Bend It Like Beckham
BEND IT LIKE BECKHAM (12)
D: Gurinder Chadha
Helkon SK/Kintop/UK Film Council/Filmfoerderung (Deepak Nayer & Gurinder Chadha)
USA/Germany 🇬🇧 🇩🇪 2002
W: Gurinder Chadha, Guljit Bindra & Paul Mayeda Burges
DP: Jong Lin
Ed: Justin Krish
Mus: Craig Pruess
PD: Nick Ellis
Parminder Nagra (Jesminder 'Jess' Kaur Bhamra), Keira Knightley (Juliette 'Jules' Paxton), Jonathan Rhys-Meyers (Joe), Anupam Kher (Mohaan Singh Bhamra), Archie Panjabi (Pinky), Shaznay Lewis (Marlena 'Mel' Goines), Shaheen Khan (Mrs. Kaur Bhamra), Frank Harper (Alan Paxton), Juliet Stevenson (Paula Paxton)
An 18 year old girl from a strict Sikh family wants to play football, much to her parents annoyance because she can't make aloo gobi or round chapatis (honestly, that's a line in the script).
This annoyingly twee multicultural comedy plays it safe by Bending it Backwards to be as politically correct as possible, but is actually quite racist towards white people and their attitude towards multiculturalism, especially since it's set in a part of London which has had a huge Asian community for decades! (I know this because I used to live there)
The characters are unrealistic caricatures, the story lacks genuine credibility, especially the unnecessary romance which borders on criminal and does not result in the adult coach being disciplined by the Football Association. We're also treated to Keira Knightley going through the whole film with a scrunchface and another character who comes out as gay for absolutely no reason.
The PC brigade at the UK Film Council probably thought they had the best thing since Chicken Balti here. I'd rather have watched a film about a young girl whose dream was to make the perfect aloo gobi and cling onto her strict Indian values but her parents are pressuring her into embracing a relaxed Western culture.
Did You Know:
The Hounslow Harriers football club does not exist in real life, but almost all the players in the movie are professional footballers.