Bend It Like Beckham

Into The World – related material

Bend It Like Beckham – directed by Gurinder Chadha (2002)

• Fantasy sequence at the beginning of the film. Shows Jess living out her dreams of playing professional football.
• Mrs. Bhamra states her disapproval of Jess’ dreams from the beginning. She appears in the sequence as an uncompromising critic.
• After the fantasy sequence, the camera zooms in on the face of Mrs. Bhamra and later the image of David Beckham. This reflects the two influences on Jess’ life and her struggle to balance both of them.
• Jess’ family and her background are explored in various ways throughout the film, which emphasizes the bringing together of the modern and the traditional in contemporary British-Asian life
• Themes: accepting difference, personal values, domesticity vs. freedom, self definition and change.
• Jess and her sister Pinky have grown up crossing cultural boarders between their Sikh parents and the Western culture of London on a daily basis, so negotiations are not seen as important.
• Clash between the Western values of the freedom of choice, personal fulfillment and self development and the Asian values of loyalty and obedience to the family.  
• The film focuses on the differences between British and Asian lifestyles, but also clashes within the Punjabi community itself.
• Jess represents the constricted hero that does not conform to the norms of his or her society and seeks release through unconventional means. Jess struggles against her parents’ orthodox mindset to pursue her passion for football.
• Jules has to combat her mother’s stereotypes about athletic prowess and lesbianism.
• Jess’ bedroom is surrounded by icons usually associated with males, and is not interested in ‘typical’ teenage girl activities.
• The film documents Jess’ experiences as an intelligent young woman who is torn between being a ‘good girl’ for her parents and her passion for football. Jess has already started to move away from...