Bend It Like Beckham
Parminder K. Nagra
WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
Jess (Nagra) comes from a traditional Indian family. She’s expected to go to college, get a respectable job and eventually marry a nice Indian boy. Unfortunately, she’s got a knack for football (soccer for us), which much to the dismay of her family, is taking her in an entirely different direction.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
England has been known for concocting charming and original romantic comedies over the years (THE FULL MONTY, FOUR WEDDINGS AND A FUNERAL, etc...) and BEND IT LIKE BECKHAM is yet another inspiring, funny and heartfelt comedy that’s got so much zest and punch in it that it’s almost impossible not to enjoy. Albeit the story of an underdog has been done time and time again, this film nevertheless felt fresh and vibrant thanks to the imaginative directing, charismatic performances and appealing cast. The two leads, in particular, were not only stunning but delivered endearing performances that you couldn’t help but be pulled into the movie from the get-go. The girls are drop dead gorgeous and they can probably kick my Canadian ass at football any day of the week…and let them, I would!
I didn’t really have too much to complain about really, my only beef would be some redundant moments which could have been trimmed to shorten the film a bit, but that's really just a small point in an otherwise well-meaning movie. The soundtrack is peppy and zippy as well and keeps the flow and momentum of the movie going strong. This is the type of movie that MY BIG FAT GREEK WEDDING should have been, but failed at miserably. BEND IT LIKE BECKHAM has got heart, humor and humanity.
Things get under way with an audio commentary by director Chadra and co-writer Paul Mayeda Berges. The track is very enlightening and fun. Chadra comes off as such a sweet and intelligent woman that you can’t help but feel happy for her, especially considering the film’s success. There are 10 deleted/extended scenes as well. There isn’t much here that would have benefited the film had it remained uncut, but it’s still an enjoyable watch if you liked the characters and the film as much as I did.
Next up is the featurette “Who Wants to Cook Aloo Gobi?” This is a rather cute 15-minute feature that has the director showing us how to cook one of the traditional Indian meals mentioned in the film. Her mom and auntie are also there to keep a close eye on her in case she messes up. I might try to whip this up for my girlfriend to impress her…nah, that might not work out so well considering I don’t have one. The Aloo Gobi recipe is actually included as well if you’re hungry for some Indian cuisine one night. “The Making of Bend It Like Beckham” follows. This behind-the-scenes feature is superior to most for the simple fact that everybody involved speaks with such joy, excitement and honesty about the film and their experience making it, that you can’t help but feel just as revved up as them.
A makeshift music video (with outtakes and scenes) to the tune of “Hot, Hot, Hot” is another amusing addition that shows, once again, the fun the entire cast & crew had during the filming of this movie. Two international trailers are also included.
This is a sure thing. BEND IT LIKE BECKHAM would make a brilliant gift to that girl in your life who might not necessarily think the sky is the limit for her. A truly entertaining and inspiring tale about making your dreams come true. An excellent film with great extras to boot. P.S. Kiera, will you marry me? Please? J