Top positive review
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Well-Rounded Comedy Drama - Indian Culture in Britain; Girls and Football
on 9 September 2007
"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.