Bend It Like Beckham (UK/Germany, 2002)

bend_it_like_beckham_ver4Directed by: Gurinder Chadha. This was a welcome cleansing of the emotional palette after endeavouring another attempt through the epic-length holocaust documentary Shoah, which will get its own post once I actually finish it. In that function alone, this movie is a great choice, but I’d happily admit that this was a delightful little movie in its own right. Really though, what a delight! It’s movies like this and Spice World and even to an extent the Guy Ritchie movies that make Britain in the Blair years look like it was such a fun time. And at the risk of being the eye-rolling white guy doing too much back-patting about seeing a single film that’s  not 110% overflowing with white people, this was a nice look into a perspective that I hadn’t really seen in film before. As far depictions of the experiences of immigrant women in England go, this is like the way, way funner version of Brick Lane (although even that isn’t a good comparison because these are such different stories). And okay, let’s be real, this is one of the best sports movies I’ve ever seen (because those are mostly boring and awful), and it’s the thing that launched the career of Keira Knightley to the best of my knowledge. Now, what about poor Parminder Nagra, the lead who single-handedly carries this thing? I recognized her from the tail end of when I was still paying attention to ER (slightly past its prime years, but still not so far gone as the John Stamos era), but unfortunately not much else on the big screen. And I know that we’re in the “golden age of television” and the distinction of being a “TV actor” instead of a film actor is something we’re all supposed to agree is an outdated model, but just compare the resumes of Parminder and Keira, at least equal in talent (and possibly tilted a bit in Parminder’s favour), and you tell me that the kind of acting that Keira got to do in A Dangerous Method (not to mention the paycheck she got for the fucking pirate movies) was anywhere near what Parminder was given in The Blacklist or the fucking comic book SHIELD TV show. She’s just treading water, and Keira is soaring like a bird. Which is a shame because, looking at this movie, it was clear that the future belonged to Parminder. What happened? Was it just plain old racism? I’m no expert but I’ll just say, probably yeah.

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One response to “Bend It Like Beckham (UK/Germany, 2002)

  1. Pingback: List of Judgements, Anno Domini 2016 | Offhand Reviews·

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