you.
In the middle of all this, there is a boy from a higher Caste who looks at Prerna and they fall in love, even though their parents are opposed because they both belong to different Castes and I love them as a couple, they are so cute …
He loves Prerna for who she is, different, daring, rebellious and I love to see that, I love to see how he, despite living in a society that gives him all the advantages and all the rights, never tries to change Prerna or cut off her wings. On the contrary, he always supports her and lets her shine.
But in this review I wanted to focus on Prerna because it is her story. It is her dream. It is her time to shine.
Thanks to the infrastructure that was built for Skater Girl, many girls today can enjoy it and dream of a different future, many girls can know that there is another way, many girls can see that Prerna’s story can be anyone’s because they can be whatever they want to be and that puts a lump of happiness in my throat.
Prerna dreamed, had hope and was free.
And she will not be the only one.
Agree? Disagree? Don’t hesitate to share it with us in the comments below!
Skate Girl is available on Netflix.