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Bend It Like Beckham

"The film is bursting with energy and populated with an attractive and engaging cast"

"exuberant riot of color, sound, and merriment"

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.

Review

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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