6.6/10
103,533
452 user 152 critic

Bend It Like Beckham (2002)

PG-13 | | Comedy, Drama, Romance | 1 August 2003 (USA)
Trailer
0:39 | Trailer
Two ambitious girls, despite their parents' wishes, have their hearts set on careers in professional soccer.

Director:

Gurinder Chadha
Reviews
Popularity
3,181 ( 159)
Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 17 wins & 19 nominations. See more awards »

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Photos

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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 kaleidoscope of color and culture clash humorously as an Indian family in London tries to raise their soccer-playing daughter in a traditional way. Unlike tarty elder sister Pinky, who is preparing for an Indian wedding and a lifetime of cooking the perfect chapatti, Jess' dream is to play soccer professionally like her hero David Beckham. Wholeheartedly against Jess' unorthodox ambition, her parents eventually reveal that their reservations have more to do with protecting her than with holding her back. When Jess is forced to make a choice between tradition and her beloved sport, her family must decide whether to let her chase her dream...and a soccer ball.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

An Indian girl born to play soccer for England 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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Did You Know?

Trivia

The picture on the living room wall that Jess's family keeps referring to is Guru Nanak, the founder of Sikhism. 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

Paula: Get your lesbian feet out of my shoes!
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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 Really Bend It Like Beckham (2004) 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.
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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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Frequently Asked Questions

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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:

Bend It Like 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:

$76,585,828
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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