Bend It Like Beckham is a thorougly entertaining movie about Jess, a girl who just wants to play football while her parents want her to be a traditional Indian girl and marry a nice Indian boy. While playing football in the park with her guy friends, Jess is approached by Juliet, a caucasian girl who plays for a girl's team and thinks Jess would be a good addition. This sets up the familiar plot where young child tries to follow her dream, gets in trouble with the parents, before a successful conclusion of all the plot threads.
Although there's nothing new in the plot of this story, it's the ethnographic details and the extreme likability of the actors that makes this film a joy to watch. Aside from the obvious gender-switching (girl playing sports), the setting (London) and the family (traditional Indian), there's a number of small touches that raise the movie above what could have been simplistic Disney fare, such as Juliet and her not-quite-similar situation where her father supports her while her mother doesn't and the young Irish male coach with another dissimilar home situation in which the father supported him too much. It's as if you get a cross-section of the possibilities of parent-child relationship, to compare and contrast and realize that for all their differences, it still comes down to the need for the child to make his or her own way in the world.
Like another ethnic take on a traditional theme, My Big Fat Greek Wedding, Bend It Like Beckham succeeds because it reveals that while the food, dress, or customs may be different, parents are parents and children are children. It also provides an amusing glimpse into that other culture and helps us all realize that, underneath it all, we have the same concerns as each other.
Bend it Like Beckham is a British comedy flick about a talented girl named Jesminder (aka Jess) who loves to play soccer and has one really big problem: her rigid Punjabi Sikh family wants her to settle down, learn to cook, find a suitable husband, and quit playing sports. Amidst the usual trials of friendship and love, Jesminder, struggling to satisfy both her family and herself, ends up lying to her parents in order to go to her soccer team meetings and matches. But of course, as the saying goes, … more
I caught this movie while flipping through the cable channels and was instantly mesmerized. It is about a teenage Indian girl (nicknamed Jesse) in London who loves soccer and hopes to play for the British woman's team. The problem is her family still believes that women are married early and have many kids and do not delve into distractions like games. Therefore, Jesse must sneak away to attend practices. She develops a friendship with one of her teammates and generally loves … more
This charming little movie combines sports, young love, and family conflict to make an utterly entertaining comedy/drama. Jess (Parminder Nagra) dreams of playing professional soccer and must hide the fact that she plays on a girls' team from her Indian family. They want her to settle down with a proper Indian husband and be a traditional wife. Teammate Jules (Keira Knightley) introduces Jess to a new world of fun, but they are both attracted to their handsome coach (Jonathan Rhys-Myers). Th … more
This is a delighful coming of age movie about two 18 year old girls in London who love soccer (football). One, an Indian Sikh teenager, (Jessie) has a poster of soccer star Beckham in her room, which she talks to, expressintg her desire to become a professional soccer player - hardly a goal her proper Sikh family would approve of. Mom wants her to learn how to cook in the Indian way, marry and have children. Dad, an airline pilot, wants her to go to university and become a lawyer - then get married … more
I caught this movie while flipping through the cable channels and was instantly mesmerized. It is about a teenage Indian girl (nicknamed Jesse) in London who loves soccer and hopes to play for the British woman's team. The problem is her family still believes that women are married early and have many kids and do not delve into distractions like games. Therefore, Jesse must sneak away to attend practices. She develops a friendship with one of her teammates and generally loves the new world she has … more
Parminder Nagra is superb as Jesminder "Jess" Bhamra, a London born teen but raised in the Indian orthodox Sikh religion. The youngest daughter of the Family Bhamra (Anupam Kher & Shaheen Khan), Jess is disobedient to her parents and the traditional, old school ways of Sikh. Jess just happens to be a very gifted football (soccer) player and hatches a plan to go behind her parents backs to play on the London girl's professional football team along with her friend and teammate … more
This is a wonderful story about a girl wanting to pursue her dreams of soccer stardom. But don't make the mistake of thinking that you should have more than a passing interest in the game in order to understand and relate to this film. All you need to know is that the Beckham of the title is the Michael Jordon/Wayne Gretzky or English soccer and that he has the ability to kick a ball along a curved trajectory, hence "bending it". The basic themes are far more universal, centering around the differences … more
BEND IT LIKE BECKHAM is an example of what films that deal with ethnic issues can acomplish. Made with great authority and tenderness by Gurinder Chadka, this endearing movie is about coming of age, about girls in sports, about traditional family values and customs (both East Indian and British), and in general embraces all the spectrum of the day to day traumas and triumphs we all encountered as youngsters. Chadka has elected to use neophytes as actors for the young girls (Parminder Nagra, Keira … more
Like everybody else, I appreciate knowing in advance if a film is poor so I can avoid it; also, I prefer to "discover" an especially enjoyable film rather than hear or read raves about it in advance. This is one of three films I saw for the first time without knowing anything about them, the other two being Good Will Hunting and My Big Fat Greek Wedding. Although I consider none a "great" film, I thoroughly enjoyed all three but for different reasonsBend It Like Beckham was directed by Gurinder … more
Glen is a forty-something communications professional living near Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. He grew up in Texas and has also lived inLos Angeles, Colorado, Washington State, and Washington, DC. Glen also … more
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An Indian family in London tries to raise their soccer-playing daughter in a traditional way. Unlike tarty elder sister, Pinky, who is preparing for an Indian wedding and a lifetime of cooking the perfect chapatti, Jess' dream is to play soccer professionally like her hero David Beckham. Wholeheartedly against Jess' unorthodox ambition, her parents eventually reveal that their reservations have more to do with protecting her than with holding her back. When Jess is forced to make a choice between tradition and her beloved sport, her family must decide whether to let her chase her dream...and a soccer ball.