Gurinder Chadha



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Gurinder Chadha

Bend it like Beckham (2002)

Jess is an Indian teenager living in England whose dream is to play football but her conservative Indian parents would be shocked to know that she plays "half naked". One day Jesse is humiliating some boys in the field and another girl, Juliette, sees her and invites her to join her team. Jess does so, hiding it from her parents, and gets to know coach Joe. Her sister Pinky is engaged and her wedding is canceled when the parents of the groom think that they saw Jess kissing a boy (it was actually short-haired and muscular Juliette). Joe realizes that Jess has real talent and personally begs her parents to let her play. Her mother is inflexible but her father, who had his own sport failure due to racism (who one day had secretely watched her play and been very proud of her) is beginning to give in. Jess and Juliette become best friends but one day Juliette catches Jess and Joe hugging and gets furious and jealous. Jess tries in vain to explain that it was nothing (there is actually a lot more than she wants to admit). Jess keeps playing and the team makes it to the final, but the final falls on the same day that her sister Pinky is getting married (this time for real). During the wedding the male cousin (whom the parents see as the ideal candidate to marry Jess but who has confessed to Jess that he is homosexual) begs her father to let Jess go and play at least the second half of the final. Then he drives her there and sure enough she scores the winning goal ("bending" the ball like football star Beckham does). Then she returns to the wedding all smiling. The father confesses to her mother that he let her go. Now there is another complication: a scout from the USA has selected Juliette and Jess for a scholarship at a main university in California. Her parents have to accept that Jess will leave the home unmarried, another breach with tradition. The male cousin even proposes to her in front of her parents so that she can leave home as an engaged woman, but Jess is tired of lying and tells the truth. Her father decides that her happiness matters more than tradition and her mother has to consent. At the airport Joe shows up admitting that he's in love with Jess and they kiss: her parents will soon have to accept another breach in the Indian traditions.
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