Bend It Like Beckham

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. An unashamedly feel-good movie, 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 soccer.


Warning: Wikipedia contains spoilers

The film is a coming-of-age tale about a teenage Sikh girl, Jasminder "Jess" Bamra (played by Parminder Nagra), living in the suburbs of London not far from Heathrow Airport. Her first-generation immigrant parents from Punjab, India push her hard to study to get into university and become a solicitor (lawyer), and wish to arrange a marriage for her in due course. The assimilated Jasminder instead dreams of football, inspired by England's most famous player 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 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 Jasminder, 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.

David and Victoria Beckham do briefly appear (uncredited) in the film.


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. 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.

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