A comedy about bending the rules to reach your goal, Bend It Like Beckham explores the world of women's football, from kick-abouts in the park to freekicks in the Final. Set in Hounslow, West London and Hamburg, the film follows two 18 year olds with their hearts set on a future in professional soccer. Heart-stopping talent doesn't seem to be enough when your parents want you to hang up your football boots, find a nice boyfriend and learn to cook the perfect chapatti.
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 K 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. --Anika Puri
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.