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(Review originally written at 11 April 2005)

"Bend It Like Beckham" is a movie that puts the ball in the net with several moments but also misses the post on others. Yet the good elements of the movie make up for the bad ones, which make this movie a good one and a pleasure to watch.

I've always been charmed with Keira Knightley's looks but she never really quite charmed me with her acting abilities in the movies I've seen her in ("Pirates of the Caribbean", "Love Actually"). Yet she pleasantly surprised me in this movie and I think it's fair to say that this is her best role till date. The rest of the cast is also good but it really was Keira Knightley that impressed me. I will certainly watch her future career with great interest

The story is quite formulaic and gets predictable at times. The whole race/culture issue is handled better in movies like "East is East". Still the story remains charming and sweet to watch, which is I think due to the acting, dialogs, humor and the easy atmosphere.

It's funny, it's a sport movie but the worst scene's were in my opinion the football matches. The way it was edited was poorly, you couldn't understand what was happening on the field and all of the goals were so obviously staged that it was laughable at times. All of the football scene's were highly unbelievable and as a viewer you can never understand why Jess and Jules were regarded as big talents. Seriously, I've seen girls in real life doing way more amazing things with a ball (no pun intended). Oh and I can assure you that no football team in the world has so many pretty girls on one team but that's hardly a complain of course, because it's always a pleasure to watch Keira Knigthley and a bunch of other girls in a dressing room but it's just that it didn't made the movie really more believable.

But still "Bend It Like Beckham" is incredibly good to watch and kind of is a 'feel good movie'. Just pure entertainment that also tries to give a message. It doesn't always work successfully and not all things are handled in the best way but it still is a good and charming movie.

8/10

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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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