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Bend It Like Beckham (2002)

PG-13  |   |  Comedy, Drama, Romance  |  1 August 2003 (USA)
6.7
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Ratings: 6.7/10 from 83,025 users   Metascore: 66/100
Reviews: 433 user | 159 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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Pinky Bhamra
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

Taglines:

Don't call Them Chicks! 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:

| |

Language:

| | |

Release Date:

1 August 2003 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Joue-la comme Beckham  »

Box Office

Budget:

£3,500,159 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£2,001,795 (UK) (12 April 2002)

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

A rumor regarding the film purports that by the end of the movie, Jess and Jules were originally supposed to become a couple. However, in no iteration of the script were the two ever romantically paired. See more »

Goofs

At the very end when Jules and Jess are going to board the plane, they turn around and wave to their parents. Jules is at first shown waving with her right hand, but then in the next shot is seen waving with her left. See more »

Quotes

Wedding Guest (older woman): She's not Lebanese, she's Punjabi!
See more »

Crazy Credits

Additional thanks to ... Nikki & Gary at Action Vehicles See more »

Connections

References My Fair Lady (1964) See more »

Soundtracks

Move On Up
(1970)
Written by Curtis Mayfield
Published by Warner-Tamerland Publishing Corp.
Used by kind permission of Warner/Chappell Music Ltd.
Performed by Curtis Mayfield
Courtesy of Warner Special Products/Warner Strategic Marketing UK
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
No pact with the devil here
22 March 2005 | by See all my reviews

My scalp still smarts from the burning coals heaped on it when I vowed I love this film. Bring on the coals; I'll walk over them as well to say again that I love "Bend it Like Beckham." Granted, there's a lot of "in spite of" in that confession. It's a bit movie-of-the-week; the screenplay is on the paint-by-numbers side. And, most troublingly, the director's commentary implies that in this film beauty can be found primarily amongst the white of skin.

The film's genius is not in what's obvious to the Syd Field-doctored eye: character arcs, themes, construction. It's in both the surface and what lurks deep beneath, but not in those layers of artistic topsoil that reviewers seem most often to scratch at. Powerful, sometimes semi-clad female bodies not simply on display but kicking the crap out of a football do a better job of naturalizing female strength and agility than Lara Croft or Zhang Ziyi will ever do. These are real bodies (Keira Knightley's excepted) whose work is not to look great first and kick butt later. They are working bodies whose beauty is in their movement and self-determination. And, in my book, lead actress Parminder Nagra is one of the most gorgeous creatures ever captured on screen – not only because she can lay claim to that hackneyed adjective, "luminous," but because her performance has an honesty and un-bookish intelligence that's utterly compelling.

The result is a film women can enjoy without feeling like they're making a pact with the devil to do so. As in Chadha's "Bride and Prejudice," the relationships amongst women sizzle with a chemistry that can't be neatly slotted into the stodgy, Sweet Valley High categories of "best friends" or "sisters." Perhaps Chadha is even right in her commentary to disavow the film's flirtation with lesbianism. "Bend it Like Beckham" has an electricity that can't be reduced to the simple hetero/homosexual love triangle its conventionally structured script would suggest. The precise nature of its pleasure is, ultimately, a bit of a mystery – and is all the more seductive for it.

Oh yes, and did I mention that it's hilarious?


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