What is better than a romantic British comedy from the early 2000s? Make it a sports film! And throw in Kiera Knightly while you’re at it. Bend it Like Beckham is a 2002 film about Jess, a skilled football player (well soccer player but do not forget we are in Britain), while she befriends Jules, who later on helps Jess to secretly play on her local women’s football team. This is all very against her family’s wishes. Jess absolutely loves the sport, but her conservative family does not support her playing due to her being a woman and it being against her own family’s traditions. She goes on to play for the team in secret with hopes of her family never finding out. This film is on our shelf for themes we just love to discuss. First, the development of women in sports all over the world. Another theme would be the obsession with all-star soccer player David Beckham throughout the film. Finally, we cannot stop talking about the importance of friendship in sports! Aspects like these are reasons while we cannot help but keep Bend it Like Beckham on our shelf.
One thing we cannot help but love about this film is the development of Jess’s family’s support for the idea of her and woman playing sports. Women throughout the ages have experienced injustice when it came to their participation in sports. Due to these views working against them, various groups have become determined to change the ideology that they can not participate actively as men do. They have used determination, hard work and incredible skills to make a difference for women everywhere! This theme is actively present throughout the film. Although firm disapproval from her family at the start, with the help of Kiera Knightly’s character, Jess’s passion for football overpowers them and eventually she receives the support of her mother and father to pursue a career in the game itself. One cannot help but obsesses over this story development and Jess’s determination to pursue her talents and keep pushing the limit. Inspiration like that is a definite reason to keep this book on our shelf.
One thing that is super important to us in the world of sports, is compassion for your fellow teammate. In Bend it Like Beckham, not only do we get that compassion, but we get a full-blown friendship. Very early in the film, Jules confronts Jess when she spots her practising in a nearby soccer field. She goes on to tell her that she had the skills to try out for the local women’s football team that she plays on herself. From there, their friendship goes through the turmoil that begins to affects them come game day. The girls learn quickly that to play to their ultimate potential, they must put aside their differences and work together as a team. Now if that is not a feel-good sports story, we do not know what is!
Now, this Beckham guy… why is he so important you may ask? Beckham was the first Britsh footballer to play 100 UEFA Champions League games and in 2008, he was inducted into the English Football Hall of Fame. He has notorious fame from his accomplishments and was mainstream news for weeks for both his football fame and contributions to charities. Therefore, Beckham was not only a football superstar for many years, but was actually a decent human as well. Its no wonder how he became a consistent theme throughout the film and a constant influence for various characters within it. Beckham earned his name in the title of a film that became the highest-grossing football-themed sports film in the United States the year it released.
So there we have it! A film that explores women’s development into the world of athleticism from a cultural perspective, that includes people coming together as a team to become as good as David Beckham… if that is even possible. Bend it Like Beckham is a feel-good sports film with a large amount of character development from numerous characters. It explores topics that NEED to be discussed more in films like women in sports and various cultural perspectives towards sports. This film holds an important spot on our shelf.