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Bend It Like Beckham (2002)

PG-13 | | Comedy, Drama, Romance | 1 August 2003 (USA)
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The daughter of orthodox Sikh rebels against her parents' traditionalism and joins a football team.

Director:

Gurinder Chadha
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Popularity
3,443 ( 328)
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)
Pavenpreet Kaur Pavenpreet Kaur ... Bubbly (as Paven Virk)
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:

GBP3,500,159 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$161,528, 16 March 2003

Gross USA:

$32,543,449

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

A West End musical version of this film opened at London's Phoenix Theatre on June 24, 2015, and ran for 9 months. See more »

Goofs

In the match where Jess and Jules aren't getting along, Jules' hair is held back by a metal headband, except in one close-up where it is held back by a thick, black headband. It then goes back to the metal headband. Then in the final game Jules is wearing the black headband again. See more »

Quotes

Joe: Where do you normally play?
Jess: In the park.
Joe: No... I meant what position?
See more »

Crazy Credits

Special thanks to ... Bhamra Family ... See more »

Alternate Versions

The word football was been replaced by soccer in many US prints. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Hollywood Game Night: Orange Is the New Game Night (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

Nessun Dorma
Music by Giacomo Puccini
Words by Giuseppe Adami and Renato Simoni
Published by © Casa Ricordi-BMG Ricordi S.P.A.
Performed by Tito Beltrán (as Tito Beltran), The City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra (as The City of Prague Philharmonic) and Crouch End Festival Chorus (as The Crouch End Festival Chorus)
Conducted by Paul Bateman
Courtesy of © 1999 Silva Classics, a Division of Silva Screen Records Ltd.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

A Crowd-pleasing Charmer
18 October 2003 | by Buddy-51See 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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