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  • Bend It Like Beckham [VHS] [2002]
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Bend It Like Beckham [VHS] [2002]

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Product details

  • Actors: Parminder K. Nagra|Keira Knightley
  • Directors: Gurinder Chadha
  • Language: English, German, Hindi, Punjabi
  • Classification: 12
  • Studio: Warner
  • VHS Release Date: 18 Nov. 2002
  • Run Time: 108 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (116 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00006681M
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 163,747 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Product Description

West London teenager Jess Bhamra (Parminder Nagra) dreams of having a professional football career, even though her parents are determined that she study to be a lawyer. When she is invited by local girl Jules Paxton (Keira Knightley) to join a women's football team, Jess jumps at the chance, and the team's coach Joe (Jonathan Rhys Meyers) is impressed with her abilities. With Jess and Jules on board, the team begins a winning streak which puts them on track for the finals. However, in the face of continued opposition from her family, and after a falling-out with Jules, Jess is forced to reconsider her future in the game.

From Amazon.co.uk

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.

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Gerard Finlay on 9 Sept. 2007
Format: DVD
"Bend It" is a film about tackling adversity.

A major focus of the film is Jess tackling her family's adversity to her playing football. Her parents want her to get married at age 17/18, to a "good Indian boy" and her Mum wants Jess to learn how to cook a "full Indian meal".

Another theme of adversity, although one not given much focus, is racism. This spans Jess's father recounting his negative experience with an amateur English cricket club; Jess explaining her parent's insistence that she can only marry an Indian boy - not white, black or Muslim; the coach mentioning that's in being Irish he encountered racism as a player, and Jess being called a "Paki" by an opponent.

The football scenes are great fun, and there's plenty of comedic moments in the film. The scene near the end - at Jess's parents house, where they grant her permission to go to America - is a tear-jerker. Plus something happens at the airport to complete a feel-good ending!

On top of all this are excellent contemporary references of that 2001/2002 era, to Spice Girls ("there's a reason why Sporty Spice is the only one without a fella!"), David Beckham in his Manchester United days, and the short-lived professional women's football league within the USA.

Great film. Great fun.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Jeremy Walton TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 9 Nov. 2007
Format: DVD
I'd been after this film for some time, and was pleased to be able to pick it up cheaply at the supermarket earlier this week. I was somewhat surprised when my mother (not, as far as I know, a fan of the cross-cultural sporting coming-of-age genre) said that she wanted to watch it last night. It turns out that someone had told her that it had been made around where we grew up in West London (Hayes, Southall, Hounslow, Heathrow - how those names mix memory and desire). Neither of us were disappointed - it's an excellent comedy, with some deft touches.

The story isn't perhaps the most original creation, but the merit of the acting is that it has you caring about what happens to the characters. Parminder Nagra is particularly good, although I thought Keira Knightley wasn't so skilled at handling the obligatory twists in her role. The direction is adept - particularly for the crowd scenes (the football games, the parties, the wedding). And the soundtrack - an exciting mixture of bhangra and Western music (though I must have missed Victoria Beckham's contribution) - is really well matched: one of my favourite parts was the use of the impossibly exhuberant "Move On Up" during a montage of the team training, which almost made me want to jump up and start kicking a ball around the room myself. Almost.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By AngusJ on 29 Nov. 2010
Format: DVD
The Director really hit the nail on the head with this one - and I can't begin to understand why anyone could rate this film less than the 5 stars it deserves. With moments that could make you want to laugh and cry, it is not one of those films where you'll leave it running while you go for a toilet break, you simple have to pause, in order to not miss a second. Not only was the script brilliantly written, but the actors and actresses worked seamlessly, to create an amazing, yet terrible - transparent look at what impact cultural differences can have in our modern world. I would highly recommend this film to all, a fantastic and completely worthwhile buy.
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18 of 21 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 19 Mar. 2006
Format: DVD
Well it was made in 2002 but really the only Asian movies I’ve seen have been based on Pakistani people or Hindu people. Does any one realize Sikh’s exist? Well they do now. I think this movie is good as it shows people the different religions within the South Asian community. This movie tapped on Sikhs, Hindus, Muslims, Englishness, sexuality and the off side rule like no other movie has even mentioned it.
In a way I find this movie very close to my heart. As I am Sikh, I am female, I love football, I support Liverpool [Come on you reds] and I used to play football [Not Hounslow Harriots] Slough Town. The only difference is my family supported me all the way but I never made it pro but I still love the game. A lot of my footballing buddies were in that movie as extras which made it even more special.
Some of the things said in the scenes were very close to reality: Parminder going on about what kind of reaction her family will give to out side cultures very any other director could have got it horribly wrong but because Gurinder has the ability to do it in such a tongue and cheek manner she gets away with it.
And Southall Broadway on the big screen… well I never thought I’d see the day. The girls in the park perving on the guy’s great role reversal on the sexes.
This is by far her best movie and has introduced the world to some fresh British Blood. Including: Archie Punchabi, Parminder Nagra, Keira Knitley and Jonathan Rhys Meyers. All of the actors have become successful. Archie now stars in BBC three’s Grease Monkey’s, Parminder now stars in ER, Keira has continued to star on the big screen so has Mr Meyers. This movie was a great stepping stone for everyone involved.
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By Nicholas Casley TOP 500 REVIEWER on 31 Oct. 2013
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I bought this DVD as a fan of Keira Knightley, wanting to see some of her early film work. It is not really my kind of movie, but a young Jonathan Rhys Meyers was an added attraction.

It is an entertaining movie. At its heart is the young Jess, played by Parminder Nagra. She's about to go to university but there is a clash in her life between the call of women's football and the demands of her own Sikh family. Like a cross-cultural rom-com it's an engaging tale, but with a few holes in the plot, and sometimes the music intrudes too much over the dialogue. Nevertheless, its heart is so much in the right place that it would be churlish to focus on the negative.

Directed by Gurinder Chadha, I was particularly impressed with her skilled interweaving of the heart-stopping final football match with the magnificently colourful wedding of Jess's sister. In Chadha's commentary (with her husband and co-writer) we learn how much of a community movie this was, being set in the neighbourhoods of Heston and Southall where Chadha spent her childhood and youth and where many of her family and friends still live.

In the good-humoured commentary - I get the impression that working with this director must be a lot of fun - we hear the usual observations about locations, camera shots, casting, and music, but the origins of the story, its inspiration, is left largely untold. Keira was just sixteen when the film was shot in 2001, having just finished her GCSEs, and Chadha thought then that she "will be a huge star". In the commentary (made in 2002), Chadha and her husband talk of doing a sequel, but I am not sure if this was ever done.

Other extras on my DVD include a fifteen-minute behind-the-scenes featurette, as well as fifteen minutes of deleted scenes.
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