Bend It Like Beckham Review

Bend It Like Beckham is a 2003 film starring Parminder Nagra and Keira Knightly.  Jess Bahmra, played by Nagra, lives with her traditional Indian family who expects her to soon get married and settle down.  However Jess is much more interested in soccer, playing whenever she gets a chance.  After Jules Paxton, Knightly, observes Jess playing soccer in the park, Jules invites Jess to a team practice. Jess devotes more time to soccer joining the team Jules plays for, all the while developing a friendship with Jules.  Jess's parents oppose the idea of her future involving soccer and attempt to intervene when they see how dedicated she is becoming.  Yet Jess finds ways around the restrictions her parents enforce.  The movie follows Jess's conflicts between family tradition, her dreams of playing soccer and developing relationships.  This movie passes the Bechdel Test for multiple reasons.  Primarily the story focuses on a female with a goal that does not involve a man.  Besides the two leading actresses there are various established female characters which engage with one another on matters other than men.  The film in whole circulates around the female in sports and includes the topic of a woman's expected role in society.  Bend  Like Beckham is an enjoyable film with an engaging story line which is entirely inclusive to females.  This movie ceases from being old. 

Bend It Like Beckham meets the standards of my own anti-gender bias film test as well.  

My standards being:

  • At least one primary and secondary female character included
  • Proper introduction and development of female characters
  • Female characters have goals that do not solely circulate around men 
There are many women figures in this movie that have prominent roles with character.  The females personalities are not cliche and develop throughout the movie.  Though there is a love triangle which creates conflict with the two main females, Jess has a prime goal of playing soccer from the beginning of the movie which consumes most of the story line.