Bend it like Beckham
Jesminder 'Jess' Bhamra, who is played by Parminder Nagra, loves to play football. Almost every day she’s in the park with her (male) friends to do this until she gets the chance to play in a women’s football team. But her parents don't want her daughter to play football because she's a girl. Jess' parents are from India and the Indian traditions are very different to the English ones. This is the main topic of the movie 'Bend it like Beckham' which was produced by Gurinder Chadha in 2002. If we take a closer look at the film we can recognize that it deals with the contrast of the Indian lifestyle, which is quite patriarchic and the Western life style, which is more tolerant and emancipated.
At first I will introduce the characters to get an overview about Jess and her environment.
Jess is the protagonist, who lives with her parents and her older sister in a suburb near London. Her passion is playing football and for this reason she comes into conflict with her family. As the title already reveals, David Beckham is an important role model for her. She even uses a large poster of him as her confidant.
Mr. Bhamra, Jess' father is strict but he also wants his daughters to be happy. Actually he is proud of his younger daughter's talent and understands her, even he doesn’t admit that at first.
Mrs. Bhamra, Jess' mother is very conservative and tradition is a very big issue for her. She wants her daughters to be good Indian girls who can cook proper Indian meals and marry Indian men.
Pinky is Jess' older sister. She's very girly and can't understand why Jess doesn't behave girly, too. She is going to marry, which influences the family life of the Bhamras very much.
Tony, an Indian boy, is Jess' best friend. They know each other for a long time, together they’re going to school and play football.
Jules is Jess’ English friend from the women’s football team. She is very ambitious when it comes to football. She also arranged the founding of the women's football team and wants to become a professional football player.
Mrs. Paxton is Jules' fashion-conscious mother who wants her daughter to act more feminine. She also wants her to get a boyfriend and thinks that won't happen if she keeps on playing football.
Mr. Paxton is Jules' father and he supports her on playing football. He even practices with her in the garden.
Joe is the trainer of the women’s team of the Hounslow Harriers. He is very sympathetic and tries to help Jess with her conflicts at home due to football. Both, Jules and Jess like him.
One day, Jess is just playing football in the park, she meets Juliette 'Jules' Paxton, who is played by Keira Knightley, an English girl who is part of a football team named the 'Hounslow Harriers'. She watches Jess and her friends play football and invites Jess to a trial session because of her athletic prowess. Jess is very surprised, because she had always dreamed of playing in a women's football team. Actually she didn't know there was a women's team nearby. Jules tells her about the professional women's football league in America which impresses Jess very much. Playing professional is her biggest desire but she thinks it's impossible for her to accomplish this goal because of her familiar background. As Jess begins to play in this women’s team she is very open towards her parents and does not conceal this. But her parents don’t allow it, so Jess tells them she has a summer job and goes playing football furtively. Unfortunately her secret cover blows up and the parents are very angry. They have also seen Jess embracing with her (white) coach which made them even angrier. None of them should ever get to know that she is in love with him. Pinky helps her sister and Jess can go to Germany with her team. But the parents also discover this and Jess can’t play anymore. Jess is very sad because there will be the last important match of the season, just on the day of Pinky’s wedding. She wants this match to be her last one for the Hounslow Harriers. But she thinks it’s impossible and the parents involve her very much in the preparations for the wedding so she can’t even creep away to go to the football training. On the evening before Pinky’s wedding Joe visits the Bhamras to talk to Jess’ father. He wants to tell him that there is a very important match where talent scouts from America want to see Jess playing. After this short talk, the only thing Jess’ father tells her, is not to play with her future.
- Quote paper
- Luisa Viehe (Author), 2012, Essay zum Film "Bend it like Beckham", Munich, GRIN Verlag, https://www.grin.com/document/193974