A Critical Examination of Cultural Influences in the Film Bend It Like Beckham

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The movie ‘Bend it like Beckham’ resonates with me strongly. as the struggle between Western and Indian civilization is all excessively familiar. The chief character ‘Jess Bhamra’ personifies this struggle in the most perfect and relatable manner. Bing a first coevals Australian-born miss with Indian heritage. I can personally certify to holding to at the same time keep two really different civilizations that so frequently clash. ‘Bend it like Beckham’ . is a movie stating the narrative of an Indian miss whose merely existent end in life. much to her parents’ discouragement. is to play professional football.

As Jess embarks on her seeking journey of self-development in a cross-cultural infinite. she befriends fellow football partisan and participant Jules who convinces Jess to fall in the local women’s football squad. This friendly relationship provides an interesting position on the Western civilization. by offering the respondent an penetration into the battles of Jules’ life. some of which are really same battles nowadays for Jess. The diasporic individualities that are Jess’ parents are non badly intentioned. nevertheless somewhat overbearing in their continuity of Jess’ duties to her traditionally Sikh household.

Thematic facets of etic-emic differentiation are raised in this movie and include the function of adult females. homosexualism. stereotypes. cross-generational behavior and integrating by relational theory. All such subjects are highlighted by the civilization clang at drama. as Jess efforts to hold on some sense of individuality in an over-protected Indian infinite. Women’s roles in both Western and Indian civilizations are exhaustively scrutinized in the movie. Jess expresses some uncomfortableness in presuming the traditional function of a Sikh adult female as stipulated by her parents.

This is the chief beginning of discontent throughout the movie. as her ethnocentric parents genuinely. and slightly naively. keep the belief that going a attorney and get marrieding a adult male within their community is the key to happiness. As was noted in Article one of Part A. the Asiatic civilization holds trueness to family-kin relationships and obeisance to seniors in really high regard. In this respect. Jess’ Western values of freedom of pick and personal fulfillment take a backseat. This is highlighted in a conversation that occurs with her Western teammates. where hey inquire her how she is able to ‘stand’ acquiring an ‘arranged marriage’ to which she replies. “It’s merely culture” with a certain unconcern. In making so Jess is showing that she is culture-bound. conditioned to the Indian cultural practiced of ‘arranged marriages’ . The ultimate ascription mistake committed by Jess’ parents is non a consequence of ill-intentions. instead a protection mechanism against unknown western influences. The function of adult females in the Western civilization is non spared of societal commentary in this movie.

It is interesting that Chadha. the Indian-born author. manager and manufacturer of the movie. chooses to analyze the societal concepts environing the deductions of a women’s football squad in England. As there is no professional English women’s football conference. one can safely presume that football is non an appropriate yesteryear clip for adult females. This thought is reaffirmed by Jules’ female parent who. throughout the movie. holds a really traditional English position on the function of adult females in society.

She frequently expresses her disapproval with sentiments such as. “Nobody’s traveling to travel out with a miss who’s bigger musculuss than him! ” Jess’ female parent subscribes to the Indian tradition of a adult female as a housewife by stating. “What kind of household would desire a daughter-in-law who could play football but non cook? ” showing much the same mentality as Jules’ female parent. varied merely by the several women’s contexts. Such generalizations about women’s societal arrangement is besides seen in Article four of Part A.

Adams et Al. ( 2010 ) acknowledges the topographic point of adult females in Spanish society as home-maker figures by speculating adult females to be more able in polychronic environments. It is besides seen that the Western civilization as a whole participates in the disaffection of the squad as a consequence of unfeminine associations. This is seen when Jess makes the point that ‘Indian’ misss do non play football. Jules pointedly comments. “It’s non merely an ‘Indian’ thing. How many people come out to back up us? The misss clearly seek an equality fiting relationship with the men’s squad. The construct of homosexualism is broached in this movie. While the impression is still taboo in Indian civilization. Chadha makes a statement by picturing the West to be more informed but every bit disapproving.

This is illustrated by the undue paranoia felt by Jules’ female parent when she mistakes the friendly relationship between Jules and Jess as something more. When confronted. Jules exclaims. “Mum. merely because I wear trackies and play athletics does non do me a sapphic! The prosaic feel of this conversation and degree of homosexual consciousness in the Western civilization is contrasted by Jess’ grandmother’s comment. “Why did she name Jess a sapphic? I thought she was a Pisces” Her obvious deficiency of cognition in confounding homosexualism and astrological star marks indicate her civilization blind nature. As if to repeat the close tabu that is homosexualism in the Indian civilization. Chadha scripts Tony. Jess’ childhood male friend. as a homosexual. Jess’ reaction to the intelligence is declarative of a typical first-generation non-resident-Indian. a consequence of cultural conditioning.

Her daze is portrayed through her exclaiming. “But you’re Indian! ” as if to state homosexualism is merely non-existent in the Indian civilization. Jess shortly recovers and shows an credence far greater than that of her ain grandma or Jules’ female parent and Tells Tony that she is “okay” with him “liking David Beckham” . While Chadha purposes to defy and counter some stereotyping. the stereotyping of Indian communities as ‘backward’ and ‘conservative’ is still really prevailing throughout the movie.

Jules’ mother innocently typifies the Indian civilization in her first brush with Jess by doing statements such as. “I bet your parents are repairing you up with a fine-looking immature physician soon” and “Jess. I hope you can learn my girl a spot about your civilization. including regard for seniors and the similar. ” She shortly learns of Jess’ engagement in Jules’ football nine and meekly provinces. “I’ve ne’er seen an Indian miss drama football before” . Jules’ female parent exhibits culture-blind behavior and has really fixed impressions about Indian civilization ; she exudes incredulity as Jess dispels these essentialising impressions.

Chadha farther breaks free from the stereotyping of arranged matrimonies by scripting Jess’ sister. Pinky. as holding a ‘love’ matrimony. When Jess tells her teammates that her sisters’ matrimony was a ‘love match’ . the show of socialization allows for her teammates to larn that the Indian civilization is non as backward and conservative as is perceived. It seems that for an Indian household populating abroad. the generational spread between parent and kid is magnified by the sheathing of cross-cultural facets. Jess and her male parent portion the same preference for athletics and both qualified to take part in quasi-professional squads in England.

When both characters are on the having terminal of racial slurs on the field. they both react true to their cultural upbringing. Jess’ male parent demonstrates an ‘Eastern’ entry and mutualist self-concept by walking off from the athletics and repressing any hopes of returning to the field. Jess. nevertheless. expose a more ‘Western’ laterality and independent self-concept by physically revenging. bing her a ‘red card’ and a impermanent suspension from playing. The Eastern outlook of obeisance is besides noted by Chang et Al ( 2007 ) in saying “anti-hierarchical behavior is non allowed in Chinese workplaces” .

The film culminates in Pinky’s excessive nuptials. really true to Indian civilization. As an unfortunate happenstance. the football Grand Finals are held on the same twenty-four hours. rendering Jess unable to go to her football lucifer and obliging her to her sister-of-the-bride responsibilities. Throughout the film. Chadha depicts Jess’ parents in a harsh. dictatorial light nevertheless. her fathers’ want for her felicity pityingly exceeds his ain outlooks. “If it’s the lone thing that will set a smiling on your face one the twenty-four hours of your sister’s nuptials. travel and play. Jess reluctance to go forth suggests that she strongly identifies with household ties and cultural committednesss. Urged by Tony. she finally leaves the nuptials to play the last half of the football lucifer. winning the game and set downing an chance to play professional football in America. Through Relational Theory her parents understand that to hold a meaningful societal relationship with their girl they must actively seek to understand her cultural point of view and scheme.

This feel-good movie is a perfect illustration of Contact Hypothesis whereby Chadha has brought to life some combative issues of Eastern and Western civilization and allowed for a gradual procedure of cultural integrating throughout the movie. Concepts such as the gender functions. homosexualism. stereotyping and coevals spreads are highlighted so as to show that multicultural societies should non raise lasting differences. instead form fluid individualities which enable people to accept and internalise all constituents of civilization beneficial to their lives.

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