Bend It Like Beckham

From Academic Kids

Template:Infobox Movie Bend It Like Beckham is a British film released in 2002, directed by Gurinder Chadha from an original screenplay written by Chadha, Paul Berges, and Guljit Bindra. Originally released in 2002, it was re-released in America in March, 2003. It tells the tale of a young Sikh girl who must struggle against her family's orthodox mindset to fulfil her dream of playing professional football. The film's title is a reference to the English footballer David Beckham and his skill at scoring from free-kicks, by bending the ball.

It was filmed throughout London, UK including Soho (football store and pub), Hounslow (where everyone lives), Piccadilly Circus, and Southall (an inner-London borough), as well as in Hamburg, Germany.

Tagline: Who wants to cook Aloo gobi when you can bend a ball like Beckham?



The film is a coming-of-age tale about a teenage Sikh girl, Jesminder "Jess" Bhamra (played by Parminder Nagra), living in the suburbs of London not far from Heathrow Airport. Her first-generation Punjabi immigrant parents (her father's family is from Kenya, but it is never made clear where her mother is from) push her hard to study to get into university and become a solicitor (AE: lawyer), and wish to arrange a marriage for her in due course. The assimilated Jesminder instead dreams of football, inspired by one of England's most famous players, David Beckham, and displays unusual skill at the game in park matches with the local boys, running them ragged with her evasive skills.

Spotted by Juliette "Jules" Paxton (Keira Knightley), the star player at the Hounslow Harriers (a local women's football club), she decides to join the club and becomes a key member of the side, to the dismay of her parents. She also develops a strong bond with the team's coach, a young former player whose dreams of stardom were shattered when he injured his knee (Jonathan Rhys-Meyers). The resulting situation sets up a number of culture clashes ranging from the comical to the serious, as Jesminder, her friends both from within the Indian community and the soccer club, and family, try to negotiate their way between the expectations of two cultures and their own dreams and desires.

The movie also shows that immigrant families are not unique in their adherence to tradition, through a parallel subplot in which Jules's mother (Juliet Stevenson), who has very conventional views of femininity, mistakenly believes that Jules is in a lesbian relationship with Jesminder. In addition, instead of the standard plot device of the unyielding father and the understanding mother, the roles are reversed with the father having the wisdom to let her daughter fulfill her dreams, even when it means leaving a wedding early.

David Beckham and Victoria Beckham were keen to make cameo appearances in the film but were unable due to work commitments. Chadha used two look-a-likes instead.


This movie was popular with audiences around the world, surprisingly enough in the United States, where David Beckham was little known at the time of its release. This film made Beckham more well-known in North America.

Critical reviews were a little mixed, with at least some critics describing it derisively as "Billy Elliot with football instead of ballet;" some American critics thought the film was merely mining the same vein of humor as My Big Fat Greek Wedding. Underscoring the latter point, critic Steve Sailer, in a mildly favorable review, dubbed the movie My Big Fat Sikh Heading.

The 9th Pyongyang Film Festival, held in 2004, screened a dubbed and censored version of Bend It Like Beckham and U.S.-produced South African drama Cry, The Beloved Country. Bend it like Beckham reportedly delighted the limited audience of less than 100 that was allowed to see it. The film won the music prize.

See also

External links

sv:Skruva den som Beckham


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