Published Jan 01, 2006While the teenage girls of North America are being force-fed the likes of Crossroads and whatever film Mandy Moore is in, the British are lucky enough to have something smart and sophisticated like Bend It Like Beckham to cheer for.
Rather than making a film where the lead wants to be noticed by the popular boy at school, or doesn’t have anything to wear for the prom, Jess simply wants to be able to play football with an organised team. Parminder Nagra gives an excellent first-time performance as Jesminder, a young Indian girl with the ability to bend a ball like David Beckham. Jess is spotted playing footie with boys in the park by onlooker Juliette (Keira Knightley), who convinces her to play on her team in hopes of making it to America to play professional ball. The only problem is that Jess’s parents are dead set against their daughter wasting her time with something that will never lead to the promising career that her studies will surely produce.
Mixed with clever humour and a feel-good premise, Bend It Like Beckham is the type of production that should be sent to America to battle Hollywood’s distorted perception of teen movies.
The DVD includes ten deleted and extended scenes, including an unedited wedding dance sequence and an absurd tussle that breaks out, which director Gurinder Chadha would have left in its entirety if she wasn’t strongly advised not to.
Inspired by the tagline "Who Wants to Cook Aloo Gobi When You Can Bend a Ball Like Beckham?," we’re also treated to an odd cooking show with the director. Chadha prepares the Indian dish as her mother and aunt sit quietly in the background, watching her every move and letting her know how many mistakes she’s making. An interesting and humorous titbit, but not essential viewing. Plus: music video, outtakes. (Fox)