The essay sample on Bend It Like Beckham Characters dwells on its problems, providing a shortened but comprehensive overview of basic facts and arguments related to it. To read the essay, scroll down.
Bend it like Beckham which is henceforth known as the film, opens onto a black screen. It then has a ball coming over from the top right of the screen down into the bottom left as if it has been kicked as well as building a crowd scene into the sound which is a diegetic sound.
This was done through special effects after the film had been shot and shows two things. First, it shows that the film will have a heavy football theme and second, that it is a comedy as it isn’t taking it too seriously in the shot of the ball.
After, the music which is presumed to be the football match in the background starts and is common with football chat shows like match of the day.
After a few seconds the voice over of a famous match commentator starts with the screen still on black with the titles, which is a non-diegetic sound. This narration is describing a football game with David Beckham and is at the Manchester united playing ground which gives the audience more of a feel for the theme of the film. The black screen is then change with a wipe effect from right to left following another football which was following the narrators question about ‘Where will the goal come from?’ which adds humour.
The next scene is the game that was spoke about by the narrator and we see players running around a field that has ambient lighting which has a real looking verisimilitude. The mise-en-scene of the game is that it is a real match with recognisable players wearing opposing teams outfits and we take the connotations that the narrator is narrating from an after match summary programme.
After the goal is scored the audience pick up from the commentary that the character that scored was a girl and begin to suspect that the match is not real, this because it is widely known men and women do not play pro-games with mixed gendered teams. During the re-run of the goal you see a close up of the character that is identified as ‘Jess Bambra’. This puts the audience in the position of thinking Jess is a main character.
The camera then zooms in on Beckham with his arm around Jess and uses this image a graphic match to bring the scene with the image on the screen of a studio. The narrator says ‘and have we discovered a new star here Gary Lineker?’ which then leads to the studio having full dialogue. The mise-en-scene of the scene is that of the assumed match summary programme and has the required celebrity faces to make it seem real. They ask Jess’s mother if she is proud of her daughter which brings the main implementation of humour into the film.
The traditional reply would be ‘Yes, I’m so proud!’ but Jess’s mother is introduced as a traditional and stereotypical religious mother who disagrees with masculine sports and the breaking of stereotypes the character of Jess does as a female. This stereotyping makes humour as it is the opposite of what is expected. Another way the humour is implemented is through an action and reaction shot from Mrs Bambra and Gary Lineker who looks shocked which is shown clearly to the audience through his facial expressions.
The camera angle changes from a medium shot of the Gary’s reaction shot to a medium shot, then a close up of her mother. This is to show she is ‘stealing the show’ and is in control. She is then used as a graphic match by the facial expression and the mise-en-scene of the same clothing to bring the scene to the bedroom of Jess.
The shot is showing Mrs Bambra shouting at Jess for watching the football, showing herself as a stereotypical mother and she introduces another character, Jess’s sister who is getting engaged and going crazy. When she turned the TV off she said ‘football, shutaball’ and this adds humour as she is mocking the game. Jess turns to the poster and uses diegetic speech which makes the audience use the connotations that it’s Beckham to mean that she is a fan of his which is also shown in the mise-en-scene of the shot. It shows multiple football posters and a Manchester United top with Beckham’s name on it.
The sound changes to Indian music to show her ethnic background and that it isn’t a traditional comedy as the shot fades to the title which is seen as not taking itself seriously as there are football boots hanging off of the words as well as a football kicked around it like a boomerang.
The next scene opens at the bottom of the stairs and the mise-en-scene shows that it is a traditional normal house which is where we see Jess’s sister for the first time. Her character is portrayed as a stereotypical girl which is reinforced by her calling that girl a ‘first class bitch’ and her idolisation of pink, shopping, accessories and planning outfits out ahead of time. This is said through dialogue between the characters.
The final shot in the opening sequences is Jess and her sister leaving the house and teaming up against their mother by saying ‘oh mum don’t do pickles as well’ in unison which shows the normality of the family arguments which portrays them as a normal everyday family.
Overall, the way the characters have been introduced has been through speech for Jess and Jess’s sister and through full on conversation with Mrs Bambra. Jess’s sister is portrayed as a stereotypical girl through the way she talks while Mrs Bambra is shown as tradition religious mother through her actions, ideas put across through speech and dialogue used at her daughter. Jess however is shown as a non-traditional girl, who enjoys football and arguing with her family. I think that the majority of the characters will be portrayed as the stereotypes they are showing to add humour to the film.
The humour was introduced into the film in a variety of ways. It was shown through narrators commentary, Mrs Bambra’s disapproval of her daughter, the action and reaction shot and by the picking at the game of football. I think that the way the rest of the humour in the film will be very direct and often picky at certain topics, in particular football.