Bend It Like Beckham

A cult like movie, a funny movie, a British comedy, a Desi movie – it’s just a fantastic movie, without hard-core action or sex, no violence or special effects or gore. This is a family movie but not at all cheesy or corny. Director Gurinder Chanda pulled it off and had a hit movie in Bend It Like Beckham. Starring Parminder Nagra and a pre-fame Keira Knightly as two talented amateur female footballer from different backgrounds. Jasminder ‘Jess’ Bhamra (Nagra) is a Beckham worshiping British-Punjabi, who has to hide her paying football from her conservative family, especially her mother who is intent on making her a good wife who can cook Punjabi food. On top of that, Jess’s sister is getting married and she (Jess) has some expectation of her during that time. She meets Jules (Knightly) at the park and is invited to join a local football team, coached by Joe (Jonathan Rhys-Myers), who had to quit playing football because of an injury. Jess joins the team and is one of the stars along with Jules and a scout from the US is coming to see them and can offer them a full scholarship to Santa Clara University in the US. But Jess’s family stands in the way and she sneaks out to play with her team.

Funny scenes are abound in the film and you will certainly identify with it if you are Indian, a British Indian or otherwise. In the end, Jess’s father (played well by Anupam Kher) agrees to let her play in the final, which her team wins and the girl’s get their scholarship. Another big hurdle is passed when her parents let her go to the US and study & play football. Jess & her coach Joe are also falling in love, while Jules mom gets over her fear that Jules is a lesbian and is in love with Jess. Infact, the actress who plays Jules’ mom, Juliet Stevenson, provides some of the biggest laughs in the movie – her reactions & dialogues are truly hilarious.

As the tagline puts it appropriately, Who wants to cook Aloo Gobi when you can bend a ball like Beckham?

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