Bend It Like Beckham (2002) Poster

User Reviews

Review this title
443 Reviews
Sort by:
Filter by Rating:
A Crowd-pleasing Charmer
Buddy-5118 October 2003
`Bend It Like Beckam' is a heartwarming charmer about a young girl's search for identity in 21st Century England. Like `Fiddler on the Roof,' `Beckam' deals with the painful struggles tradition-bound cultures must go through as they enter a looser, more freedom-loving modern world. The culture in this case is that of immigrant and first-generation Indians living in Great Britain. As with all such tales, it is the young folk who feel the need to pull away from the stuffy values of the past, and who end up dragging the reluctant older folk kicking and screaming into the future right along with them.

Jess Bharma is a fairly typical teen with dreams of becoming a world-class soccer player. However, Jess also comes from a very traditional Indian family that believes a girl should not play around with boys, show her legs in public, or aspire to much beyond marrying a good Indian boy and raising a family. We've seen this kind of set-up countless times before and `Bend It Like Beckam' will certainly not win any prizes for creativity or originality. It does, however, have a youthful exuberance and a generous spirit that can't help but captivate even the most diehard, coldhearted cynic. Parminder K. Nagra is utterly winning as young Jess, capturing all the innate optimism and unquenchable enthusiasm of this irrepressible character. She receives superb support from a cast of outstanding actors, both young and old, including Keira Knightley as Jules, her inspirational buddy who provides Jess with the opportunity to bring her dreams to fruition; Jonathan Rhys-Meyers as Joe, the handsome young coach who provides lessons in love along with lessons in soccer; Anupam Kher as Jess' father, who turns out to have some of his own personal demons to deal with; Shaheen Khan as Jess' mother, who doesn't understand why her daughter can't be content with the pre-ordained life her parents have laid out for her; and Juliet Stevenson as Jules' mother, who proves that Indians don't hold a patent on tradition-obsessed parents. In its quiet, gentle way, the film also confronts the issue of racism, particularly in terms of how the Indians are often still treated as second-class citizens in British society.

As directed by Gurinder Chadha, `Bend It Like Beckham' is a light-on-its-feet `feel-good' film that never takes itself too seriously. The movie suffers a bit from a sitcom mentality, as when, for instance, Jules' parents labor under the illusion that their daughter and Jess are actually lesbian lovers. The plotting, in addition to being predictable at times, often seems contrived and excessively melodramatic (the rivalry between Jess and Jules over Joe being the primary offender). But this isn't enough to do any serious damage to the film as a whole.

Thus, if you're looking for a film that is easygoing, uplifting and comfortably old-fashioned in its demeanor and theme, `Bend It Like Beckham' is for you.
101 out of 116 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
9/10
Fun, Energetic, and Altogether Wonderful
DrunkenMasterIV23 October 2005
Wow, I can't believe I waited so long to see this film. I just never got around to watching it. The plot has nothing that interests me. I know nothing about soccer (football.) I am one of those American fools that has no clue. I had never even seen David Beckham before this film. I chose to ignore the buzz surrounding this film at the time it was released in America. Enough about me.

Truth be told, it was a mistake to ignore this little piece of movie-making heaven. What a fun film. It's full of color and exuberance. I had a goofy grin on my face through the whole movie. Parminder Nagra is so sweet and lovable, you can't help but root for her. No wonder why the American television show E.R. has snatched her up. I have a new appreciation for Indian culture. Those people know how to have a good time. The wedding scenes are dazzlingly beautiful.

The only problem I had was deciphering some of the British slang and dialogue through the accents. I turned on the English subtitles to make sure I didn't miss anything. (This is not a criticism of the film!) I'm sure audiences worldwide have trouble understanding the constantly changing slang in American films as well.

This is a perfect date film. It has a great sports plot like Rocky, and a strong sense of feminism that is empowering for women. I watched it with my wife, and sixteen year old niece, and we all loved it. I highly recommend it.
95 out of 113 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
8/10
Great Entertainment
mjw230516 February 2006
Jess is 18, very smart and wants nothing more than to play football, when she joins a local team she has to lie to her parents again and again, as they would never approve of her chasing her dream, they want her to settle down with a nice Indian boy and learn how to cook.

Bend it Like Beckham is a very funny feel good movie that doesn't need to be deep and complex, it's just fine as it is. The cast are all very good and they play their roles very well, the story is simple and predictable, but it works perfectly and the script is very realistic and very funny.

A great Family movie 8/10
16 out of 17 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
10/10
A fun, refreshing movie
robbiezangel3 November 2004
Okay, first of I hate commenting on this thing but I felt like I had to stand up for this movie. So many people were bashing on it and I felt like people who might want to see it should get a second opinion.

First off, Bend It Like Beckham is not meant to be the most profound movie of the century. If that's what you're looking for go somewhere else. Just because it is an independent film does not mean it has to be artsy. It's supposed to make you feel good and you're supposed to have fun watching it and those two things are handily accomplished.

Secondly, the acting though not "Halle Berry in Monster's Ball" is still good. The movie doesn't need acting like that honestly so don't look for it. It's a family movie. If that's what you wanted you wouldn't or shouldn't even be looking into this movie honestly.

Lastly, It has a really cute story. I think it's thought out well and it's entertaining to watch. It's also very true to life for the most part for that culture so if you want to sit down and watch a movie that you can enjoy and feel good about when you're finished. If you're looking for something with deep thought out plot lines and big dramatic scenes this is not for you.

-Lyndsay
139 out of 179 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
8/10
A southern East Is East
Jub-213 April 2002
The title of this film nearly put me off watching it. Not being a Manchester United fan, the mere mention of Beckham was a bit off putting, however I put my prejudices behind me and I'm glad I did.

I wasn't expecting much of a film, but I was pleasantly surprised. The film sped along with me never looking at my watch and I enjoyed every second of the film. If you liked East is East then you'll love this film. OK so the storyline is nothing new, and the classic storylines are contained within the film but it's all done very funnily, and with a breath of fresh air. The film moves very fast and keeps the audiance entertained. The occaisional funny moments are a good chuckle and not some poor attempt at humour, and best of all it's a good british comedy.
71 out of 90 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
Mississippi Masala meets Chariots of Fire
hheston6 April 2003
This movie might best be characterized as a collection of formulas - underdog sports flick, culture clash flick, generational conflict flick, young-love-overcomes-obstacles flick. The setting of transplanted Indian-ness makes it feel like one of Mira Nair's films - `Monsoon Wedding' or `Mississippi Masala.' There's also quite a bit of youthful, flippant, foul-mouthed, blue-collar London impertinence going on - an episode of `Eastenders,' perhaps.

And yet to dismiss the movie with this quick sketch and a few references would do it a terrible injustice. OK, no, it is perhaps not `great.' It's a feelgood movie, and while it dips a bit into serious subject waters, it doesn't stay down too long. And, it really IS a collection of all these movie formulas - and, I submit, they do exactly what they're intended to do. It's ALMOST too much, but it's not. The formulas lead to their inevitable pay offs, of course, but they pay off in ways that are not quite expected. The final outcome is rarely in doubt, but throughout the twists and turns, the audience (at least the audience where I was watching), find themselves shamelessly twisting their hankies on the sidelines, crying just a little where they're supposed to cry, and cheering when they can't but cheer. There is a point at which you want to stand up and clap wildly - it's not at the end, so you can't, but the audience where I saw it sure wanted to. I think they felt a little cheated that they couldn't. The mood of the end is not one conducive to raising the rafters, but many clapped softly anyway. Granted the movie isn't timed quite right, but it really IS that good - it makes you want to show your gratefulness for the efforts of writer, director, and actors.

Any flaws of timing or plausibility I find I can easily forgive due to the overwhelming charm of the movie's star, Parminder K. Nagra. Her expressions, her boundless energy and defiance, her ability to convey the conflict her character feels between duty to family and wishing for something more - I was completely taken in, from start to finish. This actress is going places. She has the kind of playful wit and irreverence you see in the best early John Cusack, coupled with a depth to play convincing disappointment and struggle. If you love `Say Anything,' with the passion that most true devotees, including me, do - you will love this film. In fact, if `Say Anything' is your favorite film, drop whatever you're doing and RUN out to see this film, before it leaves theatres. Drive 100 miles if you have to. It has that same magic.

It doesn't hurt that Ms. Nagra possesses a true, deep, classic beauty and grace akin to that of, say, a Kelly or a Bergman. I mean, my fellow red-blooded males, this woman is flat-out, drop-dead stunning. She's equally fetching as a feisty tomboy jock (my personal preference) or as an elegant, traditionally clad Sikh woman. Go see it to watch her, even if the subject matter isn't your thing.

It is perhaps not a great movie, but it's one that will, due to its sheer quirkiness and great heart, likely find its way onto the `favorites' shelves of many, and not just young girls aspiring to make it big and become soccer stars. Evidently the movie is a huge hit in England and Germany, and Parminder is well on her way to becoming a superstar. Go out and see what all the fuss is about.

P.S. I must beg to differ with the reviewer who claims that women's soccer is not big in the U.S. Women's soccer is HUGE in the U.S. - there are perhaps ten times as many young women playing soccer in America as in the whole of Europe. The U.S. national team is THE powerhouse international women's team, and has been for almost a decade. Brandi Chastain's shirt-removing gesture in the 1999 Women's World Cup, which graced the cover of Time, Newsweek and Sports Illustrated, has become iconic. Young women from around the world most certainly DO aspire to be on American college teams - North Carolina and Santa Clara, I believe, particularly. American Mia Hamm, far and away the greatest women's player of all time, dominates the sport like a Michael Jordan. I'm fairly sure the U.S. is the only country to have a professional women's soccer league (maybe Japan as well?). This film is fully aware of this. If girls' soccer coaches from age five on up don't make this film required viewing for their team, they should consider leaving coaching.
39 out of 48 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
10/10
I LOVE THIS MOVIE.
giatime4 October 2003
As a former 2 time Okinawan Karate world champion, I like movies about sacrifice for sport. But this movie is about so much more. This movie is so good and so deep. I have recently been plagued by very serious injury and pretty much a disastrous lack of passion. Almost lights out for me. And this silly little movie touched me so deep that like out of a daze it reminded me about what life is supposed to be about. This is a movie about living. Living your life for yourself and respect for others. Empowerment. God, bless "Bend it like Beckham" I believe it is a true gem.
71 out of 99 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
9/10
No pact with the devil here
jeannine198022 March 2005
My scalp still smarts from the burning coals heaped on it when I vowed I love this film. Bring on the coals; I'll walk over them as well to say again that I love "Bend it Like Beckham." Granted, there's a lot of "in spite of" in that confession. It's a bit movie-of-the-week; the screenplay is on the paint-by-numbers side. And, most troublingly, the director's commentary implies that in this film beauty can be found primarily amongst the white of skin.

The film's genius is not in what's obvious to the Syd Field-doctored eye: character arcs, themes, construction. It's in both the surface and what lurks deep beneath, but not in those layers of artistic topsoil that reviewers seem most often to scratch at. Powerful, sometimes semi-clad female bodies not simply on display but kicking the crap out of a football do a better job of naturalizing female strength and agility than Lara Croft or Zhang Ziyi will ever do. These are real bodies (Keira Knightley's excepted) whose work is not to look great first and kick butt later. They are working bodies whose beauty is in their movement and self-determination. And, in my book, lead actress Parminder Nagra is one of the most gorgeous creatures ever captured on screen – not only because she can lay claim to that hackneyed adjective, "luminous," but because her performance has an honesty and un-bookish intelligence that's utterly compelling.

The result is a film women can enjoy without feeling like they're making a pact with the devil to do so. As in Chadha's "Bride and Prejudice," the relationships amongst women sizzle with a chemistry that can't be neatly slotted into the stodgy, Sweet Valley High categories of "best friends" or "sisters." Perhaps Chadha is even right in her commentary to disavow the film's flirtation with lesbianism. "Bend it Like Beckham" has an electricity that can't be reduced to the simple hetero/homosexual love triangle its conventionally structured script would suggest. The precise nature of its pleasure is, ultimately, a bit of a mystery – and is all the more seductive for it.

Oh yes, and did I mention that it's hilarious?
48 out of 65 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
10/10
I will always remember this movie.
lee_eisenberg8 September 2005
As someone who's never been into sports, it seems like it would be hard for me to get into the football (or as we Americans inexplicably call it, soccer)-themed "Bend It Like Beckham". But I gotta say, this was one cool movie! Anglo-Indian Jesminder Bhamra (Parminder Nagra) and her WASP friend Juliette Paxton (Keira Knightley) love to play football (yes, I'm going to say it the British - and international - way) and just adore football player David Beckham. But Jesminder's traditional Sikh parents don't approve (her mother offers a really whacked-out description of football early in the movie). Okay, so maybe it was sort of a cliché in that sense, but you gotta love this movie! And if like me, you go to this movie not knowing the definition of "bend" in football...don't worry, the movie explains it (I'd also never heard of David Beckham prior to this movie). And we all know that Keira Knightley hit it big: a few months after "BILB" came out in the States, she starred in the equally cool "Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl".
45 out of 62 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
10/10
So much more than you'd expect!
mcvitie_hehe25 April 2002
As an anti-football person, I (on the surface) grudgingly took my younger brother to see this film, although secretly I hoped it might be East is East II. The trailers looked fun so I thought I'd give it a go.

It took about ten minutes but after that I was glued to the screen, and that wasn't anything to do with the neck cramp caused by sitting too near the front due to a packed auditorium. The acting was fresh and vibrant, the characters engaging, and the jokes genuinely funny. The entire auditorium was laughing out loud every minute or so. Football fan or no football fan, sport became irrelevant to the main principles of love, friendship, family, independence and rivalry. Add a dash of Sikh culture and you have the formula for the best British comedy I've seen in a long time, dare I say it.... better than East is East.

This film trots along nicely at a lovely pace, never dwelling on anything longer than necessary nor leaving anything unfinished, keeping the viewer entertained and mentally engaged. Though not a characteristically twisting-and-turning film, there are some pleasant surprises on the way and things don't always happen as you would expect.

Saying that, there were elements of predictability but these were exploited satirically more than used as script-fillers. I suppose depending on your particular penchant for happy-endings you could be either delighted/let down by the ending. Personally, if there was any other outcome I would have written a strongly worded letter to the script writers.

As for the actors, I would have to say that Juliet Stevenson (Paula) put in the finest performance. I never knew that people like that existed but she her realism with sometimes bizarre concepts has convinced me that they possibly do! Prize for the most unconvincing (of the main characters) goes, unfortunately, to Kiera Knightley (Jules), but don't get me wrong, even she offered a great performance, it's just that someone has to be last of the best and sorry Kiera, this time you're it.

Tip: Don't leave before the credits. Once the lights came back up I realised to my horror that perhaps I shouldn't have watched this film after all. My beloved but forgotten Ice Junkie had melted into a sugary blue juice. Oh, what am I saying, it was absolutely brill and I can't recommend it enough. I will definitely buy it when it comes out and add it to my collection of 3 videos. I'm a student. I only splash out if it's really worth it.
32 out of 43 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
7/10
A good Hollywood/bolywood film with a good mixture of cast.
husnain_0530 December 2005
I love playing football and I thought this movie was great because it contained a lot of football in it. This was a good Hollywood/bollywood film and I am glad it won 17 awards. Parminder Nagra and Kiera Knightley were good and so was Archie Punjabi. Jonathon Rheyes Meyers was great at playing the coach. Jazz (Parminder Nagra) loves playing football but her parents want her to learn how to cook an want her to get married. When Jazz starts playing for a football team secretly she meets Juliet (Kiera Knightlety) and Joe (Jonathon Rhyes Meyers) who is her coach. When her parents find out trouble strikes but her dad lets her play the big match on her sisters Pinky (Archie Punjabi's) wedding. At the end her parents realise how much she loves football and let her go abroad to play.
4 out of 4 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
You don't have to like soccer to enjoy this film
bregund15 October 2003
Warning: Spoilers
***There are spoilers in this review***

Like most Americans, I don't like soccer and had no idea who Beckham was before this film, but this is a thoroughly enjoyable coming-of-age movie. If there is one lesson that people should take away from this film, it is this: follow your dream.

Pounding music underscores the action sequences as the main character, Jess, rebels against her family and her culture. The film continuously pushes Jess to the edge, culminating in an unapproved trip to Germany, and by that point it's clear to the family that Jess has soccer in her blood.

The humor sequences are a little disappointing, tending to rely on mistaken impressions about sexuality and ignorant sheltered housewives. However, the acting is first-rate all around. I had a terrible time understanding the heavy British accents and British slang.

In our house, a good film will usually create a catchy metaphor. We now use the phrase "full Punjabi meal" as a euphemism to indicate something particularly difficult.
4 out of 4 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
6/10
Formulaic but enjoyable
anjiaoshi8 March 2003
Hey, check it out -- other countries can make predictable formula movies too! But seriously, even though no plot "twist" in this movie comes as a surprise, it's smartly written, full of entertaining little touches (especially concerning the main character's Panjabi family and their social circle) and thoroughly enjoyable. I came out grinning. Performances were good all around, too.
5 out of 6 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
10/10
A brilliant film, and one that everyone should make the effort to see at least once.
depplover0013 December 2004
This movie explores the difficulties that strain hopes, dreams, love and friendship, and incorporates humour beautifully. Along with a stunning cast and brilliant filming, the sound track enhances and amplifies the atmosphere and mood of this work of art. All actors and actresses give an extremely good performance, surpassing expectation in every way. Parminder Nagra is brought on to the big screen for the first time in this film, and she is exceptional, capturing the vividness and vitality that this movie is all about. Keira Knightly also works well with her co-stars, and this is her best work so far.

All in all, this is brilliant film, and one that everyone should make the effort to see at least once.
11 out of 18 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
Superb All Around -- An Absolute Gem of a Movie
tm3013 October 2003
Hands down, the best movie I've seen in years. I won't re-hash the plot. Suffice to say Parminder Nagra is a phenomenal actress. The talk about contrivance is silly. Of course there's a formula at work -- it's the execution of it that stand out. Exceptional.
4 out of 5 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
6/10
Don't call Them Chicks!
Lady_Targaryen27 December 2005
Warning: Spoilers
''Bend It Like Beckham'''is quite a nice movie. I mean,it's not a masterpiece like ''BraveHeart'' or ''Schindler's List'', but it's good. The story is simple, about an Indian girl called Jesminder Bhamra who is supposed to be doing 'female things'like helping her mother to cook or thinking about her wedding, but what she really likes is to play soccer. Not to mention that living in London, her soccer idol is David Beckham. Jesminder and Juliette start to be friends since both girls have many things in common. Or should I say way too much in common,when it has to do with the couch? Of course we do have many stereotypes in this movie,like Jesminder's family, but we cannot forget that even in the present days is quite common to have many conservative people and families.

I really liked the ending, and I didn't expect that the couch would really have that big interest for Jesminder, what, in my opinion,makes the movie cooler. ( I don't like prejudices)
6 out of 9 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
7/10
Humorous and a good rewatch
Majikat7613 June 2018
It's really refreshing to re-visit this film, 16 years later, lots of know British actors, the most famous of course being Keira Knightley. Perhaps football has moved on slightly for women and some cultural traditions too, but I'm sure both still have a relevance.
2 out of 2 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
7/10
Great family movie introducing Keira Knightley
SnoopyStyle5 January 2014
Jess (Parminder Nagra) comes from a conservative Sikh family. Her mother worries about her daughters and maintaining a good family facade. Her sister is getting married, but her mind is on football. Jules (Keira Knightley) plays on a girls team, and recruits Jess after watching her in the park. Jess starts playing despite her family's misgiving.

This is Keira Knightley's big break out indie hit. It's the start of her wider fame. But it's Parminder as Jess and her family that is more fascinating. The family traditions and pressures are at the heart of this movie. The one false note in the movie is the girlie drama with Jules getting jealous of Jess and couch Joe. It reeks of lesser teen fare. But the movie gets over it quickly and moves on. It gets back on firmer ground of family drama. This is a heart warming little film.
2 out of 2 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
8/10
A gentle culture clash
jbryanc8 April 2004
How can a movie be both controversial and gentle? This one does it with a near-perfect structure. No one wants their daughters to be athletes. Apparently most cultures don't want their daughters to be small-breasted, either. Here we see a bunch of superb actors we've never heard of before portray folks of different cultures living fairly humdrum lives until their female children want to, and have the potential to, become professional soccer players. The structure around the parallelism of the two cultures is wonderful. There is no condescension. Both cultures are seen as modern and valid. (And yes, both are silly, too). One flaw: the Hindu wedding ceremony seemed to involve hundreds of relatives but not one child among them.
2 out of 2 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
"This film --- is about how we are alike."
shokenjii21 November 2004
This is a very likable film about two daughters of a traditional, Punjabi-Sikh family living in Hounslow, 10 miles WSW of London. Pinky (Archie Panjabi) works as a stewardess out of nearby Heathrow; but her day-to-day private life centers around family and family friends -- and, typical of many first generation immigrants, the immediate environment is like an appendage of the old country. Pinky's self worth is measured by only one goal; and it has been influenced culturally by her mother since infancy -- marry a good, upstanding Sikh and raise a family. Pinky's equally pretty, younger sister and our heroine, Jesminder "Jess" (Parminder Nagra), also lives in a world where nearly all human contact is Punjabi. Outside the house, in school or public places, she is a typical teenager -- except that she wants to be a professional football ("soccer") player(the film opens with Jess daydreaming that she takes a pass from Manchester United's soccer superstar, David "Bend It Like BECKHAM," and scores on a header.

Jess is befriended by Juliette "Jules" Paxton (Keira Knightly), who invites her to join a local girls soccer team. Without fanfare, this is the film's key event that opens all doors and windows -- as Jules' family is drawn into the cultural mix -- wherein WE begin to understand the film's point of view.

The relationship between Jess and Jules is not presented as an example of cultural differences, but more as teenagers of one mind -- the two are more like each other at this age, than they are like their respective parents -- they enjoy boys (both have crush on the coach), shopping, sports, rock music and whatever young girls do and talk about. And despite spats, they are mutually supportive -- and good friends.

The girls' parents provide the film with definition and its better moments. Both fathers (Anupam Kher and Frank Harper) are supportive and permissive -- pushovers for their daughters -- whereas the mothers are pragmatic traditionalists, looking out for the best interests of their children. Mrs. Bhamra (Shahee Khan) is a mother hen often grousing the coop -- she wants both daughters married with respectable dowries (preferably matched high on the socio-economic ladder), and her grandchildren reared culturally as Sikhs, following the teachings of spiritual leader, Babaji. Mrs. Paxton (Juliette Stevenson) is no less involved in her daughter's future -- believing that women should be wives and keepers of the household. As mothers (my mother, yours, and all mothers), Mrs. Bhamra and Mrs. Paxton have more in common with each other, than they do with their respective, long standing, social-cultural groups. Ms. Stevenson has one of the film's better roles; and she executes it with humor and sensitivity.

We are grateful to Ms. Gurinder Chadha for this colorful and wonderfully outrageous look at a Sik family undergoing the pangs of westernization. A more universal point of view on the parents might have been appreciated, with sharper character studies, and maybe a camera or editing less prone to a sound bite style -- thereby adding a few minutes of film length. But none of these comments indicate a lack of enjoyment and respect for Ms. Chadha's achievement. The film includes some sexual content, including discussions on homosexuality, and some objectionable language; but all is within character, contextual, and acceptable viewing by pre-teens with parents present. And, if you have difficulty understanding the foreign language spoken in the UK, click on the English subtitles of your DVD.

We hardly notice the Sikh Temples rising in our communities, or Sikh students in Harvard Yard, or their parents' successes in business, including agriculture, medicine, and branches of engineering -- or Sikhs occupying seats of government in England. The transition and success of immigrant families is no longer unique -- and, it is better that it be commonplace and accepted as such. Although the fresh and exciting differences stirred into the melting pot are welcomed, we have learned that when parents and growing children are at issue -- we are one universal family. We watched the Bhamra children grow up as our neighbors; and we ate, drank, sang, and danced too much at Pinky's wedding. This film is not about how we are different -- it is about how we are alike. Mrs. Bhamra will have to occasionally forego her aloo gobi, chappatis, and dal, to join us -- her new friends -- at McDonalds to dine in style on a Big Mac, fries, and a coke.
11 out of 21 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
1/10
As bland as Beckham
wilmfilm19 June 2003
Oh my god ! This is terrible. Better scripts have been written on the back of matchboxes. As subtle as an avalanche and painfully predictable. A sad excuse for a film and a waste of obvious talent. Avoid, unless already braindead.
14 out of 29 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
10/10
Liverpool/Owen, YES, Beckham NO
Robbie9510 November 2002
10/10 for this film.

i'm a british india doctor, currently in india. the word Beckham put me off, 'cos i'm a die hard Liverpool fan, and personally think that Owen is really cool. Since Liverpool and Man Utd are rivals, i was DEAD sure that i wouldn't watch the film.

But then i was in delhi to meet some friends, and i had an early morning flight, so i thought, "what the heck, let's bide time by watching this film", 'cos it was a late night show.

What a moron i was. I should've seen this film the day it was released. I guess using Beckham's name was to draw audience attraction (which had back-fired in my case!!!), but then i really can't think of a better title for the film.

And Nagra, Knightley (drop dead gorgeous), and Rhys-Myers did a superb job.

If you hate football, dislike Manchester United (or England for that matter), then this is DEFINATELY the film for you. In fact, i'm just 29 yrs old, a psychiatrist by profession, but a kid at heart. This film has knocked "Star Wars" off my no.1 position.

Surprisingly, there aren't very many comments on this film by indian-brits like me. I wonder why?

10/10 for this film.
6 out of 10 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
10/10
Very Entertaining and well worth watching if not for Archie
babdgerboy5 December 2002
This movie kept me entertained throughout and was very funny in parts. As a British born Punjabi, I could identify with key points and loved the odd moments of hysteria (spoken in Punjabi) by Jess's mother, Mrs Bhamra - boy have we all been there, "Ohh Baba-ji ...". The determination by the young football player to forge a career in a non traditional Asian occupation was inspiring and our hearts went out to the poor girl. Parminder Nagra was well supported by Archie Punjabi who is gorgeous, articulate and highly talented - what a babe - I think I'm in love! Anupam Kher (Mr Bhamra), a well respected Bollywood star helped to make this movie enjoyable but I don't think his real skills were exploited in this movie. Nevertheless, I would recommend this movie to most people but a must for young Asians living in a western society, as well as their parents of course. Both could learn a lot from each other. Music was great too - Loved the wedding bits, just brought back memories for me - You just can't beat a Punjabi Wedding - thumping Bhangra beats just get my shoulders going. Well done to all those that were involved - you certainly made me proud.
5 out of 8 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
6/10
Charm to spare
Boyo-225 August 2004
I'm glad when a movie like this finds an audience. First of all, its not typical Hollywood product, which is a magnificent beginning, and you know that the director/screenwriter just had a vision of what kind of movie that they could make and didn't get all caught up in all that LA garbage you hear about. They actually had a story to tell, had to sell it, and someone believed in the project.

I found some of the romantic/dramatic subplots slightly juvenile, but I'm a 40-something guy so its kind of natural that kind of thing might annoy me at times.

I'd only seen Rhys-Myers in "Velvet Goldmine", which I didn't enjoy, but here he's very good and has a lot qualities I like in an actor. His eyes are very expressive and the camera picks that up. You don't learn that, you just have it or you don't. I like him enough to risk seeing the project he's doing for Woody Allen. For all the sub-par movies Woody's made in the past ten years, I never once questioned his choice of actors, and I'm certainly not starting now.

Have fun with the movie. It doesn't change the world and, thankfully, doesn't want to either. 7/10.
6 out of 11 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
Enjoyable, plenty of smiles, lifted my spirits.
Charity20003 January 2003
As an English father of a teenage football playing daughter, I really identified with this film. Jesminder could well have been my own daughter. It was all so real. The whole family watched it twice and were all smiling at the end, - accept my daughter who thought it was rubbish and walked out half way through. Maybe the scene of the two stars having a bust-up over their coach was just too near the truth. This film does more for British Race Relations than any Government legislation.

I am still left with a puzzle though. Could Jesminder really play football ? Having occasionally coached a girl's team, I couldn't make out if she had a double for some of the takes or whether she did actually have some footballing talent.
6 out of 11 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
An error has occured. Please try again.

See also

Awards | FAQ | User Ratings | External Reviews | Metacritic Reviews


Recently Viewed