"Bend it like Beckham"

Essay by xxveronHigh School, 11th gradeA, November 2006

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"Bend it like Beckham" is an exciting and meaningful movie for many different reasons. It highlights many important events that can be witnessed in real life today. One of the most crucial events that it highlights is the confrontation between two completely different religions. The movie is about a Sikh girl and her mission to fulfill one of her deepest passions, and that is to play soccer. Unfortunately her passion leads her to many tribulations and impediments. The major tribulation is defying her religious faith of already being arranged a marriage with somebody, Jess (protagonist) does not want to be forced to marry somebody, she wants to marry a person of her own choice. Jess wants to marry somebody of a different religion and this leads to major conflict between the family.


"Bend it like Beckham" is tale about an 18-yr old named Jessminder "Jess" Bhamra.

Jess is a Sikh girl living in the Western suburbs of London, England. Her first generation Punjabi immigrant parents push her to study to get into university and become a solicitor. Another thing expected of her was to join hands in an arranged marriage in due course. She instead shows a deep interest in football. While playing in the park one afternoon, a young girl by the name of Jules offers Jess to join the girls soccer team. Jess accepts Jules invitation even though she knows her parents would disapprove. The outcome sets up a number of culture clashes, ranging from the comical to the serious, as Jess, her friends and family try to negotiate their way between the expectation of two cultures and their own dreams and desires. The confrontation with the out culture eventually lead's Jess to developing a special bong with her coach.

Religious Aspects

During the movie "Bend it like Beckham," the portrait given off to us, the viewer, seems to be something very stereotypical towards the Indian environment. To those who are not of the Indian descent, we seem to look at the Sikh in a more unusual manner than we would to our religion. When we think "Sikh" or Indian, the first thing that would come to mind would be strict parents, arranged marriages, no enjoyment or excitement of any sort allowed and so forth. While watching the movie, it seemed to just prove the stereotype to a tee. I do not believe that the movie portrayed the religion accurately. I believe the movie strongly stereotyped all Indians alike. As I researched the culture, I learned that Sikh's are not all we thought them to be. Although, they do have a very disciplined life, it seems as though generation to generation, the rules change from every one family. In today's society, it is unnecessary for Indian boys or girls to marry whomever their parents please; they now have a voice in who they want to marry. Another thing that I strongly disagree with is the sexism that was acted on during the movie. The movie demonstrates how 'Indians are not allowed to do anything that boys could do' for example; Soccer.

Women in the Sikh religion are treated no differently than men. They believe anything men can do; women can also with no problem. It is situations like this in the movie which represent a negative perspective on the race. The movie, in my opinion, makes "Sikh" seem as a 'bad' religion. One that no body would ever want to be born into due to all the rules and beliefs that are mandatory to come along with it. If I were a person who knew nothing about this religion, and I were to watch "Bend it like Beckham," it would defiantly set a decision in my mind that I would never want to be anything like that religion.