Bend It Like Beckham Character Essay

"Bend It Like Beckham" Essay

"Bend it like Beckham" Essay

The movie, "Bend it like Beckham", is not only about a girl wanting to be a soccer player, it is also about cultural geography. In this movie, cultural geography plays a big role. Everything about it has to do with where they are from and what there culture is like. All aspects of these things play a part in this movie.

This movie takes place in the country of England. The main girl in the story though is Indian. Her family migrated from India, along with others in there community. Although an Indian, her father was from Nairobi, a city in Kenya, Africa.

There were many inter generational changes happening. The older of the two daughters was a lot more traditional than the other. She would dress in more traditional clothing, and do a lot more Indian things. One major thing she was doing was getting married to and Indian man at a young age. The non traditional daughter would go against her family's believes. One thing she would do was show the skin of her legs in public. This was one of many things she did that was not acceptable in their Indian culture.

There was a major sexuality difference between the two cultures. The white English people were completely against gay and lesbian people. They wanted there daughter to have nothing to do with a lesbian girl. The older generation of Indian people didn't really know what a gay or lesbian person was. That was a major difference between the two cultures, sexually at least.

In the movie, this Indian girl wanted to get together with her white, Irish coach. Something of that sort is not tolerated by the family or religion of her Indian culture. Indian people sometimes have arranged marriages, if not then are expected to get married at an early age, to an Indian man. She could not be seen expressing love toward this guy, if so she would be in major trouble with her family.

Many friendships are created throughout this movie. An English girl becomes friends with an Indian girl....

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Full name: Jesminder Bhamra

Age: 18 years old

Nationality: Indian

Reglion: Sikh

Appearance: Jess has dark brown hair and dark brown eyes. She also has a scar from a burn on her right leg.

Way she dresses: Jess dresses in sporty clothes that are usually baggy and very casual. Occasionally we see her in traditional Indian clothing, like saris, but only when she has to.

Hobbies/passion: Playing football

Jess is the main character in the film. She tries to be a good girl for her mother and father but can’t help sneaking off to play football. While Jess has to lie and sneak around a lot, her rebellious streak is not aimed to hurt her parents. Jess’ dream is to play football professionally, at the beginning of the movie it was just a dream, but when she was invited on a proper team and started to see herself as a proper player, her dream started to become her goal. Jess has always been very strong and determined in the movie, except over time she becomes even more determined, and even stronger. We see Jess talking to Beckham at the beginning of the movie, and as she grows and matures, she finds out she can have trust in other people. She finds Jules and Joe who she feels she can confide in and talk freely to. At the end of the movie she takes down all her posters and no longer talks to Beckham. Jess also gains more confidence as she progresses through the movie, at first Jess would never dream of confronting her parents like she did at the end of the film. Joe, Jules, Tony and her whole football team support her in her goals and she gathers up more and more courage and self-esteem. A great example of her self-esteem gain is when Jess at first does not want to show her scar to the world, she hides away and will not go onto the field in her shorts because everyone will see it. Joe talks to Jess and they bond over their injuries, this makes Jess feel more comfortable with herself and realise that she may not be the only one, and when she is on the field, no one will care. By the end of the movie Jess is able to stand up for herself, share her opinion and feel confident about herself. 


Full name: Pinky Bhamra

Age: Unknown. Maybe 19 or 20? She is older than Jess.

Nationality: Indian

Reglion: Sik

Relation to Jess: Pinky is Jess’ older sister

Appearance: Pinky has straight, dark brown hair and dark brown eyes but likes to wear different coloured contacts.

Way she dresses: Pinky dresses very girly and modern, unlike Jess. She loves wearing the traditional saris and colourful clothing, but when she dresses casual we see her wear modern clothing that isn’t Indian influenced. Even when she wears casual modern clothing, it is slightly fancy and very fashionable.

Hobbies/passion: Shopping, boys and cooking.

At the beginning of the movie, Pinky was a spoilt brat who made sure she got everything she wanted. All Pinky really cared about was the latest fashion, make-up and clothing. She competed with her friends because she wanted to be better than them and have more than them. Around half way through the movie, we find out Pinky is running off with her fiancé while she is meant to be working, and not telling Mrs or Mr Bhamra. While Pinky has not changed in many ways, such as she is still a spoilt girl, obsessed with fashion and likes to have things her way, she has progressed in many ways too. Later in the movie we see that Pinky can be grateful for what she has, like when her marriage is cancelled and she is truly upset because she says she was in love with her fiancé, when she finds out the marriage is back on, she is thrilled, happy and grateful. We also see a caring side of Pinky when she agrees to help Jess sneak off to play football in Germany. We see that Pinky has grown to see that even though Jess has different dreams and sneaks off for a different reason than her, football means just as much to Jess as Pinky’s love life mean to Pinky. At the end of the movie, alongside with her mother, Mrs Bhamra, they both try hard to put race and tradition behind them to see Jess’ side of the story. Throughout the movie, Pinky really does mature and become more of a grown-up who starts to see other people’s side apart from just her own for a change. 


Full name: Joe

Age: 18 years old

Nationality: Irish

Relation to Jess: Crush and coach

Appearance: Joe has blue eyes and light brown hair. He is quite tall and slim.

Hobbies/passion: We know Joe loved playing football, but after his injury he had to swap his passion for coaching football. Joe might have also developed a hobby of cricket at the end of the film.

Clothing: Joe wears sporty clothing and casual t-shirts and short. He also wears formal shirts and pants on occasions.

Joe has always been a tough and sensible boy through the film. He carries the same personality through the film and isn’t the type of character who changes dramatically through the film. Although, Joe has learnt to stand up for himself and face his fears. For example, we found out at the beginning of the movie that Joe had had a fight with his father and hadn’t spoken to him or of him since. He began to open up to Jess, and at the very end of the movie we find out that Joe has talked to his dad. Joe has also progressed during the film in the way that he is able to stand up to Jess’ mum and dad and confront them about Jess playing football.

Paula/Mrs Paxon:

Full name: Paula Paxon

Age: Unknown. Maybe in her 40’s or 50’s?

Nationality: English

Relation to Jess: Best friend’s mother

Appearance: Mrs Paxon is tall and slim with short and curly blond hair and blue eyes

Hobbies/passion: Shopping

Clothing: Mrs Paxon wears very girly and feminine clothing that match her personality. Everything in her outfit matches, even her nail polish, of course!

All the way through the movie, Paula tries her absolute hardest. She tries to understand that Jules wants to play football and that she is not as feminine as ‘all the other girls’ and herself. Paula tries really hard to make Jules all girly and ladylike, but when she finally accepts the fact that Jules is not going to change, and that football is her passion, she tries even harder to understand that and learn all about football. She progresses throughout the movie and we even witness her learning the football rules and the offside and onside rule. When Paula thinks Jules and Jess are in a relationship and that Jules is a lesbian, we can tell she is really upset. However, Paula tries to accept that as well, she tries to be okay with the fact Jules is a lesbian. She keeps trying until she bursts, yells at Jess and Jules, and cries all the way home until Jules tells her that they are not and then Paula is overjoyed and denies she even had a problem with lesbians. At the end of the movie we see Paula buying Jules and the whole family football T-shirts and items to make up for the bathers and sarongs Jules doesn’t want.

Mr Bhamra;

Name: Mr Bhamra

Age: Unknown. Maybe in his fifties or sixties?

Nationality: Indian

Reglion: Sikh

Appearance: Mr Bharma has dark brown hair and dark brown eyes.

Way he dresses: Mr Bhamra wears the tradition Indian men clothing. He also wears a turban on his head.

Hobbies/passion: Golf

Relation to Jess: Father

Mr Bhamra was a bit of a closed book at the beginning of the movie, we didn’t see in him much at the beginning and he wasn’t very significant. Throughout the movie he begins to open up more and more, letting us see his side of the story rather than just always going along with Mrs Bhamra. At first he didn’t want Jess playing football with the boys in the park, or with the girls in the proper football team, not only because of Mrs Bhamra’s reason; but because he didn’t want Jess to be hurt the same way he was. He thought Jess was going to be made fun of and teased at, but he learns that he is still stuck in the past and he must open his eyes to the modern world, where everything is changing and that religion and race can be accepted these days. He comes to understand that Jess is a fighter, a strong and determined girl who isn’t going to waste her talent even if there was a snide remark. He changes in a way himself too, being able to open up and stand up for himself, he starts to speak his own mind and express his own opinion. At the end of the movie Mr Bhamra becomes stronger and prouder.

Mrs Bhamra:

Name: Mrs Bhamra

Relation to Jess: Mother

Appearance: Mrs Bhamra wears the traditional Indian saris and lots of jewellery. She has dark brown hair and brown eyes. 

Hobbies/passion: Cooking and house keeping

Age: Unknown. Maybe in her fifties or sixties?

Nationality: Indian

Reglion: Sikh

Mrs Bhamra is all about tradition, culture and keeping a good reputation; and that is how she will always be. While Mrs Bhamra has never approved of Jess playing football, and never has stopped not approving, at the end of the movie, just like Paula, she started to accept the fact that that was all Jess wanted to do and that it was the only thing that was going to make Jess happy. Mrs Bhamra quotes “at least I taught her a full Indian dinner, the rest is up to God.” At the airport Mrs Bhamra is letting Jess go, she is upset and lectures Jess with instructions, but letting her go was a huge step for Mrs Bhamra.


Full name: Juliet Paxon

Nationality: English

Hobby/passion: Football

Relation to Jess: Best friend

Appearance: Jules has cropped blonde hair and blue eyes.

Age: 18 years old.

Jules is sporty and her passion is to play football. Her goal is to play football professionally in America and she is a very determined person who doesn’t plan to let people or things get in the way of her. Jules is Jess’ best friend and together they have many great times together and make the perfect football pair. Jules has helped Jess achieve her goals and make her dream become possible. She is kind and thoughtful, but can get very jealous and angry, for example when Jess almost kissed Joe.



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