Review of "Kick it like Beckham"

 

The movie "Bend it like Beckham" (original title) shows the problems immigrants and their children, who grow up without the traditions their parents know and live out, have. In my opinion is this film special because it shows these problems with the most popular kind of sport "football" which is part of the free time of many people (if they play it or/and watch it), no matter if they are men or women, especially in Europe.

In the following you can read a summary of the movie which got two awards in 2002: the “British Comedy Award” and the “Audience Award” by the “International Film Festival Locamo”.

The mainly location is a small town near London Hounslow and a small part of the movie is shot in Hamburg, Germany.

Bend it like Beckham deals with the Indian girl Jesminder Bhamra "Jess" (Parminder Nagra) who wants to play football (like Beckham does) which is not acceptable for her family because of its traditions (their believes) and her problems with the family because of her passion and their uncomprehending behaviour towards her.

Jess is playing football with her cousins when Juliette "Jules" (Keira Knightley), a member of the local women football team, sees how she plays. She invites her to take part in a friendly match to test her ability and compatibility in football. Against the will of her parents she joins in the woman football team of the Hounslow Harriers and takes part in the trainings (secretly). Jules and Jess become best friends and they are good team players when they play in a football match.

On the one hand Jess loves playing football but on the other hand she does not like the Indian traditions and especially the demands on her from Mrs. Bhamra (Shaheen Khan) who wants her to become a good Indian girl. A good Indian girl in the eyes of her mother means that Jess has to learn cooking traditional Indian meals and that she should behave like an Indian girl whose interests lays on (Indian) fashion, their traditions and maybe (Indian) boys too. Her parents do not want her to play football because it is a kind of sport only for men and she should care about their family. Another reason for that is the bad experience her father had when he came to England and was not allowed to play cricket anymore although he was a good player. So he wants to protect Jess from such an experience and he does not see the changing of the society.

But against the will of her parents, she plays football and in the last match there are talent scouts who are there to watch the talent of Jess and Jules. The problem is that this date is the day of the wedding of Pinky who chose his husband by her own which is untypical for Indian families. Is she allowed leaving the wedding for a few hours to join in the game and shows her talent to the scouts?

Other themes in the movie are the problems between Jess and her family and Jules and her family. While Jess’ family has a problem with her hobby and with Jules (because of their trainer), Jules' mother thinks her daughter is a lesbian which comes by the influence of football. What will happen to Jess and Jules? Will they go together and will they go together with their families?

In the following I will show you my opinion. Attention, you will read more details about the movie!

The interesting thing for me is how the families behave with the hobbies of their children and how they develop during the movie.

Especially Jess family is a good example which problems the youth of immigrants have with their family. The children take part in or want to take part in the English society and do not know how the traditions in India are realised whereas the parents do not understand their children and tries to bring up their traditions to them. This is not that easy because the children know the culture of their environment and are more educated than their parents so that they do not accept the Indian traditions without analysing.

Jules’ mother is another interesting character because she accepts Jess as a friend of Jules and do not make any jokes or misplaced comments about her except once. This behaviour is special because it is not natural that the English people accept and respect the people of other countries. An example for that is the acting of the referee during a match where Jess got a foul by another girl and she put the blame on Jess although it was not her fault.

Jess’ parents behave more and more in a conformist manner and come off of their traditional thinking. At the end of the movie you can see Jess’ father and Joe playing cricket together and they accept the choice of Jess to go to Santa Barbara and accept the scholarship.

And even Jules’ mother accepts her daughter and supports her in her hobby.

In conclusion you can say that the conflicts between the parents and their children become better and they go together at the end. Both families accept the choices of their children and try to understand them and their problems.

Another interesting point is the dressing and the performance of Indian people and traditions which is shown very good in this movie.

They look very colourful which cause a well mood because this is so different to the typical European clothing. The Europeans wear colourful clothes too but they are more matte than the Indian Sarees, which shine and take the “darkness” out of the typical rainy environment of England. Another aspect is that there are shown many traditions, for example how an Indian wedding is structured and what typical for that is. Not only the clothing is shown, you can also see which aspects and decisions from whom are important and which decoration you can use for such a wedding.

 

Know, have fun while watching “Kick it like Beckham “