Old 04-07-2003, 11:35 PM
Reviews: Bend it Like Beckham

JoBlo's 8/10 review of BEND IT LIKE BECKHAM can be found here: http://www.joblo.com/benditlikebeckham.htm

And what did you think of the movie? Add your comments below.


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Old 04-08-2003, 03:01 AM
Bend It Like Beckham (8/10)...

"Brilliant" review Jo. You've been giving a lot of 4's and 5's lately, so I was dreading a similar rating when I clicked on the link.. but thankfully you enjoyed the movie like I did. I wrote this review earlier in the Current Movie Talk forum :

I rented the DVD today and watched Bend It Like Beckham for the second time. Its a funny feel-good movie and one that you can watch many times without it losing its appeal. Some people have a problem with feel-good sports movies, but I certainly don't. I love Jerry Maguire, and that pretty much falls into that category. The cultural references and general atmosphere is spot-on. The acting is good, not great, but it doesn't have to be. Also, its not a film you can easily guess from trailers or previews. There's a few surprises here and there and makes the trip all the more worthwhile. The lead actress who plays Jess is wonderful and I hope she makes a name for herself in more movies. Erin123 is right about the bloopers.. I didn't catch those when I saw it in the cinema. But I did see it this time, and it was a blast. Its not really bloopers, its something quite different and I think people will like.

The music is a big plus point, mixing Indian and English music to make a superb blend. I generally hate pop music, but it was used very well. The movie doesn't pretend to be anything more than what it is, a fun little film. I hope it reaches audiences in the US, because I'd like to see more attention given to it. Its a worthy 8/10 and the thought of watching it again doesn't seem too bad at all. Oh yeah, and the movie has some chicks in their underwear. w00t.
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Old 04-08-2003, 03:01 AM
Bend It Like Beckham 9/10

Even though I live in the UK I have only just got around to seeing this movie and, despite football (soccer) not being one of my favourite sports, I thoroughly enjoyed this film!

I watched it in company with my husband (who is a huge ManUtd fan) and my son (15) and his best mate (15). It was quite an eye opener watching the changing room scenes and seeing the looks on their faces!

The attitudes towards from all sides, Asian, English etc was very realistic (trust me - I am from this side of the pond!).

Overall, I highly recommend this film, even if you dont know anything about football (soccer).

PS If you dont know who Beckham is - log on to www.manutd.com!
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Old 04-08-2003, 08:54 PM
Well said Mr. (jo?)BLo. I'd have to give it the exact same score, there was just something about this film that makes all the characters endearing, interresting, and intelligent.

The quick cutting at the beggining of the film left me a little confused, but immediately thereafter everything begins to fall into place and makes for an easy and enjoyable film to watch. Its a shame this film no doubt wont have the same success here in North America as it did in Europe, but if word of mouth travels about this film as well as it did about the sitcom level Big Fat Greek, maybe more people could open up to the thought of important films rather then just re-doing them for the North American market. Anyways, my minor multi-cultural film rant...

Its hard not to enjoy this film. Unfortunately i did not have the experience of seeing this film in theatres, but a friend of mine used to live in Germany until this year, so she brought it over with her on DVD, and even on the small screen with a small group of people its a blast. Highly recommended 8/10
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Old 04-08-2003, 11:48 PM
As of late (nearly three weeks ago to be exact), "Beckam" is one of the worst movies I've had to sit through... and I did download it, because I was extremely excited to see it finally, and it hadn't been released here yet, until last friday. But, it must've been a bad night, or maybe I wasn't in a "predictable mood" because I DO NOT recommend seeing it, unless you feel the need to sit through a Sitcom-style film that overdoses on sugar and predictability. I was seriously bored throughout, and personally, I'd rather the film be one step ahead of me, than vice-versa. The jokes were bad too, and I felt like shutting it off 40 minutes through but I sat till the credits.

This is a bit shocking from someone who despises MY BIG FAT GREEK WEDDING but I have to say, it was much better and entertaining and had BETTER comic timing than "Beckam".

Maybe the fact that soccer (or football if you're non-American)bores the shite out of me has anything to do with my animosity?

But then again, "Beckam" wasn't truly ABOUT soccer (or football) (or Futbol) (OR Feutbahl) (soccer suits me best still), it was about an Indian girl GRASPING HER DREAMS; there's no truth in this film whatsoever, and I find it something to yap about! Jess's parents and their finger-shaking propaganda spoiled the evening, and the relationship between Jess and her coach...what a CROCK!

Did I mention that I haven't really listened to any kind of music since listening to the "Pop-heavy" soundtrack? The WORST KIND of Pop music mind you! The kind you hear in cheesy sitcoms.

5/10 for the awfully disappointing British comedy; I was hoping for a "fresher" comedy, but was handed a bag of cliches instead.
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Old 04-09-2003, 02:48 AM
Bend It Like Beckham

I have just read your ranting about this film and was surprised to see that you suffered with it through to the end! Perhaps you were confused as to where the off button was on your controller?!

I was sorry that you didnt enjoy the film (I havent yet watched Big Fat Greek Wedding but am looking forward to doing so) but given that you seem almost anti-football was surprised that you choose to watch this film.

I hope that your review doesnt put people off watching this film. Whilst I agree that the story line was predictable and a bit cheesy, sometimes there is nothing like curling up on the sofa and watching a "feel good" movie. (I like to think of them as "popcorn movies", ie you enjoy it whilst eating the popcorn but it leaves no lasting impression!).

Better luck with your next "sitcom" film!
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Old 04-09-2003, 04:16 PM
I saw the movie last night, and I gotta tell ya, it was GREAT!

I especially enjoyed the indian/english mix of songs, (eventhough i didn't understand the indian lyrics, i liked it better).

Being Canadian, and whiter than white, it was really interesting to look at the indian people and their culture.

Watch it like I did, with a bunch of friends, beer, and chicks.
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Old 04-13-2003, 10:22 PM

This is probably the most fun I've had at the movies all year! What a wonderful film. I am one of "those people" who actually enjoyed My Big Fat Greek Wedding, but this film is much, much better. It doesn't go for cheap laughs...instead, it respectfully shows the true nature of Indian culture in a thoughtful manner. Sure, there are jokes, but they are in no way mean-spirited. The thing that really boggled my mind about this film is that it's about soccer, a sport I usually can't stand. By the end, though, I wanted to get myself a soccer ball and go kick it around a park somewhere!
I can see where this will probably be considered a chick flick, and to some extent I suppose it is....it is about a girls' football league, and the main focus of the film is on two women (and by the way, ladies, Joe, the head soccer coach, is gorgeous). However, it also deals with real people and the problems they have with their family. Who hasn't wished, at some point, for a different family or at least a slightly less schizoid one? This is a must-see for anyone who enjoys well-made films!
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Old 04-14-2003, 12:32 AM

*Like, tiny little spoiler*

This was a really nice enjoyable comedy. I loved the idea and the acting, especially by Parimander or whatever the lead actresses name is. I loved the way this was just a nice feel-good movie that warmed you up inside, and it wasn't overly serious but you cared about the characters and what happened to them.

I think it was very humorous how they showed the contrast between soccer for Indians and soccer for English people, I thought it was hilarious whenever the Indian mother went psycho at her daughter for playing it.

The movie also has some good costumes (the wedding scene) and some exhilarating soccer scenes. A longer scene with Becks would've been cool!

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Old 04-20-2003, 09:15 PM
When I first heard they were making the movie, I wanted to see. Too bad it was only a limited release. I had to travel to see it and it took about a month before i could see it. And i got to say it was good. Yes, it is a chick flick... but the football scenes make up for that fact. It was a fresh idea (girls playing football) mixed in with the Indian culture. And top it off it was a feel good movie with some good laughs that aren't all given away in the trailer.

I gotta give it a 7/10.
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Old 04-22-2003, 09:24 AM
I thought that this movie was refreshingly well done. In an age of cookie cutter cinema where it feels like the production companies are just phoning movies in, this was delightfully different. I feel that this movie was far superior to "My Big Fat Greek Wedding," of which it has been compared to frequently. MBFGW seemed unmotivated and the parents quirky for reasons untold to the viewer. In Bend it Like Beckham the parents were understandably quirky trying to raise their children in a strict religious manner in a country known for its liberalism. And while the plot was predictable, it was well done. I think that anyone could really enjoy this movie, it really isn't a soccer movie despite what the posters and the title suggest. Even though the soccer sequences were done extremely well.

Overall I'd give it a 9/10.
It's rare to see a movie that the first thing my girlfriend and I say to each other , We HAVE to own that one.

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Old 05-07-2003, 04:46 AM

I think at the start of your review you ment to say Indi Brit, not Indo
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Old 05-24-2003, 08:16 AM

Bend It Like Beckham: 7/10

Although it most definitely will be compared to My Big Fat Greek Wedding, it really shouldnít be. Even though both of them have a young person rebelling against their orthodox parents, Greek Wedding is a nice little slapstick romantic comedy blockbuster. Bend It Like Beckham isnít as much slapstick, but better in most every way, except it isnít as funny, and itís looking to be the next indie-blockbuster, which it shouldnít.

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Old 08-07-2003, 02:26 PM
Bend It Like Beckham(2003)-9/10

Bend It Like Beckham...is a wonderfully, delightful and joyous film about believing in yourself and fighting for your dreams. It has heart, humor and romance and I couldn't but help leave the theatre with a huge smile on my face after seeing one of the most feel good-films of the year. I really didn't know what to expect going into this film except it was about an Indian girl who plays football and it is named after famous football star David Beckham...who is more known for his super-star marriage to Victoria Adams aka Posh Spice of the Spice Girls. The story concerns Jess(Jesminder Bhamra) a young girl from a traditional Indian family living in London. All she wants to do is play football(and she is damn good at it too). She fancies herself after English and former Manchester United(now Real Madrid) superstar midfielder David Beckham, who is famous for his electrifying, curling free kicks hence "Bend it". Her traditional Indian parents played by Anupam Kher and Shaheen Khan, who is hilarious as the mother disapprove of Jess' football obsession. Naturally they want her to learn their traditional values and find a nice Indian boy to marry etc. etc. All the while they are preparing a traditional wedding for their oldest daughter Pinky played by Archie Panjabi. Jess' skills are quickly discovered by Jules, the gorgeous Keira Knightley from Pirates of the Carribean: The Curse of the Black Pearl...who is absolutely great in this film. I loved her in this and to me is the standout performance in the film. She quickly convinces Jess to join an all girls football team coached by a handsome young Irishman named Joe played by Jonathan Rhys-Meyers, who is also a very good. A sweet and smart romance develops between Jess and Joe and is also complicated by Jules' affection for the coach too. Jess' quickly becomes a part of the team, but is troubled because she has to hide it all from her parents. I must also make special mention to Juliet Stevenson, who is very funny as Jules' mom(Her husband trying to explain the offside rule to her is a pretty priceless scene) . The basic story of a child from a traditional culture and upbringing trying to break free and go her own way is as formulaic as they come. This film though carries it off with a fresh, fun, heartwarming and winning style and it's a pleasure to watch. Movies are not WHAT they are about, but HOW they are about something(stolen from Roger Ebert...must give credit where it is due). This film touched me on so many levels...I could relate to it so many ways....and no I'm not a young girl or of Indian descent, but I know how much the Indian community has become so much a part of the culture over there. Yes I am a huge football fan, it comes from growing up in England...one particular scene where Jess misses a penalty kick against a German team, and the coach references English footballers blowing penalty kicks against Germans is a direct refence to England's painful elimination from the 1990 World Cup against W. Germany. A memory from my childhood that I will never forget. I also enjoyed the cameos of former great English footballers Gary Lineker and John Barnes. Also the music towards the end of the film during the wedding party/final match is called Nessum Dorma that was made famous by Pavarotti and was the actual theme from that World Cup...its an awesome piece of music(it was also used at the end of The Sum of All Fears). That brings me to the soundtrack of the film which I also loved! It was a nice mix of both traditional Indian music and modern pop/rock songs...it was a nice combination and fit the theme of the story very nicely. As far as the direction and cinematography is concerned, it was pretty straight forward...no real neat camera tricks(though the football scenes themselves were fast and often hard to follow)...the general straightforward style added a nice realism to London which basically is a grey and dull place to look at sometimes. Overall, Bend It Like Beckham is just a feel-good comedy that is funny, touching and has surprising depth for its basic storyline about a young girl trying to break from her traditional Indian roots to play football. The cast is uniformally great with Keira Knightley shining in a wonderful supporting performance(this girl has got it). One of the best films of the year and simple a delight from beginning to end.
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Old 08-07-2003, 02:45 PM
Bend It Like Bekham
review ©reel-reviews

PG 13 Running time 112

*(I saw this last March... still my favorite movie of the year)

Starring: Parminder K. Nagra, Keira Knightley, Jonathan Rhys-Meyers, Anupam Kher, Shaheen Khan, Archie Panjabi, Shaznay Lewis, Frank Harper, Juliet Stevenson

Directed by Gurinder Chadha

This is yet another little movie that started off in limited markets and is finally trickling into a few local theaters. AT LAST! We all know, of course, one of my pet peeves is the lack of good family entertainment out there. Bend it Like Bekham is like the answer to a prayer. It's a virtually perfect film.

Parminder Nagra plays Jesminder Bharma, a young Sikh woman who lives with very traditional parents in London. Her mother and father, played beautifully by Anupam Kher and Shaheen Khan, want her to be a dutiful daughter; that is to say, Jess, as she is called by her friends, is supposed to learn to cook and marry a nice Indian boy. What she is NOT supposed to do is play football. Not American football-- soccer.

If Americans are loopy for their football and baseball, Europeans are completely mad for their game, too. Jess' room is decorated with posters of David Bekham. Americans probably won't know who he is, or even remember that Bekham made headlines not long ago for marrying a spice girl. No matter. We get it. He's Jessminder's Mark Maguire, Nomar Garciaparra, Wayne Gretzky... you get the idea.

On the surface this movie looks like a typical girl-wants-to-play-with-the-big-boys story. In a certain sense it is. But there are wonderful levels to Bend it Like Bekham. Jess simply loves the game so much she can't resist playing in the park with the guys. When she is spotted by another young woman, Jules (played by Keira Knightley), and invited to try out for a women's team, she doesn't immiediately wonder how far she can go. Jess' mind doesn't leap to grand possibilities. She's just intoxicated by the idea of playing with other women, playing seriously, playing on a pitch with real nets, and a coach.

One of the reasons Bend it Like Bekham works so beautifully is that it resists EVERY single cheap or easy answer. It avoids every lazy stereotype. It honors the Sikh way of life even as it questions some of its conventions. Jess doesn't want to show her legs in the short uniform not just because this would be considered scandalous by her parents, but because she has a scar from a childhood burn. Her modesty is handled skillfully. We first notice her difference from the other women when she is getting changed in the locker room. It's subtle, endearing, and natural.

Nothing is overdone in this film. The laughs are belly-deep and completely spontaneous. No moment feels staged or forced. Director Gurinder Chadha handles every frame seamlessly. Beautifully scripted and sensitively handled, she guides us through this wonderful comedy without damaging any of her material on the way.

I was VERY pleased that this movie took care to remind us that not ONLY Sikh girls are given a hard time by their mothers when they want to play sports rather than chase guys. I also was charmed and delighted to see how carefully and artfully the final scenes were handled. Lesser film makers would have given us a cheaper, and disappointing ending. Every person in the theater seemed to expect it. We were all gloriously surprised. Jessminder's family is neither villified nor sanctified. They are presented as what they are: loving, old fashioned, but trying very hard. So, too, their talented daughter: Jess is the perfect lead here, recognizing her parents' love and their limits. She accepts what gifts they offer but doesn't demand more than they are ready to give. The tenderness and sensitivity of her choice is deeply touching.

Every frame of Bend it Like Bekham is a triumph of choice. Perfect for young people and elders alike. The sports scenes are fast paced and envigorating. Every member of the cast is dead on. Gurinder Chadha is going places. Please check this one out, particularly if you have a daughter. Drag her to see it.
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Old 08-12-2003, 08:35 AM
Surprisingly good and far superior to MBFGW...which frankly, was a pile of shite.

Feel-good footie fun, decent fluffy performances, plenty of eye-candy, loadsa laughs and some brilliant bhangra thrown in for the bargain.

7.5/10 innit.
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Old 08-13-2003, 02:17 AM
rating: 4/10

This movie was not that funny which really disappointed me. i expected a laugh out loud film, and didnt laugh out loud. it was a bit cheesy and very predictable. i couldnt really relate to any of the characters. The way things were done and said made me not care about their future in the sport or what theyre gonna be doing ten years from now which i think is whats supposed to be felt. To me this film just didnt hit the spot. Its just like any other teen movie yoiu watch. the only difference was the acting...it was good! Parminder Nagra and Kierra Knightly were wonderful and i really see a great, well deserved future for both of them. If you're like me and hate cheesy and predictable...and soccer then you probably wont like this.
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Old 09-30-2003, 10:30 PM
I really enjoyed this movie. It had a great storyline and a good message for anyone who watches it. Bend It Like Beckham is a movie that leaves you feeling good after you watch it.

Plot: A Panjabi girl named Jessinder (Parminder Nagra) grew up her whole life playing football (soccer in America) and idolizing the English football megastar David Beckham. When she is finally recognized for her talent by another young girl named Jules (Keira Knightley) she is invited to play in a local all girls football team. But without the consent of her traditional and strict parents. She then must choose between the dilemna of chasing her dreams of becoming a professional football star or following her family traditions. While Jess yearns to be a football player, her traditional parents just want her to forget about the sport and concentrate on her schooling, and find a husband to support and care for her just like her older sister Pinky. But these are her parents goals for Jess, and not her own. She wants to play football even if it means lying and sneaking away to do it.

I liked the message this movie conveyed. Telling people that if you have a dream do not be afraid to chase it, and there should be no borders or boundaries between you and your goal. And also the importance of family and how they will always be there to support you, no matter what happens.

Parminder Nagra does a great job as Jessinder; the rebelious young woman who goes against her parents wishes to pursue her lifelong goal of becoming a football player. She acts out the emotions of her character very well.

Keira Knightly does an equally great job as Jules; a tomboy girl who just wants to play football, while her mother worries about her sexual lifestyle. Which makes for some funny moments, of miscommunication and misinterpretations.

Parminder and Keira had great chemistry together, and they portrayed their characters very well.

The progress of the story was well directed, edited and shot. Without it being to long or cut too short. Just enough to satisfy you and give you a good understanding of the story and the characters. A well written script with flowing dialogue added with a bit of wit and charm. The musical score for the film was also very enjoyable. Mixing in traditional Indian music with well known pop songs of North America. It went very well with the scenes.

Bend It Like Beckham is just like Remember the Titans, and all those other feel good movies where it does not matter about race, creed or color. Just as long as you fight for what you believe in you can achieve anything.

This movie isn't about football, or hot looking girls strutting around a football field. I'm sure the message the director/writer (Gurinder Chadha) is trying to show you, is one that anyone can understand and relate to.

This is one of the best movies I've seen this year. Bend It Like Beckham scores a 9/10 in my books.
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Old 11-09-2003, 03:42 AM
I am really glad that someone decided to write an entertaining film about multicultural conflicts. As a Sri Lankan-American, I have had my share of multicultural conflicts in my household. Sri Lanka shares many of the same traditional values as India, so, regardless of the fact that I am neither a teenage girl nor a fan of soccer, this is a film that I could very personally identify with.

Some people have commented that the characters in the film were "cliched". In my own experiences, I can vouch for the fact that the characters were very accurately written. Different cultures do have different sociological perspectives, priorities, and gender roles and this film perfectly underlined the disadvantage that the lead character faced.

I think that the film was very well written. But I was dissatisfied by the way that the film had neat solutions to all the sociological conflicts of the lead character. It was a little too saccharine for my tastes and I think that the extent of its clean-cut ending undermined the quality sociological development that writer-director Gurinder Chadha detailed.

But because of the personal subject matter, this is a film that I enjoyed a lot. And I sincerely hope that filmmakers will continue to write about multicultural conflicts. I write this because the only ones who know about these conflicts are the ones who live through them every day. And the only way that we could accept the difference between peoples is if we are able to understand these differences for ourselves.


Last edited by inglourious basterd; 11-09-2003 at 04:11 AM..
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