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29 October 2014

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Bend it Like Beckham (2002)
Director: Gurinder Chadha
Parminder Nagra, Keira Knightley, Jonathan Rhys, Meyers, Kulvinder Ghir, Shaznay Lewis and
Juliet Stevenson

120 minutes
12th April 2002
12 cert camera
Parminder  Nagra
Bend it Like Beckham
Teenager Jess doesn't want to end up as a boring solicitor. She wants to play football like her hero David Beckham. Being a girl, her chances are limited and, being an Asian girl, her family make it even harder!
audio Interviews with Parminder Nagra and Jonathan Rhys, from Bend it Like Beckham.

In the film, Jules' mum, Paula, gets a lesson on the offside rule - but what does the french mustard stand for?
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Find out more about "Bend it Like Beckham" at Movie news

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Gurinder Chadha’s debut film, Bhaji on the Beach, won her the Evening Standard British Film Award for Best Newcomer to British Cinema in 1994, as well as a BAFTA nomination for Best British Film.
As her mum says: "Who'd want a girl who plays football all day but can't make chapattis?".

If they knew she was playing with the Hounslow Harriers women's team, they'd have a collective fit.

Following on from the success of her earlier comedies "Bhaji on the Beach" and "What's Cooking?", Gurinder Chadha turns this British-Asian film about a clash between traditional values and the modern world into a fantastic feelgood movie. Chock full of wonderful characters - Jess's long-suffering mother, her promiscuous sister, and her teammates - "Beckham" is a real crowd-pleaser.

Although it's set up as an Asian comedy in the "East is East" mould, it's also a great football movie, with some hilariously surreal on-pitch moments (readying herself for a vital free-kick, Jess watches aghast as the wall of defenders transforms into a line of sari-wearing relatives, all desperately trying to put her off).

It's sweet without ever becoming schmaltzy and finishes by successfully tying up every loose end. The only fault is it runs on too long; if the ref had blown her whistle earlier, it would have been absolutely perfect.

But since it's the kind of film that'll have the whole audience clapping by the time the credit sequence out-takes appear, it's easy to forgive that minor fault.

Mr Beckham ought to be proud to have his name on such a great film.

"Bend it Like Beckham" opens in UK cinemas on Friday 12th April 2002.

Reviewed by Jamie Russell , BBC Films

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