It Like Beckham
Nagra, Keira Knightley, and Jonathan Rhys-Meyers
by: Gurinder Chadha
It Like Beckham is one of the greatest feel good movies ever made.
Young adults and their whole family can enjoy this magical "little"
film that brings back the bygone days of family classics.
goes a young Londoner Jessie (Parminder K. Nagra), who also happens
to be from a traditional Indian Punjabi family, is mad for soccer.
Jessie's also smitten with a particular soccer pro-player named
David Beckham (he's Posh Spice's beau).
She wants more than anything to play like her idol but there are
several problems with her plans; her being a girl, her old fashioned
parents (who desire to marry her off and get her breeding), lack
of actual training and there's no pro soccer league in England
as fate would have it while Jessie is shooting goals and such
on the local greens with her homeboys, a beautiful soccer-playing
gal invites her to join the local female team. Jessie didn't even
know the team existed.
very excited and jumps in with both cleats firmly in the dirt.
Alas, the reality of her life comes back into focus. Her parents
are traditional Sikh Indians and her life map is pretty much planned
down to the saris for her wedding that is preplanned five years
in the future. Her parents say she will go to college, become
a doctor (of her choice - they're not that cruel) then of course
marriage to a nice Indian fella and a gaggle of babies.
to say when they discover her "hobby" they freak out
and fear it will interfer with her entering college in the fall.
They forbid her to continue the silly sport...she's getting too
old for fantasies. Her dreams are dissipating faster than the
popularity of Joe Millionaire.
just wants to be like Beckham and bend it like Beckham. To "bend
it" means to manipulate the ball past a seemingly impenetrable
wall of players, very much like what dear Jessie, and many self
willed people, go through every single day in life trying to eek
out their own destinies even over the will of strong determined
parents or poverty or whatever plutonium wall of dread may be
in their way. Very Billy Elliot.
story sounds all too obvious. But believe me this film combines
all the best elements of a feel good movie- you may even clap
at the end! Jessie stands up to the old world mindset of her culturally
driven family (who she loves very much), sneaks out , as any self
respecting teenage gal would, and follows her dreams. When she
is caught she decides family means more than her own wishes
is an emotional piece so well done every once in a while you think
it may be a documentary. The characters are so real they pop off
the screen and you're sure they are in the West London directory.
young actor Parminder K. Nagra, that plays Jessie, does a phenomenal
job with each swell of the story. She keeps your heart firmly
in your throat as you start to squirm at the possibilities of
how this may end.
also a love interest (natch). He's a yummy Sheppard's Pies of
a lad Jonathan Ryhs Meyers. He plays "Joe" the team's
soccer coach. The team is "older" girls so it's not
pervie don't worry. Jonathan grows on you- it might be the
know the name and the subject may have you turning a shade of
Rated G green, but you'd be wrong to dismiss this delightful culture
transcending heart filled piece - it's a rarity and an instant
family classic - though even non-breeders like myself will enjoy
its "go for it against all odds" message.
Recommendation: Pakoora and Bangers