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Friday, 12 April, 2002, 14:57 GMT 15:57 UK
Bend it Like Beckham: Your views
Parminder Nagra as Jess
The film explores female friendship and British Asian culture
Bend It Like Beckham, from director Gurinder Chadha, is the tale of Jess, a teenage girl from an Indian family in West London who has a passion for football.

The only problem is that her strict and traditional parents do not approve, so she must keep her hobby a secret.

"Exploring the same culture clash territory as East Is East, Billy Elliot and Chadha's debut feature Bhaji on the Beach, Bend it Like Beckham is a winning fusion of comedy and drama," wrote the BBC's Neil Smith.

But what do you think?

Will this become a global hit? Or is it a bore by half-time?

HAVE YOUR SAY

I thought the film was excellent. I thought Jules and Jess's mums were both brilliant.
Pascale Hunter, UK

It's sure to be a success, since it's so funny, yet people can still relate to it. Jess's family are brilliant, heightening the comedy factor by miles, while the happy ending makes this film a wonderful feelgood sort of movie. And of course the fact that Jonathan Rhys Meyers is gorgeous helps, too!
Esmerelda Thornton, England

I love this film. It was so funny I melted when I saw Joe, the girl's coach, he was hot. I think this film was brilliant.
Emily Chambers, England

What a great film. Everyone in the cinema was laughing out loud, and the pacing was so good that there weren't any flat spots. Really enjoyable.
Dan, London


As a father of a football mad girl I thought this was spot on and so funny

Frank, UK
Don't believe the hype - this is an average OK-ish film. Plot: Billy Elliott but replacing ballet and northerners with football and Sikhs. Reasonably funny but utterly predictable from the word go.
Theresa R, UK

Being English and married to an Asian wife, the comedy of this brilliant film really hit the spot.
Jeremy, UK

Being an Asian myself I could relate to most of the family restrictions that were laid down for Jess, but director Chadha has caputured it brillantly with the humour being so deadly!!
Isha, UK

Full marks to Gurinder Chadha for superbly expressing two cultures that have little in common: football and Indian tradition - and all wrapped up in hilarious rib-tickling comedy.
Vipin Kumar Goyal, London, UK

I thought the film was fantastic. It's really funny and people can relate to it.Jess' and Jules' mums were amazing. A great script combined with talented actors. And the fact that Jonathan Rhys Meyers is in it is an extra bonus!
Philippa, UK


The syncing was out, the plot I've seen a thousand times before. And the Asian mother was out of date

Sanjeev Bhaskar, UK
Brillant film, excellent. It's really the best.
Michelle, England

As a father of a football mad girl I thought this was spot on and so funny. The mix of Asian and Western music swirled in and out of the action marvellously.
Frank, UK

Loved it!! Already seen it twice! Don't agree with your review...I didn't want it to end!! It's a World Cup winner...Becks or no Becks!
Rupax, England

Great film that has more wit and genuine feeling than most American teen films. The writer clearly thought the story out well and the casting was spot on.
Alisha Leigh Gains, UK

This is an amazing film, football, girls, and comedy. What else do you need?
Anthony, UK

Coming from a fairly predicitable Catholic background, this film opened up wonderful insights into the Indian community, it hit the funny bone just perfect
Elaine Grant, UK & Ireland


I think it's a great promo for womens football and breaking down stereotypes, but it did drag a little at times

Rachel Mccann, Scotland
Great film that has more wit and genuine feeling than most American teen films.The writer clearly thought the story out well and the casting was spot on.
Alisha Leigh Gains, UK

I thought this film was excellent! The guys were really stunning, and Joe was the best guy to pick for the lead guy.
Joyce Rundell, UK

What an over-rated film! It was very average, I did smile, but please... if this is the best of British then we are well and truly up the creek without a paddle.

The syncing was out, the plot I've seen a thousand times before. And the Asian mother was out of date. Most 40-50 year old Brit Asians were educated in the UK and do not speak like Goodness Gracious Me rejects!
Sanjeev Bhaskar, UK

Sorry. This film is overrated. It also delivers too many stereotypes and depends upon too much humour to try and tackle serious problems of racism.

It also had undercurrents of self hatred and desperate hegemony.

The need for a gay guy was a silly example of both. Especially since his presence pretended to break all the necessary stereotypes.
M J Hall, England

I think it's a great promo for womens football and breaking down stereotypes, but it did drag a little at times. Good acting though, especially the comic bits.
Rachel Mccann, Scotland


The plot and the script were like a feature length episode of Eastenders with absolutely no imagination at all, it was just so dull and predictable

Robin Stevens, UK
As a Western person who "converted" to a Hindu based religion, I was able to relate to a great deal of the film. What makes the film excellent is that is covers a lot of different issues very effectively: racial, cultural, religious, gender, generation gap etc. It was also nice to see a very watchable British film with a good script, instead of American ones with massive budgets but no real meaning. Bend It Like Beckham was rich in meaning and that's why it will be a hit!
Richard Cole, UK

This is one of the worst films I've ever seen in the cinema. The only reason I didn't walk out was that the cinema seemed like a good place to have a quick nap at the time.

There are so many things that made this film really bad. First and foremost was the acting, especially the lead roles. The plot and the script were like a feature length episode of Eastenders with absolutely no imagination at all, it was just so dull and predictable.

What makes the film particulary terrible is that it was so "right on" about issues of race, gender and cultural differences. Spare me the lectures on race and gender, I can watch a government information film for that!
Robin Stevens, UK

A superb and very touching film. Well cast and with a great soundtrack. I expected it to be good, but was pleasantly suprised to find out how.
Alex Conabeare, England

I loved the film, it was so kushty.
Fahmeder Rahman, Portsmouth


I've seen it three times and came out with a smile on my face each time. Oh, and I could watch it another three times!

Selina, UK
It was fun but no Citizen Kane. The themes are not really new to those familiar with the director's work and the plot was pure fairytale. That said, it was well crafted and the football scenes, always hard to fake, weren't too awful.

The biggest laugh for my wife was the explanation of the offside rule, pretty much the way I'd done it for her.
Steve, London, UK

It's a good movie and keeps you glued to the screen for two hours. If you want to know what I mean about Indian background music evoking the emotions, watch when she misses the penalty kick and try to stop the tears!

The soccer scenes are excellent, although why some of the girls wear bikinis is questionable. Liked the look of the goree English girl very much indeed.
Habshi, UK

A recipe for success. No special effects. Pretty girls. Great acting. Wonderful humour. Indian. Western....innit!
Tarj Mahal, UK

Bend it Like Beckham is absolutely brilliant. All the people that have said otherwise on this website seem to fancy themselves as film critics and are pretentious. BILB is funny and touching with some class footie scenes that even Becks liked!! The soundtrack fits perfectly. Big shout out to Chada for making a film that is the lick on a small budget. Talking of Eastenders though, did anyone spot Gita in the film?
Toulouse, England


This film could make anyone feel uplifted as it did for me whilst in the darkest of moods and so should be a hit

Philippa S-T, England
We thought this film was very refreshing after all the rubbish war films that have just been out. Joe was unbelievable! It had all the ingredients necessary for an enjoyable film.
KSASQ, England

I can't believe anybody can say this film is overrated and predictable. I've seen it three times and came out with a smile on my face each time. Oh, and I could watch it another three times! Great acting, great script, great direction but above all great entertainment for ALL the family. May there be many more films like this that are brave enough to deal with the cultural diversity in Britain today rather than focus on cads like Hugh Grant.
Selina, UK

It was so funny, it dealt with many issues as well. The funniest part was when Jess said "You wouldn't know what it's like to be called a paki and Joe said, "I do, I'm Irish!" And a bonus was that Joe is sooo fit!
Rosie, UK

I think this is a fab film, and although it isn't the most thought provoking made me feel great and entertained, which is what films are meant to do. This film could make anyone feel uplifted as it did for me whilst in the darkest of moods and so should be a hit. (However, maybe not globally as it is very much aimed at a British audience).
Philippa S-T, England

Bend it Like Beckham is a wicked film, it is the best film I have even seen.
Sonal, Northamptonshire


Fair enough, Asians are under-represented in the media but this film, like East is East, is dated

Jaz, UK
To be honest, I didn't enjoy it. How can you make a film about sport and not actually show any sport? All I saw on screen during matches was a flicking camera, close-ups of the girl's heads, I mean a football was nowhere to be seen.

And the jokes that everyone finds so funny...I have been hearing them for many years now, they have all been done before.

And what was with the inclusion of the "token" gay man? The film was screaming out to be recognised as being 21st century.

Only good thing about the film was the fact that the actors could actually act (except for the old CBBC presenter).
Me1, England

As a seriously football playing and supporting white male, I was not looking forward to my partner take me to see this film. But I gave it an open mind going in and came out thouroughly enjoying it. For once the football scenes were OK, humour was spot on, the casting was superb, well shot on location and very well directed.

To be critical, I winced at the glorification of Beckham near the start of the film, perhaps it was a little drawn out towards the end, and it sometimes did over-play on predetermined stereotypes.

But overall this is the ideal film to watch in the run up to the World Cup (certainly a lot better than the poor Mike Bassett - England Manager).
Anders, London, England

If only all Asian films were like this? There is a big difference of class between the Bollywood films and home grown films. Bollywood, GET lost.
ABCD, UK: British Asian

I thought that the film was great!! I was very funny and different. I have not seen this director's other films, like Bhaji on the Beach. But after watching Bend it Like Beckham, I feel that I will have to watch her other films. Well done!!!!!!
Pritesh Jadav, UK

I liked the movie. It was funny to a certain extent. It covered many issues...quite interesting to see an Indian family in the West still clingng to traditional values; I could relate myself to many things. I am an Indian and a gay guy...couldn't really relate to soccer but then I could relate myself to that passion for something. Overall, I think the movie was a pleasant one to watch! Should make it big!
Karthik, India-Singapore

I thought the film was brill and of course a helping factor was Jonathan Rhys Meyers - he is soooooo nice!
Sab, UK

This has to be one of the funniest movies I have seen since East is East. It's refreshing.Jonathan Rhys Meyers and Parminder are great. Well done. Also, me and my friend realised we sneaked out to watch the movie exactly the same way Jess sneaks out to play footie. Well related. Thumbs up.
Babygee, UK

What a load of rubbish. I'm sure friends of the production team have been busy writing reviews in this forum! Let's get real, this film sucks! It's like Grange Hill with Asians. If this is the best film people have ever seen, then they haven't seen much. I just cannot believe the hype. Fair enough, Asians are under-represented in the media but this film, like East is East, is dated. Let's get into the 21st century... most Asians in the UK have. Unless you're a Bend it Like Beckham fan!
Jas, UK

The acting was brilliant and the football scenes very realistic. A real feelgood film.
Tracy, UK

OK, so it's a cinema montage. Take a pinch of Goodness Gracious Me, My Beautiful Launderette, East is East, etc and add Alison Steadman's brilliant Abigail (pinched with gusto by the fabulous Juliet Stevenson from Mike Leigh's "Abigail's Party") and you have it. But the film is more than the sum of its parts. It is genuinely funny, brilliantly edited and very feelgood.

If I have a problem, it is that it is about breaking down barriers but the Indian lives show none of the racial prejudice that sadly exists today. Try some northern cities to find out the day to day terror that many Sikhs, Muslims and Hindus live in. It's not all parties, easy football in the park and on-pitch integration.

Have you not heard the appalling racial slurs that are thrown at Asian and black players on football pitches? I am ashamed to be white when I hear the stuff that goes on on the terraces.

As for the film, it's in the Best of British category and it is such material that we should all support if we are not to be swamped by Hollywood. Nice one Gurinder Chadha.
Peter Morris, UK

This film is embarrassing! Why is it that so many 'white people' seem to love this film and feel that they can use it to pretend they understand Asians in the UK... rubbish! This is just another Goodness Gracious Me style comedy. It is inoffensive and light weight. It never really gets down to any issues and retards progressive Brit Asians. I can understand why northerners might like this film... they live in the dark ages but PLEASE, lets move on. Bury the ghosts of East is East, Goodness Gracious Me and Bend it like Beckham. Let's see something deep.
Guljit, England

My best of 2002 so far.
Dugal, UK

See also:

12 Apr 02 | Reviews
Bend it Like Beckham scores highly
12 Apr 02 | Film
Beckham on bench for première
12 Apr 02 | Football
England give Beckham time
19 Jun 01 | Music
Shaznay shooting first movie
11 Apr 02 | Football
FA backs Becks appeal
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