Bend it like Beckham; Food Symbol

Beckman is a movie directed by Grinder Chad. It revolves around listener, a teenage Indian girl who’s passion is for playing soccer. This film explores many important themes such as racism, sexuality, stereotypes, breaking gender barriers and culture. The theme that I will be focusing on Is culture. The main symbol for ‘culture’ is food. Food is a recurrent theme of the film that is constantly repeated in scenes but only subtly. It has surprisingly Important significance to do with both the Piston and Bahamas families.. Women are typically in the kitchen both Western and Indian culture.
The character Mrs. Bahamas is an excellent example of this practice. She is almost always seen cooking, eating or Just being around Indian food. She is constantly trying to teach Jess how to cook, but when Jess shows no desire to learn how to cook. Jess Is removing herself from the traditional ways of a Sikh woman. Sikh women are traditionally housewives, and by Jess refusing to learn to cook goes against the ways of Sikh culture. In contrast to Mrs.. Bahamas, Jess is going against he ways her parents have taught her, becoming less integrated in Indian culture and bringing shame to the family.
She Is bringing shame to the family, because her family believes no man will want a woman who can’t cook. This worries Mrs.. Bahamas because she wants nothing more than her daughters to be married off. An Important scene expressing Jess’ opinion towards cooking is, when she Is learning how to cook a full Indian dinner. While her mother stands at the stove, Jess defiantly bounces a capsicum from knee to knee. Despite being forced to learn how to cook, sees still obsessed with soccer and will even incorporate it in the kitchen!

It is a metaphor for how Jess feels learning to cook Is Just another way for her parents to control her future. Another example of a key scene demonstrating Mrs.. Bahamas opinion of Jess, is when she finds out she has Joined a women’s football team. Jess is sitting on a couch with her parents looking down on her. Chad has used a low angle shot, demonstrating the vulnerability of Jess and the power of her parents. Mrs.. Bahamas shows she Is concerned about the future for her daughter: “What family ill want a daughter-in-law who can run around kicking football all day but can’t make round chapattis? Once again, she includes a reference to food, and how Jess needs to submit to the stereotypical role of a woman in order to get a husband. This brings me onto my next point about how cooking Is expected from women In Western culture too. In the Piston household, Jules’ mother is similar to Mrs.. Bahamas in the way that she believes playing sport Is masculine. Mrs.. Piston Is constantly reminding her daughter that, “No boy’s going to want to go out with a girl who’s got bigger muscles Han him! In desperation to stop her playing football. Even more ridiculous than 1 OFF Jules’ for the first time Mrs.. Piston’s only comment is, “You know, I cooked a lovely curry the other day. ” She immediately resorts to talking about food because that is all she knows about Indian culture. She believes she is associating herself with Jess, but is actually only associating with the stereotypical Indian woman, not Jess. In continuation of this scene, Jules’ mum is bringing up a tray of cheese and tea, when she hears the two girls quarrelling.
Having missed the beginning of their argument (over Joe) she believes them to be lesbians and retreats downstairs. She is so horrified by her daughter she can’t bring herself to speak with Jules. Mrs. Piston is holding tea at this time. Tea often represents comfort and a sit-down chat, but Mrs.. Piston is so appalled she can’t even face her own daughter. Once again, the mother figure can not, or does not want to understand her daughter’s perspective. Paula (Mrs.. Piston) attempts to understand football, literally by using food. The scene begins with Alan (Mr..
Piston) explaining the rules of soccer by using various condiments by stacking them around the table like soccer players on a soccer field. When Jules arrives home she notices her mother has read a stack of soccer magazines. Paula says, “That way, we can all enjoy football as a family. ” Mrs.. Piston researches some professional female soccer players, and finds one that is happily married with a baby. This is not the point where she accepts her daughter’s career choice, but mainly points it out in an attempt to encourage Jules’ to break up her ‘relationship’ with Jess.
In conclusion, food is a major aspect in Bend It Like Beckman. It links the two cultures in the film together. In the end both mothers accept that their daughters want to become professional soccer players. Jess and Jules both managed to ‘bend’ gender rules and the will of their mothers in order to pursue their dreams. This is the meaning of the title, Bend It Like Beckman. When Mrs.. Bahamas finally accepts her daughter’s career choice she finishes off with a quote food related: “At least I taught her full Indian dinner, the rest is up to God. ”

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