Last modified on 17 May 2015, at 03:54

Bend It Like Beckham

Bend It Like Beckham is a 2002 British film (released in the United States in March 2003) about two young London women from different backgrounds who share an aptitude for football (soccer) and pressure from their families to conform.

Directed by Gurinder Chadha. Written by Gurinder Chadha, Paul Berges and Guljit Bindra.
Who wants to cook Aloo Gobi when you can bend a ball like Beckham? (taglines)


[Archival footage of Manchester United playing has Jess artifically spliced in making a goal]
Sportscaster: ..and there is Bhamra. It's a fine header, and she's scored! It's a goal by Jess Bhamra! A superb header, beating the defender,and planting the ball beyond the goalkeeper's left hand. Jess Bhamra makes a name for herself at Old Trafford!
[Sports anchors are in a studio]:
Anchor: And have we discovered a new star here, Gary Lineker?
Gary Lineker: That's right.
Anchor: Could Bhamra be the answer to England's prayers? Alan?
Alan: Quick thinking, comfortable on the ball, vision and awareness - magnificent. I wish she was playing for Scotland!
Anchor: John, have England found the player to relive their World Cup glory from '66?
John: Definitely, and the best thing is, she's not even reached her peak yet.
Anchor: We're joined now by Jess's mother. You must be proud of your daughter.
Mrs. Bhamra: Not at all! She shouldn't be showing her bare legs to 70,000 people! She's bringing shame on the family. And you four shouldn't be encouraging her! [Mrs. Bhamra faces the camera] Jesminder, you get back home now! [Scene changes to Jess' bedroom who is watching tv.] Are you listening to me? Have you gone mad? Football, shootball! Your sister's getting engaged, and you're watching this skinhead boy!
Jess: Mum, it's Beckham's corner!
Mrs. Bhamra: Eh, come downstairs, and your sister's going crazy.
Pinky: I've got to go! Mum, where are my keys?
Jess: I'm sick of this wedding and it hasn't even started!
Pinky: That girl is a first-class bitch!
Mrs. Bhamra: Pinky, you've got so many others!
Pinky: It was all planned now I gotta get another one! [To Jess] Will you get a flaming move on!
Jess: What the bloody hell's going on?
Pinky: Get this yeah? Teet's bloody sister says she's wearing baby pink now. Stupid flipping cow! I had matching accessories and everything!
Jess: Oh, Mum, do I have to go shopping again?
Mrs. Bhamra: Ah! My mother chose all my 21 dowry suits herself. I never once complained. You girls are too spoilt! And don't forget my dhania. And more carrots. I'm making achar.
Both Jess and Pinky: Oh, Mum, don't do pickle as well!
Mrs. Bhamra: Am I asking you to make it?!
[Pinky walks up to 3 friends in a store]
Girl 1: Hi, Pinks! Are you all right?
Girl 2: You haven't left everything to the last minute, have you?
Pinky: Yeah. One more day of freedom! [leans in to observe a girl's face] Where did you get your contacts?
Girl 2: Do you like 'em? Thought they go with my hair innit?
Pinky: My fiance don't like dyed hair. Can't stand here all day. I got to go to Ealing for my facial. Laters!
Girls: Bye, Pinks. Laters.
Pinky: [Speaking to Jess under breath when leaving store] Stupid bitch! Why did she get blue contacts? Now I can't wear mine!
Jules: I'd never wear that!
Mrs. Paxton: They're all the rage, poppet! You blow 'em up, just like a lilo. Look, this little pump comes free with it. Pop it in the valve, pump away, up it goes, then slip it back in there...[Holds up bra looking proud]..and boom! Cleavage! They're perfect while you're still growing 'cause they lift you right there. [Grabs Jules breasts]
Jules: Mum! God, you're so embarrassing!
Mrs. Paxton: They make more of what you've got. All the girls have bought one for their daughters. The Fleur's pretty, and the gel bra's a clever one - no pumping, it's already in there. Not the sports bras! They're so plain! They don't enhance.
Jules: No one's going to see them.
Mrs. Paxton: It's not how they look, it's how they make you feel. I really like that lace lycra one.
Pinky: Uh-oh, there's your mate. I hope his mum wears a cardi over her three stomachs tomorrow!
Jess: Shut up! She's old.
Pinky: So? All right, Jess?
Tony: Hiya, Pinky.
Tony's mother: May you have a long life, my daughters! Getting ready for tomorrow?
Pinky: Yes, Massiji. Mum's making samosas.
Tony's mother:May God keep you and your husband in endless happiness! And pray for me that I get a lovely daughter-in-law like you for my Tony.
Pinky: Aw, thank you, Massiji! Ok, bye, Yeah?
Tony: How was biology?
Jess: Did you do the genetics one? Yes, she was the defective carrier passed the defective gene onto her son.
Tony: Yeah, I got that, too.

Tony: Jess! Fancy a quick game?
Jess: I can't. My mum's waiting, and my dad's on earlies at Heathrow.
Tony: We really need you! Come on! Come on!
[Jess puts down her groceries and does an impressive ball steal, slip past and goal]
Football boy 1: Who does she think she is? Beckham or what?
Football boy 2: Can we chest it like him? Give it some bounce!
Football boy 3: Go on! Chest it!
[Jess picks up football and rams it into football boys crotch]
Tony: Did that hurt, pretty boy?
[Jess is lying in bed in her bedroom]
Jess: I nearly scored from 20 yards today. Bent it and everything. I could have played all night. It's not fair that boys never have to come home and help. If I had an arranged marriage, would he let me play football whenever I wanted to? [Mr. Bhamra bursts into room]
Mr. Bhamra: Who are you talking to?
Jess: No one, Dad. [Mr. Bhamra sits on Jess' bed]
Mr. Bhamra: Ok, Biji and her grandson are staying in here for the wedding. Why don't you put a nice picture of beautiful sceneries instead of this bald man?
Jess: Dad!
Mr. Bhamra: I'm going to change. Come and help me out, Ok?
[Jess is serving appetizers at wedding shower]
Teetu: ..a beautiful Rolls Royce, you know? I'll get one for your wedding, too, if you like.
Old Indian woman 1: [Grabs Jess] It will be your turn soon, eh? Do you want a clean-shaven boy like your sister or a proper Sikh with a full beard and a turban?
Old Indian woman 2:It's only our men that have a big engine and full MOT, eh?
[A cellphone rings and everyone checks their cellphones and Teetu realises it's his]
Teetu: Nah, man, the alternator's gone on the Merc! Just do the Nissan. I told you not to bother me! It's my engagement, man!
Mr. Bhamra: Switch it off.
[3 girls are sitting on a parkbench watching boys play football]
Girl 1: He is so tick, man!
Girl 2: Innit, innit? I know!
Girl 1: He's taking his shirt off!
Girl 2:A body like that needs an X certificate warning!
Girl 3: And a lifetime guarantee!
Girl 1: Yeah, man! Call Jess!
Girl 2: Oi! Jess!
Girl 1: Who's that with the gorgeous bod?
Girl 3: The one with the six-pack.
Girl 1: If he looks at me, I really will faint!
Jess: What? Taz?
Girl 1: Is that his name?
Girl 2: Look at that kick!
Girl 3: He is so fly!
Girls: That is fine. That is so fine!
Football boy: Get your girlfriend!
Tony: Jess!
Girl 1: Go on. Lover boy's calling you!
Jess: Oh shut up, you know he's just my mate. We're not all slags like you lot!
Girl 1: Ooh! Just 'cause she's still a V man, she thinks she's better than us!
Girl 2: At least she hasn't got off with half of Hounslow like you two!
Girl 1: Who's that gori watching her? [Jules is sitting on a parkbench staring hard at the the boys and Jess playing]
Tony: Come on, Jess! It's all yours! [Jules has walked over to the boys and Jess]
Jules: That was brilliant! Do you play for any side?
Football boy: Yeah, like whose? Southall United Sari Squad?
Jules: I play for Hounslow Harriers Girls. You should come and have a trial.
Jess: A trial? Think I'm good enough?
Jules: Yeah. You're really good. Oh, it's up to our coach, but we could do with some new blood.
Jess: That's brilliant!
Football boy 1: Do you swap shirts at the end?
Football boy 2: And have a bath together?
Football boy 3: Where's the soap?
Football boy 4: Yeah, it does, doesn't it?
[Jules makes a crude gesture and all the boys go silent]
Football boy 1: Let's play football. [They walk away]

Joe: She better be serious.
Jules: She's got balls Joe. At least watch her.

Joe: Where do you normally play?
Jess: In the park.
Joe: No...I meant what position?

Joe: I've never seen an Indian girl into football.
Jess: I didn't know there was a girls' football team.
Joe: It's all her fault. When I played for the men's club, she whined that there was no team for her to play on.
Jules: I wasn't whining! There was nothing for us girls. There was junior boys stuff,but when he busted his knee,he set up a girls' side, and he's been on my case ever since!
Joe: They made me start at the bottom. You can't get much lower than her!
Jules: You're so full of it! Nah, we get just as many trophies as the men's side do. So, does she pass?
Joe: Are your folks up for it?
Jess: Yeah, they're cool.
Joe: Suppose you'd better come back, then. I've got to go and open the bar. Some real work!
Jules: He likes you.
Jess: You think so?
Jules: He asked you back, didn't he?

[Jules has kicked a goal in her parents backyard, playing with her father]
Mrs. Paxton: Oh, will you both pack it in! Look at the state of my fuchsias! Allen, when are you gonna realise you have a daughter with breasts, not a son?
Mr. Paxton: Paula!
Mrs. Paxton: No boy's gonna go out with a girl who's got bigger muscles than him!
Mr. Paxton: Leave her alone.
Jules: I'm not gonna give it up!
Mrs. Paxton: I saw Kevin on the high street with a blonde girl and it didn't look like they weren't talking about match of the bleedin' day either!
Jules: Kevin can shag whoever he bloody wants!
Mrs. Paxton: Honey, all I'm saying is there is a reason why Sporty Spice is the only one of them without a fella.
[Jules has stormed past Mrs. Paxton into the house]
Mrs. Paxton: Sweetheart...
Mr. Paxton: Why don't you get off her flamin' back? If she'd rather play football than chaseboys, frankly I'm over the moon about that.

Joe: [Hands football cleats to Jess] They're a bit tatty, but they'll do the job. Here's a kit. Don't be afraid to get it dirty.
Jess: Can't I wear my tracksuit bottoms?
Joe: No.
Jess: Shit!
[Joe is wondering why Jess is sitting in the stands looking dejected so he has sat next to her]
Joe: Jess, what's going on?
Jess: [Jess pulls shorts over her burn scarred leg] It looks awful. It's why I can't wear shorts ever.
Joe: Jesus! That's a stunner! I thought I had a bad one on my knee [Pulls shorts to reveal gnarled scar on knee] but yours is gorgeous. Look, don't worry about it. No one's gonna care once you're out there. What happened?
Jess: You don't want to know.
Joe: Look... Two operations later and it's still useless. Does yours affect your game?
Jess: Nah, it just looks awful. I was eight. My mum was working overtime at Heathrow. And I was trying to cook beans on toast. And I jumped up to the grill to get the toast. And my trousers caught light so my sister put me in the bath, poured cold water over me and pulled them off. And half my skin came off too.
Joe: [Sucks in through teeth] Sorry.
Jess: I know - it put me off beans on toast for life.
Joe: [Tries to stifle laughter] Come on. Mine stopped me from playing outright, yours doesn't. No more dawdling.
Jess: Sorry about your knee.
Joe: Yeah, yeah. I'm a right sob story, aren't I? Come on! I want to see some sweat on you!

Football boy: Are you here for fantasy football?
Tony: You look like a pro!
Jess: It's brilliant. They're a top team, and the coach is ace.
Football boy: What's that down your leg?
Jess: Ain't you never seen a burn before?
Football boy: Aw, it's disgusting!
Tony: Back off you wanker!
Football boys: Ooh!
Jess: Your just jealous because I can skin you alive!
Football boys: Oh!
[A boy has picked up Jess and Mrs. Bhamra watching behind bushes comes out, all the boys go silent and Jess is put down]
Mrs. Bhamra: Chi, chi, chi, he was touching you all over, putting his hands on your bare legs, your not a young girl anymore! And showing the world your scar, ay yi yi.
Mr. Bhamra: Jessie, now that your sister's engaged, it's different. You know how people talk.
Jess: She's getting married, not me!
Mrs. Bhamra: I was married at your age! You won't even learn to cook dhal!
Jess: I'm not playing with boys any more.
Mrs. Bhamra: Good! End of matter!
Jess: I'm in a girls' team,
Mrs. Bhamra: Ah?!...
Jess: They're proper matches. The coach said I could go far.
Mrs. Bhamra: Go far? Go far to where? We let you play all you wanted when you were young, huh? You've played enough.
Jess: That's not fair! He selected me!
Mrs. Bhamra: He?! She said it was girls!
Jess: The coach, Joe.
Mrs. Bhamra: See how she lies? I don't want you running around half naked in front of men, huh? Look how dark you've become, playing in the sun!
Jess: But I'm really good!
Mrs. Bhamra: Who will want a daughter-in-law who can kick a football all day but can't make round chapattis? Now exams are over, you'll learn full Punjabi dinner, meat and vegetarian!
Jess: But, Dad!
Mrs. Bhamra: No! This is where you spoil her! This is how it started with your niece, the way that girl would answer back and she ran off to become a model wearing small, small skirts!
Jess: She's a fashion designer!
Mrs. Bhamra: She's divorced, that's what she is! Cast off after three years of being married to a white boy with blue hair! Her poor mother hasn't been able to set foot in that temple since. I don't want the shame on my family. That's it! No more football!
Mr. Bhamra: Jessie, your mother is right. It's not nice. You must start behaving like a proper woman. Ok?

[In the changerroom after practice]
Jess: My mum and dad ain't got a clue.
Teammate: They don't know you've been playing?
Jess: Not at all.
Teammate: Where do they think you are?
Jess: At work, at HMV.
Mel: That's not on.
Jess: Indian girls don't play football! It's not just an Indian thing. How many people support us?
Teammate: Are you promised to someone?
Jess: Nah. My sister's getting married. It's a love match.
Mel: What's that mean?
Jess: It's not arranged.
Teammate: So, could you choose a white boy?
Jess: White, no, black, definitely not, a Muslim, eh-eh!
Teammate: You'll marry an Indian, then!
Jess: Probably.
Teammate: How can you stand it?
Jess: It's just culture. Why sleep with boys you aren't going to marry?
Teammate: That's the best bit!
Teammate: Yeah, you should know!
Teammate: Are you ready to go?
Jules: See you slags later!

[Jess has collapsed on living room couch]
Jess: Mum, I'm starving. I worked through my lunch hour today.
Mrs. Bhamra: Where's Pinky? She was supposed to pick you up so you wouldn't be late for Poli. Pinky, why didn't you pick your sister up from work, huh?
Pinky:I went but the manager said I'd just missed her.
Mrs. Bhamra: Ok, Poli's on her way. I'll make you girls some tea.
[Pinky has taken Jess aside in the living room]
Pinky: Who is he, then?
Jess: Who?
Pinky: You must think I've got shit for brains, lying about a job and that! Don't tell Mum and Dad. I kept Teet a secret for you.
Pinky: He's not a Muslim, is he?
Jess: Ssh! I've been playing football for a women's team.
Pinky: Huh? It's worse than I thought!
Jess: It's a tournament with real matches!
Pinky: What is wrong with you, Jess? At least lie for something good! Don't you want a boyfriend like everyone else? You're quite pretty you know. Do your hair, some make-up, you'd look all right.
Mrs. Bhamra: Leave her alone. I never wore make-up until after I was married. Jessie's a good girl now. She helped me wash all the net curtains and she made lovely aloo gobi last week.
Tailor: [Measuring Pinky] Waist, under bust, bust.
[Pinky grabs measuring tape and tightens it]
Mrs. Bhamra: Eh, that's too tight and rude!
Pinky: No, Mum, I want my choli more fitted. That's the style, innit?
Tailor: and a half.
Pinky: No, tighter!
Tailor: Ok!
Mrs. Bhamra: How are you going to breathe?
Jess: Mum, why do I have to wear a sari? It will just fall down!
Mrs. Bhamra: Your first sari is when you become a woman. Sari blouse and petticoat.
Tailor: So bust.
Jess: That's too tight. I want it looser.
Mrs. Bhamra: Dressed in a sack, who's going to notice you, huh?
Tailor: Don't worry. In one of our designs, even these mosquito bites will look like juicy mangoes!
[All women laugh except Jess]
Tailor: Under the bust, The waist.
Jess: I need to buy shoes to go with the sari and the suits.
Pinky: Come again?
Mrs. Bhamra: She's coming into line now!
Jess: I can pay for one pair. Can you pay for the other?
Mrs. Bhamra: You need one black, and one white, to go with everything.

Jules: When are you going to tell your parents about your game?
Jess: I don't know.
Jules: You can't keep lying. You're too good.
Mrs. Paxton: Cooey!
Jules: Hide the shoes!
Mrs. Paxton: Sweetheart!
Jules: Up here, Mum.
Mrs. Paxton: Oh, it's hot out there! Oh! Got company! Hello, love.
Jules: Mum, this is Jess.
Mrs. Paxton: Jess? Is that Indian?
Jess: It's really Jesminder, but only my mum calls me that.
Mrs. Paxton: Oh, that's nice. Jesmin-dah. Lovely! Well, Jesmin-dah, I bet your room at home doesn't look like this! Great big butch women on the wall!
Jules: Thank you, Mum, I'm not old like you!
Mrs. Paxton: Jess, I hope you can teach my daughter a bit about your culture, [grabs Jules knees and starts shaking her] including respect for elders and the like, eh? Cheeky madam! Well, Jess... I expect your parents are fixing you up with a handsome young doctor soon. Pretty girl like you...
Jules: Mum! Stop embarrassing yourself!
Mrs. Paxton: What? Just being friendly! You don't mind, do you, love? Of course not! Now, are you a friend from school or work?
Jules: She's a footballer. She's on the team with me.
Jules: "Jesmin-dah"!
Jess: Did you see her face, though?!
Jules: Juliet!
Jess: Jesmin-dah! What WAS that? Ooh!
Jules: Are you all right?
Jess: Oh, Jesus! Jules... You know Joe, do you like him? Nah, he'd get sacked if he was caught shagging one of his players.
Jess: Really?
Jules: I wish I could find a bloke like him. You know, that wasn't off limits. Everyone I know's a prat. They think girls can't play as well as them, except Joe, of course.
Jess: Yeah, I hope I marry an Indian boy like him, too. [Jules bursts out laughing] What?
Jules: I'm sorry!
Jess: Shut up!
[Jess walks into house with family sitting in living room looking solemn]
Teetu's father: We're not trying to cause trouble. We felt it our duty to tell you.
Mr. Bhamra: You know how hard it is for our children here. Sometimes they misjudge and start behaving like the kids here.
Teetu's mother: All I know is that children are a map of their parents.
Pinky: You stupid flippin' cow!
Mrs. Bhamra: You've ruined your sister's life! Happy now?
Pinky: The wedding's off 'cause of you!
Jess: Me? Why?
Mrs. Bhamra: They saw you being filthy with an English boy!
Jess: I wasn't with any English boy!
Pinky: They saw you at a bus stop kissing him! Why couldn't you do it in secret like everyone else?
Jess: Kissing? Me? A boy?! You're all bloody mad!
Mr. Bhamra: Jesminder, don't you use those swearing words!
Jess: I was at the 120 bus stop today but with Juliet. My friend. She's a girl, and we weren't kissing or anything for God's sake!
Mr. Bhamra: [Points to painting on living room wall] Do you swear on Babaji's name?
Jess: I swear on Babaji's name.
Mrs. Bhamra: Sometimes these English girls have such short hair... You just can't tell.
Mr. Bhamra: They must have made a mistake.
Mrs. Bhamra: His parents are just making an excuse. We were never good enough for them.
Pinky: No, I bet she was with some dykey girl from her football team! She's still benn playing you know! She ain't got no job! She's been lying!
Mrs. Bhamra: Why have I two deceiving daughters? What did I do wrong in my past life?
Pinky: But she's ruined my life!
Mrs. Bhamra: Don't think I didn't knew you were sneaking out with that good-for-nothing Teetu as well!

Jess: I'm sorry I missed that penalty, coach.
Joe: It's okay, losing to the Jerries on penalties comes natural to you English. You're part of tradition now!

Joe: Look, Jess. I saw it. She fouled you. She tugged your shirt. You just overreacted, that's all.
Jess: That's not all. She called me a Paki. But I guess that's something you wouldn't understand.
Joe: Jess, I'm Irish. Of course I understand what that feels like.

[Jess walks up house stairs to Pinky at the top, watching Teet's parents in living room]
Jess: What's happening?
Pinky: Teet's mum and dad have come to eat dirt. Stupid cow. I don't know who she thinks she is in that sari!

Paula: That's why she's been so depressed lately cos' that Jess broke her heart! She's in love. With a girl!
Alan Paxton: You're jumping to all the wrong conclusions
Paula: But I heard her! No wonder she never looked twice at the Kevin or brought any boys home. I tried to get her nice clothes, you know we've had some lovely prints in this summer you know in swimwear and sarongs and that. She never wants to go shopping with me. It was terrible what they did to that George Michael going on about him and his private business in the papers like that! Oh No!
Alan Paxton: George Michael is still a superstar and you still listen to Wham!

Tony: Look, Jessie. You can't plan who you fall for. It just happens. I mean, look at... Posh and Becks.
Jess: Well, Beckham's the best.
Tony: [chuckles] Yeah! I really like Beckham too.
Jess: Well of course you do. No one can cross a ball or bend it like Beckham
Tony: [shakes head] No, Jess. I really like Beckham.
Jess: What? You mean... [incredulous scoff] But you're Indian!

Jess: Why are you doing this to me, Joe? Every time I talk myself out of it, you come around and make it sound so easy.
Joe: I guess I don't want to give up on you.

Joe: You're lucky... to have a family that cares that much about you. I can understand you don't want to mess with it.
Jess: Joe...
Joe: And I don't fancy being busted by your dad again. You better get back.

[Mrs. Paxton has walked up to Jess at Pinky's wedding reception]

Mrs. Paxton: How could you be such a hypocrite? How could you be all respectful here with your lot when you've been kissing my daughter in broad daylight?! Hmm? [Mrs. Paxton looks down at Jess' shoes] Get your lesbian feet out of my shoes! [Mrs. Paxton steals Jess' shoes]
Old Indian woman 1: Lesbian? Her birthday's in March.
Old Indian woman 2: I thought she was a Pisces.
Old Indian woman 3: She no Lebanese. She Punjabi!
Pinky: Do you mind? This is my wedding!

Jules: Me and Jess were fighting because we both fancy our coach... Joe.
Paula: [pause] Joe, a man, Joe?
Jules: [exasperated] Yeah, as in male, Joe! Joe, our coach, Joe, man, Joe!

Jules: Anyway being a lesbian's not that big a deal
Paula: Oh no of course not sweetheart no. I mean I've got nothing against it. I was cheering for Martina Navratilova as much as the next person.

Old Indian woman 1: What was that English woman saying?
Old Indian woman 2: Why was she talking about kissing?
Mrs. Bhamra: She got confused like Teetu's parents. It's so hard when young girls have such short hair.Maybe we were making too much noise. English people are always complaining when we're having functions.
Old Indian woman 1:Why did she take Jesminder's shoes?!

Jess: Joe! I'm going! They said I could go!
[Joe & Jess hug tightly]
Men in Background: Oi, oi, oi!
Jess: I'm sorry, I forgot.
Joe: That's okay now. I'm not your coach anymore. We can do what we want.
[Joe leans in to kiss Jess. Jess wants to, but pulls back]
Jess: Joe...
Joe: Your dad's not here, is he?
Jess: Joe... I'm sorry.
Joe: What?
Jess: I can't
Joe: Can I ask why?
Jess: Letting me go to America is a big step for my mum and dad. I don't know how they'd survive if I told them about you too.
Joe: I understand
[Both sorrowfully hug each other tightly]

Joe: Look, I can't let you go without knowing.
Jess: What?
Joe: That even with the distance, and it concerns your family, we might still have something. Don't you think?

[David Beckham and Victoria Adams are walking across a bridge at the airport when Jules and Jess are about to take a flight]
Jules: Oh! It's a sign!


  • Who wants to cook Aloo Gobi when you can bend a ball like Beckham?
  • A winning comedy.
  • Don't call Them Chicks!
  • An Indian girl born to play soccer for England.
  • Sometimes, to follow your dreams... you've got to bend the rules!


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