An oldie but a goodie is a good way to sum up British comedy Bend It Like Beckham. Years after it was made it’s still as fun as it was when it was first appeared in cinemas.
30 Jul 2014 - 2:28 PM  UPDATED 24 Jun 2021 - 1:11 PM

Are things weighing you down and you need a laugh?

Let Bend It Like Beckham take away your woes. You won’t be able to help laughing at the repartee that’s jam-packed into this energetic worldwide hit about a couple of young women with a passion for soccer.

Speaking of soccer, is there still a hole in your life now that the World Cup is over for another four years?

Regard the opportunity to see Bend It Like Beckham (2002) as a joyous unexpected full stop to mark the end of competition. The director Gurinder Chadha wasn’t into soccer but the story came to her when she witnessed David Beckham obsession at her local pub during the 1998 World Cup. She says so in this terrific blog. France won in 1998, by the way.

Are you a mother of teenage girls?

Sit them down in front of the box for a dose of positive role modeling, courtesy of Parminder Nagra, who plays Jess, and Keira Knightley, who plays Jules. The characters are brilliant and so are the actors. In the blog mentioned above, Chadha says that “Beckham’s uncanny ability to ‘bend’ the ball around a wall of players into the goal is a great metaphor for what young girls (and film directors) go through. You see your goal, you know where you want to go, but you’ve got to twist and turn and bend the rules to get there.”  

Are you having trouble with you mother?

This comedy will give you some good strategies to overcome her influence, especially if the problems are around tradition versus modernity, while keeping a smile on your face.

Are you a school teacher always grateful for help in the classroom?

There’s two great resources online here and here covering such subjects as Sikhism and racial stereotyping. They’re both English but still applicable to the Australian curriculum.

Are you in despair that the media is awash with reports of racism and war caused by racism?

Bend It like Beckham celebrates difference and diversity. Sure, it is full of race-based stereotypes and many of the characters are painted in a comic fashion; but its infectious good-heartedness offers respite.

Want more about the thinking behind the film?

Well worth a look is this video interview with the director. Her spirit is definitely in the film. Enjoy it.



Watch 'Bend It Like Beckham'

Friday 2 July, 9:55pm on SBS World Movies
Saturday 3 July, 8:20am on SBS World Movies
Sunday 4 July, 4:30pm on SBS World Movies

Also streaming at SBS On Demand

UK, 2002
Genre: Drama, Comedy, Sport, Romance
Language: English
Director: Gurinder Chadha
Starring: Keira Knightley, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Archie Panjabi, Parminder Nagra

Streaming until January 1st, 2022:

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