'Despite the clich#x00E9;s,; 'Beckham' is solid movie

Bend It Like Beckham' -- PG-13

After being released in the United States at the end of March, the movie touted in Newsweek (three months ago), Time (ditto) and USA Today (ditto again) as a good flick has at last arrived in Rochester.

The simplest way to put the storyline is in terms of two worlds colliding, with traditionalist Indian-Sikh parents (Anupam Kher and Shaheen Khan) pushing their football (soccer, to us Americans) loving daughter, Jesminder "Jess" Bhamra toward a seemingly inevitable end to her playing days and a marriage to a "nice Sikh boy," like the one that her sister (Archie Punjabi) is about to marry.

However, her talent is noticed by Juliette "Jules" Paxton (Kiera Knightley), who convinces Jess to secretly play for the local girls squad, coached by Joe (Jonathan Rhys-Meyers), who ends up being the cause of a spat between the two friends when they both fall for him.

Jess becomes more and more entangled as she tries to balance her two worlds of sports and family.


The best way to describe this flick is quaint. It is not a masterpiece because it includes most every movie cliché; designed, and the element of the unexpected is not there. However, a movie like this does not need the unexpected as films like this ("My Big Fat Greek Wedding" and "Billy Elliot" spring to mind) have been done recently. What transpires should not come as a real shock.

I was generally impressed with the performances. No individual really stood out, but it seemed as if each actor was walking the fine line that separates good with very good. The performances of Kher and Khan as parents who are seeing their traditional world take a blow from that of the modern world are the strongest in the movie.

But for me, the highlight of the movie was the use of colors by director Gurinder Chadha.

She does an excellent job of bringing out the kaleidoscope of colors of traditional Sikh ceremonies.

One warning: The humor in "Bend It Like Beckham" is understated and almost hidden, so keep alert. For being a generally solid though clichéd; film, it gets a 7.5 out of 10.

Andrew Howard is a graduate at Rochester Lourdes High School. To respond to reviews in Sound &; Vision, call 252-1111, category TEEN (8336); write Teen Beat, Post-Bulletin, P.O. Box 6118, Rochester, MN 55903-6118 or send e-mail to

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