Bend It Like Beckham

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Bend it Like Beckham uses the metaphor of football (soccer) to explore and discuss race, gender, and ethnicity in contemporary London. 18-year-old Jesminder "Jess" Bhamra (Parminder Nagra) is a British Indian Punjabi Sikh living in the western suburbs of London. Her older sister, Pinky (Archie Panjabi), is preoccupied with fashion and her upcoming wedding to her boyfriend Teetu (Kulvinder Ghir), who operates a successful automobile business. Jess' father (the noted actor, Anupam Kher ) is a Kenyan Indian and both her mother (Shaheen Khan) and father are Punjabi immigrants in Britain who work at nearby Heathrow Airport. As Jess is the more studious of the two daughters, her parents push her towards academic achievement in the hope that she will achieve the financial success which evaded them. Their goal is for her to attend university and become a Solicitor. In contrast, Jess only dreams of becoming a professional football player, inspired by the football star, David Beckham. She expresses her dreams in two ways: first by secretly confiding to a poster of David Beckham which hangs in her bedroom (these "conversations" are contrasted in the film with her parent's show of veneration to a portrait of Sikhism founder, Guru Nanak Dev Ji, reverently referred to as babaji); and secondly by playing football in the park with her best friend, Tony (Ameet Chana). As Pinky is getting married, Jess is deemed too old by her parents to continue playing football. Her mother tells her, "What family will want a daughter-in-law who can run around kicking football all day but can’t make round chapatis?" In response to her protests, her father also adds, "Jesse, your mother is right. It’s not nice. You must start behaving like a proper woman. OK?" One day while playing in the park, Jess is spotted by Juliette "Jules" Paxton (Keira Knightley), a White British girl who is a player for the Hounslow Harriers (a local amateur women's football team), along with Mel (Shaznay Lewis), the...
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