In the family Film “Bend it like Beckham” Gurinder Chadha (the director of the film) shows the conflict/contrast of two dissimilar cultures Indian and British by using many different techniques to make this effective : different types of shots (camera techniques) , juxtapositioning, humour, symbolism and stereotypes.
The film is about a young British-Indian girl named Jessminder who has a great ability/passion to play football but as her parents are strong believers of the Sikh religion they are not happy with her playing a sport which isn’t practised in there culture/religion and would rather her to do the traditional Indian girl things which is practised in there culture like learning how to make traditional Indian meals, further/higher academic education (university) and getting married to a young man who believes in Sikhism.Order now
Jessminder enjoys playing football to the extent that she does it behind her parents back and she begins to meet friends from the typical British culture as football is a sport played by many British people. Jessminder makes close friends with one in particular British person named Juliet this is where the conflict of the two cultures is shown effectively, on the diversity of Jessminder and Juliet’s family/associates.
At the end of my essay I hope to have a looked at all the techniques used in immense detail and the purpose and effect these techniques have on the film. The types of shots in this film is used quite effectively by Gurinder Chadha to show the emotions and feeling of the characters in the film. For example the close up shot of Jessminder’s David Beckham poster immediately suggests that David Beckham has a great importance in Jessminder’s life.
Gurinder Chadha uses different types of shots to show the conflict of the two cultures at the beginning of the film when Jessminder has finished playing football in her dream an interview takes place with Gary Liniker and the rest of football commentators Jessminder’s mum is also present, Gurinder Chadha makes it clear using the interview shot that Jessminder’s mum is from a different culture by the different clothing.
All the commentators are dressed in suits and Jessminder’s mum is wearing traditional Indian clothing which makes jessminder’s mum stand out. Gurinder Chadha then follows showing the difference of the two cultures by the difference of opinions, all the commentators are shocked that a young Indian girl could play football as good as she could and thought that it was excellent that she had this ability to play football as good as she could. However Jessminder’s mum had a total different view to what the commentators did.
Her opinion of Jessminder playing football was that it was terrible how a young Indian girl can go round playing football showing her bare legs and had a negative view on Jessminder playing football as showing her bare legs is against the Sikhism religion. This shows how the typical English cultured opinion is diverse to the typical Indian cultured opinion. Gurinder Chadha makes the mothers in both family’s (Jessminder’s and Juliet’s) quite similar in the terms of there thoughts of there daughters playing football they both disagree with the idea of them playing the sport.
The mothers have also been made quite similar in the stipulations of there stereotypical views of each others cultures for example Juliet’s mum kept on stating things like ” I bet your mums getting you married to a nice rich doctor”, “I cooked curry last night” and also questioned her name when she said it was jess, she stated “Jess! Is that and Indian name? ” Jessminder’s mum reaction was the exact same when she thought Jess (Jessminder) was kissing Jules (Juliet) at the bus stop she said: These young British girls you can’t tell these days what sex they are”.
But although they maybe quite similar Jules tends to have more freedom/control over her mum. Although her mum does not agree with her playing football she still does and she doesn’t need to lie about it because her mum doesn’t have as much control over her as Jessminder’s mum does also Jules dad is supporting her where as Jessminder’s dad does not because of he’s previous experiences of playing sport in England.
He had been racially abused and he’s wife (Jessminder’s mum) seems to have quite a lot of control other him also. Gurinder Chadha shows the conflict of cultures from this because this shows that the typical Indian cultured family seems to be more austere and controlled than the typical British westernised culture by the amount of control the parents have other their daughters in the two dissimilar family’s.
Juxtapositioning is one of the techniques used by Gurinder Chadha to show the conflict of the two cultures. Juxtapositioning is when two idea’s are placed straight after one other for example at Pinkies wedding (Jessminder’s sister) she is very happy because she is getting married to a young man who practises Sikhism because she is influenced by the Indian culture she has been brought up with. The camera then flicks onto Jessminder during a football match and she is happy for different purposes.
Jessminder is happy because she scored a goal which is generally influenced by the British culture. The use of juxtapositioning becomes effective because the audience becomes aware of the happiness both girls are showing for opposite reasons. Humour is used in the film by Gurinder Chadha greatly and is I believe one of the key factors to the film. I feel humour is used frequently throughout the film by Gurinder Chadha to keep the audience hooked right through the film.
Humour is formed by the diversity of the two cultures and the stereotypical views each family haves. An example of when Gurinder Chadha uses the conflict of the two cultures to form humour to keep the audience devoted to the film is when the Indian lady’s was jogging round the park in traditional Indian clothes with a head scarves, this created humour because the audience are not expecting Indian women dressed is traditional Indian clothes to behaving in this manor.
As usually religious Indian women are perceived as housewives who don’t care much for sports based leisure activities and also because of the physical state they was in, they could barley breathe and there faces looked like they have just been run over by a lorry. This had nothing to do with the plot but was still inputted in the film to keep the audience ardent. An alternative example of where juxtapositioning is used is when Jules mum is trying to make Jules buy a padded bra rather than a sports bra.
This creates humour because of Jules embarrassment and Jules’s mum openness and enthusiasm towards the bra’s this scene also shows conflict between the cultures because of the mums priority’s for there daughters although both parents (Jess’s mum and Jules’s mum) do have similarity’s of there expectations for there daughters like not playing football and more academic based education , Jules’s mum wants her to buy a padded bra because she wants her to be more attractive to the opposite sex and hopes for her daughter to get a boyfriend this is one of Jessminder’s mum’s fears and tells Jessminder to cover her body fully as the Sikhism religion has very ‘strict’ outlooks on girls showing such parts of their bodies. Symbolism is also a technique used often by Gurinder Chadha to show the conflict of the two cultures, for example when the aeroplane went passed Jessminders house. This symbolises that Jessminder wants to escape and go and play football and escape from her culture because her interests conflict with her culture.
Another example of when Gurinder Chadha used symbolism to show conflict of the two cultures is when Jessminder was aiming to shoot a goal and she then pictured her five aunties dressed in traditional Indian clothing standing in front of the goal as if they was physically stopping her from scoring this symbolises how her culture is stopping her from doing what she wants to do, there in the way of what she’s aiming for the goal and continuing playing football (her goal in life), This shows Jessminders culture is stopping her from achieving her goal in life which is playing football, the goal on the pitch resembled Jessminders future of playing football and her aunts resembled her culture stopping her from achieving this goal because they was in the way.
In conclusion I have found Gurinder Chadha uses a variety of techniques such as: juxtapositioning, symbolism, humour and types of shots to explore cultural conflict which is the theme of the film. I believe the way Gurinder Chadha used all her techniques was very effective. I enjoyed this film because it showed in great depth the diversity of the two cultures which I found interesting to watch and was hooked all the way through.