Bend It Like Beckham
<strong>Rating: </strong>4/5Rate this
Time Out saysFootball's uncommon ability to bring a nation together is celebrated in this sweet, positive youth movie. Jess (Nagra) loves nothing better than kicking a ball about - unless it's her idol, Becks. Unfortunately her family cling to traditional Asian values. While they're willing to tolerate her fanaticism, the very idea of their daughter joining a local girls' team makes them see red. But, encouraged by her new best pal Jules (Knightley) and dishy Irish coach Joe (Rhys Meyers), she defiantly signs on with the team, even though she has to go to extreme lengths to keep it secret. It's heartening to find Chadha exercising feminist, multicultural themes organically in an unpretentious mainstream entertainment. Nagra and Knightley have winning personalities, but credit should also go to writer/director Chadha for getting the balance right between humour and pathos, and sporting and romantic action, not to mention negotiating the tricky business of filming football action with originality and finesse. Poppy and fun, this game underdog deserves to get a result.