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Bend It like Beckham Film Analysis

Essay by   •  December 14, 2013  •  Case Study  •  1,808 Words (8 Pages)  •  1,428 Views

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Bend it like Beckham is a movie that focuses on sports as well as the Indian and British cultures and their ways of life. The movie I set in a western suburban area in London, where Jesmender's, Jess for short, family has taken every effort to stay in touch with their Indian heritage. Jess's mother and father want their daughter to go to law school, learn to cook traditional Indian dinners, and settle down with a nice Indian boy. This is what her older sister Pinky has done, she is soon to wed her longtime boyfriend Teetu. Jess' family is unaware that she has a secret passion to play football, American soccer. Her parents do not know that in her spare time she likes to go to the park and play a friendly game with some boys from the neighborhood. One day, while kicking the ball around, she meets Jules, who is impressed by Jess' ability to play football. Jules plays for the local semi-pro women's football team, the Houslow Harriers, she believes that jess has what it takes to make the team. Jess knows that her traditional parents would never allow her to play football professionally, so she does not tell them. She start to spin a series of complex lies as she tries to keep her double life as a student and a footballer a secret. The situation heightens when Jess has to make a choice between a football game and her family. He sister's wedding day is at the same time as the most important game of the summer where there is the possibility of a scout who will watch them play.

Jess is not the only girl on the team facing problems with her parents. Jules mother wants her daughter to be and look feminine and is concerned about her daughter's interests. She even fears that Jules maybe attracted to girls since she spends her entire free time with Jess and the girls on the team. Which is horrifying to her mother at first.

This film presents a number a different aspects of India culture such as traditional roles of women, religious beliefs, and the importance of Indian rituals and cuisine. Throughout the movie Jess seems to have a lack of enthusiasm for her own culture. In the movie Jess' family pray to a picture of an old man with a long beard that hangs over their fireplace. This man is Guru Nanak. There is a part of the movie where Jess' mother is praying to Guru and Jess tells her mother the hurry up. Jess' family seems to take their religious beliefs very seriously, whereas Jess is disinterested. Religion is very important to the Sikh culture and is often included in their daily rituals.

Since Jess is so reluctant to give in to her traditional role as a Sikh woman is a major issues between her and her parents. Jess is trying to experience integration within the British culture. Even though Jess does not want to give in to her Indian culture she does not want to completely dismiss her cultural identity either. Her parents are having a hard time understanding Jess' personal conflict she is going through since they have chosen to remain separated from the British community, rather than assimilate. Jess' parents feat that if they if they open up to the British way of living that it will influence the lives and behaviors of their daughters. There are many times throughout the movie that her parents show signs of ethnocentrism. They think that their culture is the right one and their comments about how if one of their daughters marrying a white man would be shameful to the family. This is shown during a conversation that Jess has with her football teammates, they start talking about marriage and her teammates asks Jess if she would have to marry and Indian and Jess agrees. Her teammates ask how she can stand having to marry a person others want her to. She replies that it is just her culture. Jess gets that there are certain traditions that she has to comply with just because it is her culture. This does not mean she agrees with it but she accepts the reasons why her family pushes towards her traditional roles.

There are cultural similarities that may come up in different cultures. Jess' Sikh family and Jules' modern parents share some similar thoughts about their daughters playing football. Both mothers believe that the girls playing football do not fit into their traditional "womanly" role. They both fear that their daughters will not be able to find husbands because their football interferes. There is one line in the movie where Jess' mother says, "What sort of family would want a daughter who could play football but not cook? Start behaving like a proper women!" Jules' mother makes a similar comment when she says, "No boy's gonna go out with a girl who's got bigger muscles than him!" Both cultures the mothers share the belief that the women should spend more time attracting a husband, rather than playing sports.

The movie also touches on the topic of homosexuality. The reactions of the characters shows that the Indian culture and the British culture views are similar. Jules' mother misunderstood a situation between her daughter and Jess, and assumes that they are lesbians. Jules' mother is clearly upset due to the idea of her daughter dating another women. When Jules

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