Bend It Like Beckham: Wikis


Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.

Did you know ...

More interesting facts on Bend It Like Beckham

Include this on your site/blog:


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Bend It Like Beckham
Directed by Gurinder Chadha
Produced by Gurinder Chadha
Deepak Nayar
Written by Gurinder Chadha
Guljit Bindra
Paul Mayeda Berges
Narrated by Charlotte Hill
Starring Parminder Nagra
Keira Knightley
Jonathan Rhys Meyers
Music by Craig Pruess
Cinematography Jong Lin
Editing by Justin Krish
Distributed by Helkon SK, Fox Searchlight Pictures
Release date(s) 11 April 2002 (U.K.) 1 August 2003 (U.S.)
Running time 112 minutes
Country United Kingdom
Language English, Punjabi, German, Hindi
Budget £3,507,182 (estimated)
Gross revenue $76,583,333 [1]

Bend It Like Beckham is a 2002 Drama film starring Parminder Nagra and Keira Knightley first released in the United Kingdom. The film was directed by Gurinder Chadha. Its title comes from the soccer player David Beckham and his skill at scoring from free kicks by "bending" (curving) the ball past a wall of defenders.



Jesminder "Jess" Bhamra (Parminder Nagra) is the 18-year-old daughter of Punjabi Sikh immigrants living in London who work at nearby Heathrow Airport. Juliette "Jules" Paxton (Keira Knightley) is the daughter of a typical English couple. Jess is infatuated with soccer, but as she is a woman, her parents do not allow her to play. However, sometimes she plays in the park with various boys and her good friend Tony, a closet homosexual. When Jules discovers Jess' skills on the soccer pitch, she invites Jess to have a trial for her local soccer team, the Hounslow Harriers, coached by attractive Irishman Joe (Jonathan Rhys Meyers). He is at first skeptical of an Indian player (with no boots) joining the team, but when he discovers her skills, and that she gels instantly with Jules, he puts her on the team. However, in order to do so, Jess must lie to Joe about her parents being onboard with the idea, despite the fact that her parents strongly oppose her obsession.

As time goes by, Jess develops an attraction to Joe, and when the team travel to Hamburg -- Jess' older sister Pinky covers for her -- Jess and Joe's relationship develops, and at the end of the night, the two are about to kiss when Jules, who is also infatuated with Joe, interrupts them. This immediately sours Jess and Jules' friendship. When Jess arrives at Jules' house to try and fix the friendship, Mrs Paxton is mislead and thinks that the pair are involved in a lesbian relationship.

Jess' parents yet again find out that Jess has been playing behind their backs and after finding out, her parents become more strict and ensure she does not attend matches. Jess' mum, Mrs Bhamra, teaches Jess to cook a full Punjabi dinner, in the hope that it will decrease Jess' interest in soccer, but her attempts are in vain. Matters are brought to a head as the tournament final coincides with the day of Pinky's wedding. Mr. Bhamra turns down pleas from Joe to allow her to play, and tells Joe that he does not want his daughter's heart broken, as his was when he was kicked out of a cricket club in England because of his race.

Joe finally accepts that Jess will not be able to play, and the final begins without her. However, halfway through Pinky's ceremony, Tony convinces Mr. Bhamra to allow Jess to play, to which he finally agrees. Tony drives Jess to the final, where the Harriers are 1-0 down, with half an hour yet to play.

A fine cross from Jess and a great header from Jules levels the scores, and when Jess is awarded a free kick, she must bend the ball around the wall of players to win the game for the Harriers. She succeeds, and Hounslow wins the tournament. Things are brought to a climax when both Jess and Jules are offered soccer scholarships to Santa Clara University, in California. Jules tells her parents straightaway, however Jess has trouble telling her parents.

Jules and Mrs. Paxton arrive at the wedding, for Jules to celebrate with Jess, and Mrs. Paxton accuses Jess of being a hypocrite, and calls her a lesbian. Jules grabs her mother and flees in shame.

After this, Jess still can't tell her parents of her scholarship, so Tony helps her; he lies to the family about his plans to get engaged to Jess, on one condition; that she can go to any college she wants. However Jess exposes the lie, and manages to tell her parents, but Mrs Bhamra accuses her husband of allowing her to play, and refuses point-blank. But Mr Bhamra is able to talk Mrs Bhamra into allowing her to go, to which Mrs. Bhamra says: "At least I taught her full Indian dinner. The rest is up to her."

Jess flees to the soccer field, where she tells Joe of her parents agreeing. The two almost kiss, but Jess pulls away, saying her parents would never be up for it, and leaves.

On the day of Jess' and Jules' flight, Mrs. Paxton gives her daughter a soccer jersey, and wishes her good luck. The two are about the board the plane when Joe arrives at the terminal, and confesses his love for Jess. The two kiss, and Jess agrees to sort out a relationship (and her parents) when she returns for Christmas.

The film ends as Jess and Jules send their parents a team photo, and it is revealed that Pinky is pregnant.



Critical reception

Kenneth Turan of the Los Angeles Times noted that the film "was really full of easy humor, an impeccable sense of milieu that is the result of knowing the culture intimately enough to poke fun at it while understanding its underlying integrity."[2] The Times of India noted that Bend It "is really about the bending of rules, social paradigms and lives – all to finally curl that ball, bending it like Beckham, through the goalpost of ambition [...] The creeping divide shows that Britain is changing, but hasn't quite changed yet. The stiff upper lip has traveled miles from the time Chadha's father was denied a pint at some pubs at Southall, but like dollops of coagulated spice in badly stirred curry, discrimination crops up to spoil the taste, every now and then, in multi-racial Britain."[3] Planet Bollywood gave the film a 9 out of 10 and stated that the "screenplay not only explores the development of Jesse as a person, but also the changing values and culture of NRI teens: Jess' urge to break the social norm of the Indian homemaker, her sister's (Archie Punjabi) sexually-active relationship, and the gay Indian [Tony, played by Ameet Chana]."[4] The Hindu argues, "if ever there is a film that is positive, realistic and yet delightful, then it has to be Dream Production's latest venture directed by Gurinder Chadha [...] Light hearted, without taking away the considerable substance in terms of values, attitudes and the love for sport, the film just goes to prove that there are ways to be convincing and honest."[5] The BBC gave it 4 out of 5 stars and argued that "Mr. Beckham ought to be proud to have his name on such a great film."[6] The review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes gave Bend It Like Beckham a rating of 85%, based upon 142 reviews (120 fresh and 22 rotten).[7]

Awards and nominations



2004 Pyongyang Film Festival
Music Prize
2002 British Comedy Awards
Best comedy film
2003 ESPY Awards
Best Sports Movie ESPY Award
2004 GLAAD Media Awards
Outstanding Film - Wide Release
2002 Locarno International Film Festival
Audience Award - Gurinder Chadha
2002 London Film Critics Circle Awards
British Best Newcomer - Keira Knightley
2002 International Film Festival of Marrakech
Special Jury Award - Gurinder Chadha
2003 National Board of Review of Motion Pictures
Special Recognition
2002 Sydney Film Festival
PRIX UIP- Gurinder Chadha
2003 The Comedy Festival
Film Discovery Jury Award - Gurinder Chadha


Music From the Motion Picture Bend It Like Beckham
Soundtrack by Various artists
Released 2002
Genre Bhangra
Label Milan Entertainment (US)
Cube Records (UK)
Professional reviews

The UK release of the soundtrack features bhangra music, songs by Spice Girls' Victoria Beckham (whose song "IOU" can be heard during a scene involving Jules' mother but was not included on the original soundtrack) and Melanie C (Melanie C's song "I Turn To You" was used in the movie but is not included in the soundtrack) and the band Texas. It also features "Baddest Ruffest" by Backyard Dog, the aria Nessun Dorma, from Puccini's Turandot, and excerpts from the dance band Basement Jaxx.

Track listing
  1. Craig Pruess & Bally Sagoo Feat. Gunjan - "Titles"
  2. Blondie - "Atomic"
  3. Backyard Dog - "Baddest Ruffest"
  4. B21 - "Darshan"
  5. (Movie Dialogue) - "It's Beckham's Corner"
  6. Victoria Beckham - "I Wish"
  7. (Movie Dialogue) - "Learn To Cook Dahl"
  8. Malkit Singh - "Jind Mahi"
  9. Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan - "Tere Bin Nahin Lagda"
  10. Bally Sagoo Feat Gunjan - "Noorie"
  11. (Movie Dialogue) - "Juicy Juicy Mangoes"
  12. Basement Jaxx - "Do Your Thing"
  13. (Movie Dialogue) - "Eyes Down"
  14. Texas - "Inner Smile"
  15. Melanie C - "Independence Day"
  16. (Movie Dialogue) - "Can't Make Round Chapattis"
  17. Hans Raj Hans - "Punjabiyan Di Shaan"
  18. Gunjan - "Kinna Sohna"
  19. Tito Beltrán - "Nessun Dorma"
  20. (Movie Dialogue) - "The Offside Rule Is"
  21. Bina Mistry - "Hot Hot Hot"
  22. Craig Pruess & Bally Sagoo Feat. Gunjan - "Hai Raba!"



External links


Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

Bend It Like Beckham is a 2002 British film (released in the United States in March 2003) about two young London women from different backgrounds who share an aptitude for football (soccer) and pressure from their families to conform.

Directed by Gurinder Chadha. Written by Gurinder Chadha, Paul Berges and Guljit Bindra.
Who wants to cook Aloo Gobi when you can bend a ball like Beckham? (taglines)



  • Wedding videographer: Eyes down. Don't smile. Indian bride never smiles. You'll ruin the bloody video!
  • Dressmaker: [about Jess's breasts] Don't worry, Miss Bahmra. Our designs will make even these little mosquito bites look like juicy, juicy mangoes!
  • Tony: Well you fancying your gorah coach is OK with me. Besides, he's quite fit!
  • Woman at Party: [to Jess about marriage] Now do you want a clean-shaven boy like your sister, or a proper Sikh with full beard and turban?
  • Wedding Guest: Lesbian? Her birthday's in March. I thought she was a Pisces.
  • Mrs. Bhamra: [after having agreed to let Jess go to America] At least I taught her full Indian dinner, the rest is up to God.


Mrs. Bhamra: Your sister's getting engaged and you're sitting here watching this skinhead boy!
Jess: Mum, it's Beckham's corner!

Joe: Where do you normally play?
Jess: In the park.
Joe: No... I meant what position?

Jess: I'm sorry I missed that penalty, coach.
Joe: It's okay, losing to the Jerries on penalties comes natural to you English. You're part of tradition now!

[explaining to Joe how she got the large burn scar on her thigh that makes her shy of wearing shorts]
Jess: I was eight. My mum was working overtime at Heathrow. And I was trying to cook beans on toast. And I jumped up to the grill to get the toast. And my trousers caught light so my sister put me in the bath, poured cold water over me and pulled them off. And half my skin came off too.
Joe: Sorry.
Jess: I know - it put me off beans on toast for life.

Joe: Look, Jess. I saw it. She fouled you. She tugged your shirt. You just overreacted, that's all.
Jess: That's not all. She called me a Paki. But I guess that's something you wouldn't understand.
Joe: Jess, I'm Irish. Of course I understand what that feels like.

Paula: That's why she's been so depressed lately cos' that Jess broke her heart! She's in love. With a girl!
Alan Paxton: You're jumping to all the wrong conclusions
Paula: But I heard her! No wonder she never looked twice at the Kevin or brought any boys home. I tried to get her nice clothes, you know we've had some lovely prints in this summer you know in swimwear and sarongs and that. She never wants to go shopping with me. It was terrible what they did to that George Michael going on about him and his private business in the papers like that! Oh No!
Alan Paxton: George Michael is still a superstar and you still listen to Wham!

Tony: Look, Jessie. You can't plan who you fall for. It just happens. I mean, look at... Posh and Becks.
Jess: Well, Beckham's the best.
Tony: [chuckles] Yeah! I really like Beckham too.
Jess: Well of course you do. No one can cross a ball or bend it like Beckham
Tony: [shakes head] No, Jess. I really like Beckham.
Jess: What? You mean... [incredulous scoff] But you're Indian!

Jess: Why are you doing this to me, Joe? Every time I talk myself out of it, you come around and make it sound so easy.
Joe: I guess I don't want to give up on you.

Joe: You're lucky... to have a family that cares that much about you. I can understand you don't want to mess with it.
Jess: Joe...
Joe: And I don't fancy being busted by your dad again. You better get back.

Jules: Me and Jess were fighting because we both fancy our coach... Joe.
Paula: [pause] Joe, a man, Joe?
Jules: [exasperated] Yeah, as in male, Joe! Joe, our coach, Joe, man, Joe!

Jules: Anyway being a lesbian's not that big a deal
Paula: Oh no of course not sweetheart no. I mean I've got nothing against it. I was cheering for Martina Navratilova as much as the next person.

Jess: Joe! I'm going! They said I could go!
[Joe & Jess hug tightly]
Men in Background: Oi, oi, oi!
Jess: I'm sorry, I forgot.
Joe: That's okay now. I'm not your coach anymore. We can do what we want.
[Joe leans in to kiss Jess. Jess wants to, but pulls back]
Jess: Joe...
Joe: Your dad's not here, is he?
Jess: Joe... I'm sorry.
Joe: What?
Jess: I can't
Joe: Can I ask why?
Jess: Letting me go to America is a big step for my mum and dad. I don't know how they'd survive if I told them about you too.
Joe: I understand
[Both sorrowfully hug each other tightly]

Joe: Look, I can't let you go without knowing.
Jess: What?
Joe: That even with the distance, and it concerns your family, we might still have something. Don't you think?


  • Who wants to cook Aloo Gobi when you can bend a ball like Beckham?
  • A winning comedy.
  • Don't call Them Chicks!
  • An Indian girl born to play soccer for England.
  • Sometimes, to follow your dreams... you've got to bend the rules!


External links

Wikipedia has an article about:

Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address