"The film is bursting with energy and populated with
an attractive and engaging cast"
"exuberant riot of color, sound, and
Bend It Like Beckham
by Gurinder Chaddha starring Parminder
Nagra and Keira Knightley
An exploration of the world of women's football
which follows two eighteen-year-olds who have their hearts set on a future
in professional soccer.
For all its light-hearted comic interludes, Bend it like
Beckham tackles contemporary issues of cultural clashes, female
independence and the importance of family. Director Gurinder Chaddha tells
the story of Jess Bhamra (Parminder Nagra), a young girl brought up
within the traditional boundaries of a Sikh family who manages to live out
her fantasies in an uproarious way. Despite her parent's grounded roots
the anglicised Jess joins the Hounslow Harriers and, with the help of her
friend Jules (Keira Knightley), sneaks out of the house to follow her
dream of playing alongside all-time hero David Beckham.
The film draws interesting parallels between the two girls, one British
and one Asian, highlighting that although their colour may be different
many of their ideals are the same. Jules' British mother is no less
horrified by her daughter's natural talent in soccer than Mrs Bhamra, and
even mistakes one embrace between the girls as a lesbian relationship.
Refreshingly, though, for once the parents are not portrayed as
unreasonable: their disapproval of Jess' chosen path is a result of their
concern for her, and in the end they can't help but to give in to her
dreams. All in all, this is a film that shows the meaning of being British
Asian today - and how it is possible for Asian girls to make round
chapattis as well as to bend it like Beckham.
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