July 18, 2011

Bend it like Beckham (UK 2002)

In case you haven't heard, yesterday was the final of the Women's Football World Cup in Germany. It was the first women's game I ever watched and it was nothing less than brilliant. One might even say that it was more entertaining and thrilling than most films nowadays. In a dramatic match the outsider, Japan, won on penalties against the favourite, USA. A dramaturgy made in heaven for any screenwriter out there!

The only film I know about women's football, the 2002 hit "Bend it like Beckham", follows a similar structure when a young Indian immigrant girl wants - against all odds - to become a professional footballer. It is a story that I can relate to a lot. When I was a young boy I wished nothing more than being able to kick it like - well, not Beckham but German midfielder Lothar Matthäus who was the big star in Europe back then. Unfortunately I didn't have much talent but nevertheless football was the thing that gave me the most delight - even more than the movies that I would discover a little later...

Hence, it is no surprise that I really enjoyed "Bend it like Beckham". True, it is not a very complex film and it it shamelessly exploits the ususal culture-clash tensions. The story about the outsider overcoming all obstacles is a rip-off from many similar, mostly American films which is why it became such a surprise hit over there. But as we all know, there are only very few truly original stories out there anyway. At least "Bend it like Beckham" delivers its message with a lot of charm and features a setting that is relatively unexplored. It's a real feel-good-film that I'm willing to substitute for a lot of serious dramas out there. The youthful energy of Keira Knightley and Parminder Nagra is so infectious that the one thing you would like to do by the end of the film is... kick a ball yourself.


The kick to freedom: Parminder Nagra

No comments:

Post a Comment