Bend It like Beckham

Bend It like Beckham

Gurinder Chadha (2001)

107min
12 Certificate
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Review

Our Score
This feel-good teen-orientated comedy drama from director Gurinder Chadha (Bhaji on the Beach, Bride & Prejudice) has two things going for it, besides its opportunistic title: it's set in the world of female football (hardly a subject that's been done to death at the cinema) and against a background of intransigent first-generation Indian tradition in suburban Britain - giving it the flavour of the superior East Is East. Newcomer Parminder Nagra is skilled in both acting and ball-control as the teenager who "worships" at her shrine to England captain David Beckham. It's the crushing predictability of the footballing storyline (nail-biting finish resting on a penalty kick, anyone?) and her wooden co-star Keira Knightley that let her down. Clashes between Indian and English culture are played with knowing humour, and Juliet Stevenson is hugely entertaining as a Hounslow mum, but too much of the plot hinges on misunderstanding and if you're over 17, you may find the romance a little fluffy.

Summary

An English schoolgirl tries to hide her passion for football from her strict Indian parents, knowing they disapprove of her tomboyish love of the game. However, when a semi-professional player sees her in action, she is offered a place on a team, forcing her to come up with a complex plan to keep her sporting career under wraps. Comedy, with Parminder Nagra, Keira Knightley, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Juliet Stevenson and Shaznay Lewis.

Cast & Crew

Jess Bhamra Parminder Nagra
Jules Keira Knightley
Joe Jonathan Rhys Meyers
Paula Juliet Stevenson
Mel Shaznay Lewis
Mr Bhamra Anupam Kher
Pinky Bhamra Archie Panjabi
Alan Frank Harper
Himself Alan Hansen
Himself Gary Lineker
Himself John Barnes
Director Gurinder Chadha
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Other Information

Language: EnglishColourTheatrical distributor: Helkon SKGuidance: Swearing, sexual references Available on: video, DVD and Blu-ray
Comedy