Bend It Like Beckham

  • Directors: Gurinder Chadha
  • Producers: Gurinder Chadha, Deepak Nayar
  • Writers: Gurinder Chadha, Guljit Bindra, Paul Mayeda Berges
  • Genres: Comedy, Drama, Romance, Sport
  • Actors: Parminder Nagra, Keira Knightley, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Anupam Kher, Shaznay Lewis, Archie Panjabi

18-year-old Jessmindar “Jess” Bhamra (Parminder Nagra) is a Punjabi Sikh living in the western suburbs of London. Jess’ father (Anupam Kher) and mother (Shaheen Khan) are Punjabi immigrants living in the United Kingdom who work at the nearby Heathrow Airport. Jess’ parents push her towards academic achievement in the hope that she will achieve the financial success that evaded them. Their goal is for her to attend university and become a doctor. However, Jess only dreams of becoming a professional football player. She expresses her dreams by secretly confiding to a poster in her bedroom of her idol, football star David Beckham (contrasted with her parent’s veneration of a portrait of the Sikhism founder, Guru Nanak Dev Ji) and by playing football in the park with her best friend, Tony (Ameet Chana).

One day, while playing in the park, Jess is spotted by Juliette “Jules” Paxton (Keira Knightley), an English girl who plays for the Hounslow Harriers (a local amateur women’s football team), and Mel (Shaznay Lewis), the captain of the team. When asked, Jess happily joins the club even though she knows her parents will disapprove. She becomes a key member of the team and also befriends her Irish coach, Joe (Jonathan Rhys Meyers), who was forced to quit playing football after a knee injury. Although both Jules and Jess have a crush on him, Joe attempts to remain professional and distance himself. However, he and Jess are eventually drawn to each other. A feud grows between Jess and Jules when Jules walks in on Joe and a slightly intoxicated Jess about to kiss after a night out at a club.

The final scene of the film shows Jess’ sister, heavily pregnant and happy in her marriage, showing her mother-in-law some new baby clothes (her mother is now in a much better relationship with her); Jess’ father is teaching Joe how to play cricket (a sport at which he shows little potential) and a genial relationship has developed between them.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *