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Bend It Like Beckham
     

Bend It Like Beckham

4.4 44
Director: Gurinder Chadha, Parminder Nagra, Keira Knightley, Jonathan Rhys Meyers

Cast: Gurinder Chadha, Parminder Nagra, Keira Knightley, Jonathan Rhys Meyers

 

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An independent-minded young woman discovers the joys of football, much to her family's chagrin, in this upbeat British comedy drama. Jess Bhamra (Parminder Nagra) is an 18-year-old growing up in West London, where her family has taken every effort to stay in touch with its Indian heritage. Jess' father and mother (Anupam Kher and Shaheen Khan) are after their daughter

Overview

An independent-minded young woman discovers the joys of football, much to her family's chagrin, in this upbeat British comedy drama. Jess Bhamra (Parminder Nagra) is an 18-year-old growing up in West London, where her family has taken every effort to stay in touch with its Indian heritage. Jess' father and mother (Anupam Kher and Shaheen Khan) are after their daughter to go to law school, learn to cook a traditional Indian dinner, and settle down with a nice Indian boy -- the latter of which is high on the agenda of her older sister Pinky (Archie Panjabi), who is soon to wed her longtime beau Teetu (Kulvinder Ghir). However, her family is unaware that Jess has a secret passion -- football (or soccer, as it's known in North America). While Jess' enthusiasm for football star David Beckham is obvious, given the fact his photos cover the walls of her room, her parents don't know that in her spare time she likes to play a friendly game in the park with some of the boys in the neighborhood. One day, while Jess and her pals kick the ball around, she meets Jules (Keira Knightley), who is quite impressed with Jess' skills. Jules plays with a local semi-pro women's football team, the Hounslow Harriers, and she thinks Jess has what it takes to make the team. Jess knows that her parents would never approve of their daughter playing football, so she doesn't tell them, and starts spinning an increasingly complex series of lies as she tries to keep up a double life as a student and a footballer. Jess soon discovers a number of her new friends have their own problems to overcome; Jules dreams of playing pro ball in America, but has to deal with her stubborn and disapproving mother (Juliet Stevenson), while Joe (Jonathan Rhys Meyers), Hounslow's Irish coach, still struggles with the disappointment of a career as a professional athlete which was dashed by a knee injury. Bend It Like Beckham was a significant box-office success in Great Britain and Europe, but didn't reach American theaters until nearly a year after it debuted in the U.K.

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Ed Hulse
Arguably this year's most charming comedy, Bend It Like Beckham is a flawlessly executed coming-of-age story structured around the cultural and intergenerational pressures faced by members of a girls' soccer team in England. The movie focuses on Jesminder "Jess" Bhamira (played by radiant young Indian actress Parminder Nagra), whose immigrant Sikh parents disapprove of her obsession with soccer. They believe she should be honing her cooking skills and looking for a nice Indian boy to marry, but Jess rejects their entreaties and instead joins the Hounslow Harriers, developing a crush on her coach (Jonathan Rhys-Meyers) into the bargain. The narrative developed by director and co-writer Gurinder Chadha isn't startlingly original, but it is infectiously effervescent and unexpectedly moving. In this case, familiarity does not breed contempt, primarily because Chadha takes a commonsense approach to characterization and avoids clichés. Much of the credit for Beckham's success belongs to its cast. Nagra makes her character independent-minded but not contemptuous of the cultural traditions to which her parents adhere. Jesminder's friend and teammate, Juliette (Pirates of the Caribbean's Keira Knightley), faces similar problems at home, especially from a doting mother (Juliet Stevenson) who can't understand why her tomboy daughter wouldn't rather wear a Wonderbra and adopt more girlish ways. The gentle tweaking of conventional values bespeaks affection and respect and places this eminently enjoyable movie far above its coarser Hollywood contemporaries.
All Movie Guide - Michael Hastings
Serving up Britcom clichés and genuine good heart in equal measure, Gurinder Chadha's culture-clash comedy is destined to win over all but the most cynical of audiences. Bend It Like Beckham doesn't offer any insights into Anglo-Indian issues -- racial, sexual, political, or otherwise -- that haven't already been better-covered by such filmmakers as Hanif Kureishi or Mira Nair. But it does seamlessly integrate its lighter-than-air girl-power agenda into the larger template of a screwball domestic comedy, complete with petty duplicities, a love triangle, and a climactic family wedding. Pushed along with snappy editing and a well-chosen pop soundtrack, the film buzzes by at a pleasant pace, and although the characters hem closely to their pre-ordained types (the sensible mother, the stubborn father, the impudent older sister), each is given enough screen time to make a sufficient emotional impact. None of this would work, however, without leads Parminder K. Nagra and Keira Knightley, whose easygoing rapport and apple-cheeked earnestness are a perfect fit with the movie's tone. For her part, director Chadha doesn't conjure up much visual poetry, but she does have a keen sense for the comically absurd: a throwaway shot of a gaggle of traditionally dressed Indian matriarchs digging for their cell phones -- in tandem -- is one of Beckham's best moments.
Entertainment Weekly - Owen Gleiberman
The most exhilarating movie so far this year. It's made up of many familiar elements -- think Monsoon Wedding meets My Beautiful Laundrette meets Personal Best -- yet before long, you catch on to how buoyant and funny and original it is.
Washington Post - Desson Howe
There's a great sense of fun in the cultural collision between Indian and British lifestyles -- often within the same person.
Los Angeles Times - Kenneth Turan
Smart, lively and altogether warmhearted dramatic comedy.

Product Details

Release Date:
11/25/2002
UPC:
4895033728320
Original Release:
2002
Source:
Imports
Region Code:
3
Sales rank:
42,359

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Parminder Nagra Jesminder "Jess" Bhamra
Keira Knightley Juliette "Jules" Paxton
Jonathan Rhys Meyers Joe
Shaheen Khan Mrs. Bhamra
Anupam Kher Mr. Bhamra
Ameet Chana Tony
Juliet Stevenson Paula
Archie Panjabi Pinky
Trey Farley Taz
Kulvinder Ghir Teetu
Frank Harper Alan
Imran Ali Gary
Saraj Chaudhry Sonny
Preeya Kalidas Monica
Shaznay Lewis Mel
Pooja Shah Meena
Paven Virk Bubbly

Technical Credits
Gurinder Chadha Director,Producer,Screenwriter
Paul Mayeda Berges Screenwriter
Guljit Bindra Screenwriter
Simon Franks Executive Producer
Zygi Kamasa Executive Producer
Deepak Nayar Producer

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Bend It Like Beckham 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 44 reviews.
E.Dzanda More than 1 year ago
This is a cute and cheeky British film showcasing some of Keira Knightley's early acting. The film is light-hearted and fun surrounding the British obsession with soccer and the handsome and talented David Beckham. There are some cultural differences that are brought up in the film about the expectations of an orthodox Sikh lady growing up in modern-day London. This is definitely an empowering "girly" movie, a great pick for a girls' night in.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Guest More than 1 year ago
I love this movie. I thought it was absolutly hilarious! Keira Knightley is awesome!
Guest More than 1 year ago
she is such a good actress and shes really good at football(soccer)!!!!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I'm from India myself, and this a great movie to watch! I give this one two thumbs up!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I was completely blown away when I saw this film, and the acting is excellent. This is a modern classic portrait of a teen struggling against her Indian upbringing and her dreams of playing soccer just like her idol, David Beckham. This is a great movie with an outstanding breakout performance by Parminder Nagra. Keira Knightley is just as stunning as well.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I winced every time Jess was caught playing soccer and her parents disapproved. Why learn how to play soccer when you can learn how to cook and clean for your future husband? Although the rules imposed on Jess seem ridiculous, it is a reality faced by many Indian girls. However, Jess came out on top against her old school parents and leaves the audience in a happy mood. Go Jess!!!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
this movie bend it like beckman rocked. you should buy it. i am a fan now of this flim.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is an amazing movie because its full of friendship and love. What really touched me was the blending of two completely different cultures by the art of soccer. I would definately recommend this movie to anybody!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Bend It Like Beckham is most certainly one of my favorite movies. It has a great cast and a well written script, plus, it's about football (soccer)! Bend It Like Beckham also has a great soundtrack.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I rented this movie because it was recommended on the radio as a good family film and I was then blown away by the depth of new insights I gained into the British and Indian cultures. I loved the actors, the comedy and the love story, as well as the soccer scenes. I'm not a soccer fan, so it is a real credit to this film that I was so captivated by the sports stuff. Jess's moves were fascinating to watch, and I loved the way the director used comedy to hold your attention and lighten things up. I also enjoyed the director's commentary on the DVD. The director explains that the movie is very autobiographical and she gives even more insight into the blending of eastern and western cultures in suburban West London. After watching the movie, the music from the soundtrack kept haunting my memory, so I bought the CD and it is now one of my favorites. This movie really rocks!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Bend It Like Beckham is a very creative and inventive movie. It makes you feel good unlike most of the movies out lately. Not only is the story and characters fun and refreshing but it's also a visual spectacular. This movie appeals to a wide range of audiences. A complete 5 star movie watching expierence!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Bend it Like Beckham is the best movie. I think there should be more movies about sports because they are very interesting. I think people that like sports, especially soccer would love this movie.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This movie is awesome! If you liked My Big Fat Greek Wedding ;), then you'll love this. There are great actors in this movie: Kiera Knightley, Anupam Kher, Parmindar Nagra, and you can't forget the total blue-eyed GOD........... the one and only Jonathan Rhys-Myers. This movie'll have you rolling on the floor with laughter. Gotta watch it!!!!!;) It scored big with everyone I told to watch it and my family. Think about it ........ if everybody else liked it, then you will too. SO, WATCH THE MOVIE LIKE EVERYBODY ELSE DID, YOU WON'T REGRET IT!!!!!!!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
My husband and I both really enjoyed this film. The characters were rich and humorous, and it was anything but typical fare.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I saw this movie with my two best friends and we loved it. We get together and watch the DVD every weekend. Even if you don't like soccer you'll love this movie.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Cool Movie! Must Watch!
Guest More than 1 year ago
A terrific comedy and wonderful story. I could not stop laughing. It's a must see for all.
Guest More than 1 year ago
great soccer movie. if you dont like sports movie, you wont like this one. their is some inappropriate language and some "stuff" that isnt really meant for young kids. otherwise, its a great movie.
Guest More than 1 year ago
A must-see film.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Usually my friends and I rent british movies and try to adopt an English accent, inbetween the fits giggles and the 'Girl stuff' we managed to 'oh baby' the coach and want to pick up our soccer balls and play a game. For girls who are often misjudged because they are athletes, it does send a great message with a lot of cute guys and no shirts. A real must see for all teenagers.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I myself am from a Sikh family and can relate to Jess, this movie was so funny and really captures the Punjabi culture. I really enjoyed all the characters and thought everyone should see this movie.