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Bend It Like Beckham (2002)

 -  Comedy | Drama | Romance  -  1 August 2003 (USA)
6.7
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Ratings: 6.7/10 from 77,588 users   Metascore: 66/100
Reviews: 428 user | 162 critic | 36 from Metacritic.com

The daughter of orthodox Sikh rebels against her parents' traditionalism by running off to Germany with a football team (soccer in America).

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Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 17 wins & 18 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Joe
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Shaznay Lewis ...
Mel
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Shaheen Khan ...
Ameet Chana ...
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Meena (as Poojah Shah)
Paven Virk ...
Bubbly
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Monica
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Taz
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Sonny (as Saraj Chaudry)
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Storyline

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. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

team | soccer | shorts | friend | punjabi | See more »

Taglines:

Who wants to cook Aloo Gobi when you can bend a ball like Beckham? See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance | Sport

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for language and sexual content | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

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Language:

| | |

Release Date:

1 August 2003 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Joue-la comme Beckham  »

Box Office

Budget:

£3,500,159 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$161,528 (USA) (14 March 2003)

Gross:

$32,541,719 (USA) (17 October 2003)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

By the end of the movie, Jess and Jules were originally supposed to become a lesbian couple, but the script was changed because it was considered too controversial. See more »

Goofs

When the men are fighting over the video camera at the wedding, one man gets it away from the cameraman and in the next shot the cameraman has it back in his arms and curls up on the floor with it. See more »

Quotes

Joe: Look, Jess. I saw it. She fouled you. She tugged your shirt. You just overreacted, that's all.
Jess: That's not all. She called me a Paki. But I guess that's something you wouldn't understand.
Joe: Jess, I'm Irish. Of course I understand what that feels like.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The closing credits feature cast and crew singing "Hot Hot Hot", with many of the lyrics in Punjabi. One group can be seen holding a "cheat sheet" index card, presumably with the lyrics on. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Film Geek (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

Red Alert
(1999)
Written by Felix Buxton and Simon Ratcliffe
Used by kind permission of Universal/MCA Music Ltd.
Performed by Basement Jaxx
Licensed courtesy of XL Recordings Ltd.
Contains a sample from "Far Beyond" by Locksmith
Licensed courtesy of Arista Records Inc./BMG Entertainment International UK & Ireland Ltd.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

A Crowd-pleasing Charmer
18 October 2003 | by (United States) – See all my reviews



`Bend It Like Beckam' is a heartwarming charmer about a young girl's search for identity in 21st Century England. Like `Fiddler on the Roof,' `Beckam' deals with the painful struggles tradition-bound cultures must go through as they enter a looser, more freedom-loving modern world. The culture in this case is that of immigrant and first-generation Indians living in Great Britain. As with all such tales, it is the young folk who feel the need to pull away from the stuffy values of the past, and who end up dragging the reluctant older folk kicking and screaming into the future right along with them.

Jess Bharma is a fairly typical teen with dreams of becoming a world-class soccer player. However, Jess also comes from a very traditional Indian family that believes a girl should not play around with boys, show her legs in public, or aspire to much beyond marrying a good Indian boy and raising a family. We've seen this kind of set-up countless times before and `Bend It Like Beckam' will certainly not win any prizes for creativity or originality. It does, however, have a youthful exuberance and a generous spirit that can't help but captivate even the most diehard, coldhearted cynic. Parminder K. Nagra is utterly winning as young Jess, capturing all the innate optimism and unquenchable enthusiasm of this irrepressible character. She receives superb support from a cast of outstanding actors, both young and old, including Keira Knightley as Jules, her inspirational buddy who provides Jess with the opportunity to bring her dreams to fruition; Jonathan Rhys-Meyers as Joe, the handsome young coach who provides lessons in love along with lessons in soccer; Anupam Kher as Jess' father, who turns out to have some of his own personal demons to deal with; Shaheen Khan as Jess' mother, who doesn't understand why her daughter can't be content with the pre-ordained life her parents have laid out for her; and Juliet Stevenson as Jules' mother, who proves that Indians don't hold a patent on tradition-obsessed parents. In its quiet, gentle way, the film also confronts the issue of racism, particularly in terms of how the Indians are often still treated as second-class citizens in British society.

As directed by Gurinder Chadha, `Bend It Like Beckham' is a light-on-its-feet `feel-good' film that never takes itself too seriously. The movie suffers a bit from a sitcom mentality, as when, for instance, Jules' parents labor under the illusion that their daughter and Jess are actually lesbian lovers. The plotting, in addition to being predictable at times, often seems contrived and excessively melodramatic (the rivalry between Jess and Jules over Joe being the primary offender). But this isn't enough to do any serious damage to the film as a whole.

Thus, if you're looking for a film that is easygoing, uplifting and comfortably old-fashioned in its demeanor and theme, `Bend It Like Beckham' is for you.


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