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Bend It Like Beckham (2002)

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The daughter of orthodox Sikh rebels against her parents' traditionalism and joins a football team.

Director:

Gurinder Chadha
Reviews
Popularity
2,244 ( 414)
Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 17 wins & 19 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Parminder Nagra ... Jess
Keira Knightley ... Jules
Jonathan Rhys Meyers ... Joe
Anupam Kher ... Mr. Bhamra
Archie Panjabi ... Pinky Bhamra
Shaznay Lewis ... Mel
Frank Harper ... Alan Paxton
Juliet Stevenson ... Paula Paxton
Shaheen Khan Shaheen Khan ... Mrs. Bhamra
Ameet Chana ... Tony
Pooja Shah ... Meena (as Poojah Shah)
Paven Virk Paven Virk ... Bubbly
Preeya Kalidas ... Monica
Trey Farley ... Taz
Saraj Chaudhry Saraj Chaudhry ... 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:

A winning comedy. See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance | Sport

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK | Germany | USA

Language:

English | Punjabi | Hindi | German

Release Date:

1 August 2003 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Joue-la comme Beckham See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

£3,500,159 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£2,001,795 (United Kingdom), 14 April 2002, Limited Release

Opening Weekend USA:

$161,528, 16 March 2003, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$32,543,449, 23 October 2003

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$76,583,333
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Kulvinder Ghir was a last-minute replacement for the role of Teetu. See more »

Goofs

When Jules is in her bed depressed, she takes the picture of her and Joe and crumples it. But when it is seen in the trash, it only has a few creases in it and it looks pretty intact. See more »

Quotes

Jules: [after seeing Jess almost kiss Joe] You bitch!
See more »

Crazy Credits

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

Alternate Versions

Two versions of the Region 2 DVD exist. In the retail sale version the profanity during the closing credit outakes is bleeped out - in the video store rental version, available at the same time, it's left unbleeped. See more »


Soundtracks

My Final Peace
Written and Produced by Bally Sagoo
Published by ISHQ Music
Performed by Gunjan
Courtesy of ISHQ Records
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
No pact with the devil here
22 March 2005 | by jeannine1980See 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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