New Doc Ock Hits Spider-Man
Have you seen the new Doctor Octopus, designed by fan-favorite artist Humberto Ramos? Click to dig the Doc.
Marvel Hires New Publisher
Following such rumors, Marvel today announced that Bill Jemas has been replaced as Publisher. Now read who took his job.
CrossGen's Solus #7
CrossGen thinks you'll love George Pérez's new issue of Solus. And to prove it, here's a five-page preview.
Marvel Searches For She-Hulk
Writer Geoff Johns and artist Scott Kolins reunite for Marvel's Avengers as they search for She-Hulk.
Virtex Returns For Digital Webbing
A comic about a cybernetic cowboy that hunts outlaws riding dinosaurs? Where do we sign up? Read on and find out.
Marvel's Mutants Gains New Penciler
Marvel's New Mutants has a new artist onboard, and we've got a five-page preview. See if he's got the chops.
Image Rocks Out With Shangri-La
Are you ready to rock and roll? Image is, with their upcoming graphic novel Shangri-La. Read the details here.
Marvel Teams Up For A Good Cause
Spider-Man and The Incredible Hulk team up for charity in a special December one-shot. Read all about it.
Davis' Marquis Returns In December
Guy Davis' sin-slayer is back in The Marquis: Intermezzo, coming from Oni Press. Read all about it.
Marvel Unveils '04 FF Plans
Marvel plans three Fantastic Four series for 2004, and we've got the details and preview art. Check this out.
2F2F DVD Contest
The hit street racing film 2 Fast 2 Furious is driving to DVD players near you. Win a free copy from Slush and Universal.

Movie Review:
Bend it Like Beckham
By Matt Singer


A hit in its native Britain, Bend It Like Beckham arrives in the United States with a title that will confuse viewers and content that will delight them. Beckham is one of the world’s most famous football players (a.k.a. soccer, you cultural heathens), and to bend it is to skillfully manipulate said ball. To “bend it like Beckham” is the aspiration of Jess (Parminder Nagra), a talented young football player in a strict Indian family who forbids she play the game. Her struggle is the center of the charming, wonderfully warm movie.

Jess’ conflicts arise when her previously private and small-time football hobby escalates into a passion with a future, after she’s spotted playing in the park (and kicking all the guys’ asses) by Jules (Keira Knightley). Spunky petite Jules, whose family is only slightly more supportive of her footballing than Jess’, nagged former player Joe (Jonathan Rhys-Meyers) into forming an all girls squad, and Jules thinks Jess is ready for the big time. Her parents, played with a winning combination of tough love and good humor by Anupam Kher and Shaheen Khan, rebuff all her attempts for approval, so time and again Jess sneaks out, lies, and ignores her parents’ orders, all for the sake of her football playing (and maybe a little for her budding attracting to Joe and his British pop star looks).

Article continued below advertisement

The first hour or so of the film is a bit obvious, and some of the more sappy moments (Such as Jess’ sisters on-and-off again wedding) tend to give the early sections a sitcom air. But as events play and develop, the smartness of the material and director and co-writer Gurinder Chadha’s love of these characters and obvious knowledge of this situation creates a personal feel in the film. Jess’ rebellion and her parents eventual realization and harsh punishment is as formulaic as coming-of-age movies get, but Chadha refuses to take easy outs on her story, and the constant twists and delays of a resolution generate some real tension - you’ll be hard pressed to guess how the film will turn out, even with as little as five or ten minutes left.

As Jess, Parminder Nagra - in her first feature film role - gives a strong, mature performance. She can be funny or sad in the same scene, and, importantly, she’s an utterly convincing football player. The entire company is well cast, but the other truly memorable performance is given by Kher as Jess’ Dad, a stern but well-intentioned man, who initially seems concerned only with “the family” as an entity meant to uphold tradition and make ancestors proud. By the end, he truly has proven himself a good father, and Kher makes the most of the complex characterization in the script. An on-screen dedication and a tearjerker of a final shot firmly cements the father’s place as the perhaps the most important character in this piece, since it is he, not even the protagonist, who learns and grows in a traditional arc.

Comparisons have been made to My Big Fat Greek Wedding, but I’m not going to do that for the simple reason that I have not seen My Big Fat Greek Wedding. But I saw Bend It Like Beckham, and I enjoyed it a lot. It speaks from experience, and has a good message about finding a balance between the needs of the individual and the needs of the family, religion, and tradition, and - even better - it doesn’t pander to an audience. It doesn’t explain the intimate details of Indian culture or cuisine, it invites us in and lets us share. Shots like the one that pans up from Jess’ huge, rowdy family cooking outdoors, to their white neighbors, sitting quietly alone says more than exposition ever could.


E-Mail Author  |  Archive  |  Tell A Friend



Sword of Dracula
Slush launches our Halloween countdown with the first in a series of spooky reviews. First up? New series, Sword of Dracula.
John Byrne's IMO
This week John points out that fans cannot read the minds of creators, although you wouldn't know that by listening to some of them.
The Dead Zone
Flesh-eating zombies battle the last remaining police officer in Image's new series, The Walking Dead. We review the first issue.
Steve Niles Interview
Slush interviews Steve Niles, the acclaimed writer of 30 Days of Night, who tells us about the relaunch of Fused.
A Spidery Preview
Have you seen the new Doctor Octopus, designed by fan-favorite artist Humberto Ramos? Click to dig the Doc.
Kill Bill Review
Slush reviews the first installment of Quentin Tarantino's kung fu slasher masterpiece, Kill Bill.
Viper Interview
Slush takes a look at new publisher Viper Comics, and interviews the guys behind two of its hottest books.
Peanuts Collected
Cartoon fans rejoice. Fantagraphics is reprinting the entire collection of Charles Schulz' Peanuts. Read on for details.

CHANNELS:  Features | Columns | Reviews | News | Film & TV | Forums | Slushfactory.com

Copyright © 2003 Slush Factory Entertainment (E-mail)
All Rights Reserved : No portion of Slush may be reprinted in any form without prior consent