ChildCare Action Project (CAP): Christian Analysis of American Culture


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Entertainment Media Analysis Report
A service to His little ones (which includes at-home teens) through you, their parents and grandparents, in His name by His Word

(2003), PG-13
Analysis Date: April 18, 2003
CAP Score: 50 out of 100
CAP Influence Density: 1.07

MinMax: -100

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ALERT: To fully understand this report you should first visit the topics suggested by the CAP Site Map (Table of Contents). Further, if you do not want the plot, ending, or "secrets" of a movie spoiled for you, skip the Summary/Commentary. In any case, be sure to visit the Findings/Scoring section -- it is completely objective to His Word and is the heart of the CAP Entertainment Media Analysis Model applied to this movie.

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If Scriptural references appear, the full text appears at the end of the Summary / Commentary likely using a mix of KJV and NIV.

(2003), PG-13 -- Maybe the hook in your "No" might save your child's life someday.

Cast/Crew Details Courtesy Internet Movie Database
Production (US): Kintop Pictures
Distribution (US): Fox Searchlight Pictures, The 20th Century Fox Film Corporation
Director(s): Gurinder Chadha
Producer(s): Paul Mayeda Berges, Gurinder Chadha, Ulrich Felsberg, Russel Fischer, Simon Franks, Zygi Kamasa, Deepak Nayar, Paul Ritchie, Haneet Vaswani, Barbara von Wrangell
Written by/Screenplay: Gurinder Chadha, Paul Mayeda Berges, Guljit Bindra
Cinematography/Camera: Jong Lin
Music: Curtis Mayfield, John McElhone, Rick Nowels, Craig Pruess, Sharleen Spiteri
Film Editing: Justin Krish
Casting: Carrie Hilton, Liora Reich
Production Design: Nick Ellis
Art Direction: Mark Scruton
Viewed At: Loews Cineplex Cityview, Fort Worth, Texas

A Sikh family in England is having trouble homogenizing cultures. Mr. Bhamra (Anupam Kher) is doing his best to work in the English culture and openly maintain honor to his faith. All of his family support him, except one. Jessie. Jesminder 'Jess or Jessie' Bhamra (Parminder Nagra) is his British-born 17 year old daughter. Since early childhood Jess has been interested and active in sports. Her parents were tolerant and patient with Jess's athletic proclivity, waiting for the day she would come to her senses and seek to become a young lady of refine, education and duty like her mother, Mrs. Bhamra (Shaheen Khan). But Jess is showing no signs of losing her interest in football (soccer for us Colonists).

Playing football in the local park with a few of the local boys one day, Jessie is noticed by a real football player, Juliette 'Jules' Paxton (Keira Knightly). Seeing quality athletics in Jessie, Jules invites Jessie to try out for her all-girl football team. But Jessie knows her parents do not approve of her playing football. But she is so good at it and playing football is all she wants to do. So, she sneaks. A lot. She defies. She deceives. And she lies. Just to get to play football. The poster above fairly well says it all. I can hear it now! "If her parents had let her play, she wouldn't have been forced to sneak and lie." No one forces anyone to do these things. It is a choice for which the defiant one is completely accountable. To say that denial of a privilege forces one to lie is like a bad guy with a gun saying "Don't force me to kill you."

A love triangle develops between Jess and her new coach, Joe (Jonathan Rhys-Meyers) and Jules. One of the park football players and Jessie's best friend, Tony (Ameet Chana) admits to having no preference for girls. Jessie even leaves her country to play for a semi-pro football team as try-out for a chance to play in America for pay. It is clear that her defiance and deceit bother her but Jessie still is slave to her desires.

SPOILER ALERT: The writers have Jessie coming to her senses and bowing to the will of her parents but her father eventually sees her pain and lets her play football. God tells us to not deliberately anger our children: to not unreasonably deny them their desires [Col. 3:21] It would sound as though Mr. Bhamra honored Col 3:21 by letting Jess play football, especially under the carefully crafted manipulations of the movie. But in no case does God's Word permit rewarding of simple rebellion and defiance by disregarding them. [Prov. 13:24] One must keep tight reigns on what anger is righteous and what anger is merely selfishness. You don't let a two year old beat on the TV screen with a toy no mater how angry she gets at you, but Jessie's eagerness to play football and her expertise at it may have been enough for the parent to compromise.

It is so difficult to know when to say "No" when we all want dearly to make our kids happy, wise and strong. Just remember that God tells us that if we teach and guide our children in the proper ways, they will not venture far away from the teachings and guidance. [Prov. 22:6] But God also reminds us that we must not withhold proper guidance, even if it is discipline. [Prov. 22:15] The point of the verses as they applies to Jessie's behaviors is that the heart of youth is filled with poor judgment and lack of experiential maturity. The rod of correction is a metaphorical reference to the rod of the shepherd who never uses it to cause harm his sheep. Rather he uses it to guide them even if it takes a sharp prod to do it. Note also that the rod has a hook at the end of it to save the sheep's life -- to lift it out of a hole where the sheep would be easy prey for predators. Maybe the hook in your "No" might save your child's life someday.

Regarding God telling us the heart of youth is filled with poor judgment and lack of experiential maturity, even man is coming around to recognizing this. Professional counselor, Dr. Larry Gilliam and Harvard educated child development expert and professor of psychology, Dr. Karen Nelson agree with me that it would be unusual for even a 16 year old to be able to fully comprehend the consequences of his/her actions or to be able to fully separate fantasy from reality: that such capabilities do not typically plateau until the early 20s. Consider these matters of Scripture I've shared with you when your teen demands unearned and unmerited independence and autonomy.

With a final score of 50, Bend It Like Beckham is a R-13 due almost entirely to issues of sexual immorality of varying degrees of severity though often through innuendo rather than behavior [Gal. 5:19], offensive language [Eph. 5:4] and issues of rebellion against parental authority. Teen drinking and drunkenness were expensive to the scoring as well. [**] The listing in the Findings/Scoring section provides all the findings noted.

Special Note: We will be reducing the volume of coverage in this Summary/Commentary section of our reports in an effort to reduce costs until full funding can be achieved. The Findings/Scoring section of each report, the heart of the analysis model, will NOT be reduced in any way. The only drawbacks I see in temporarily reducing the volume of the Summary/Commentary section will be the inherent reduction of Scriptural applications to noted aberrant behaviors and the loss of details about the contribution of the aberrant behaviors to the plot/story, thus lending to potentially increased confusion and loss of quality.

Thank you for your patience as we diligently search for funding. Anyone who wishes to help us locate 501(c)(3) nonprofit funding and sponsors is welcome to notify me.


If needed to focus or fortify, applicable text is underlined or bracketed [ ]. If you wish to have full context available, the Blue Letter Bible is a convenient source. If you use the Blue Letter Bible, a new window will open. Close it to return here or use "Window" in your browser's menu bar to alternate between the CAP page and the Blue Letter Bible page.

  • Col. 3:21 Fathers, provoke not your children to anger, lest they be discouraged.
  • Prov. 13:24 He that spareth his rod hateth his son [or daughter]: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes. [A "rod" does NOT mean a literal beating with a pole or stick. The "rod" can be anything that corrects rebellion and arrogance. The "rod" can even be a kind word as long as it builds righteous compliance. See]
  • Prov. 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.
  • Proverbs 22:15 Foolishness [folly] is bound in the heart [mind, understanding] of a child; but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him.
  • Eph. 5:4 Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving. A recent study by the American College of Physician's (ACPs) revealed that adolescent exposure to drinking and smoking in entertainment leads to an undeniable increase in alcohol and tobacco abuse. The finding entitled Relation Between Parental Restrictions on Movies and Adolescent Use of Tobacco and Alcohol reports that of 4544 youths from grades 5 through 8 of fifteen Vermont and New Hampshire middle schools (90% were under fourteen years old) only 16% were completely restricted from viewing R-rated movies. The report further states the prevalence of having tried smoking without parental knowledge was 35% for those with no restrictions on viewing R-rated movies, 12% for those with partial restrictions, and two percent for those with complete restrictions. The prevalence of having tried alcohol without parental knowledge was 46% for those with no restrictions, 16% for those with partial restrictions and four percent for those with complete restrictions. Rather revealing of the influences of the entertainment industry wouldn't you say? Whether the movie is rated R or not, the focus is the influence of adolescent exposure to drinking and smoking in and as entertainment. And influencing children to sin with drink in and as entertainment screams of violating Luke 17:2.

    ***Selected Scriptures of Armour against the influence of the entertainment industry***
  • Ps. 12:8 The wicked freely strut about [e.g., create progressively vile/offensive entertainment with impunity and no consequences to younger and younger audiences every year] when what is vile is honored among men [when enough people continue to defend it, embrace it, pay for it, enjoy it, want it]. [I call attention to Ps. 12:8 to warn of the creeping desensitizing power of "entertainment."]
  • Col. 2:8 Beware lest any man [by his influence] spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.
  • 1 Cor. 15:33 (KJV) Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners. (NIV) Do not be misled: Bad company corrupts good character.
  • Jude 4 For certain men* whose condemnation was written about long ago have secretly slipped in among you. They are godless men, who change [warp, distort, falsely represent] the grace of our God into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord. [*men: anthropos {anth'-ro-pos}, generic, a human being, whether male or female]
  • Matt. 25:40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto [or for] one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto [or for] me.
  • Luke 17:2 It would be better for him to be thrown into the sea with a millstone tied around his neck than for him to cause one of these little ones to sin. [cause by teaching or example]
  • Ps. 119:133 Direct my footsteps according to your word; let no sin rule over me.
  • John 14:15 If ye love me, keep my commandments.
  • 1 Thess. 5:22 Abstain from all appearance of evil.


    As always, it is best to refer to the Findings/Scoring section -- the heart of the CAP analysis model -- for the most complete assessment possible of this movie.


    Bend It Liek Beckham (2003) CAP Thermometers

    Wanton Violence/Crime (W)
  • fight

    Impudence/Hate (I)
  • 16 uses of the three/four letter word vocabulary
  • arrogance toward parents, repeatedly
  • encouraging a teen to lie to and defy her parents, repeatedly
  • deceit to parents, repeatedly
  • lies to mother, repeatedly
  • name-calling father
  • ridiculing parents
  • "Your parents don't always know what's best for you"
  • sneaking out, including out of country
  • racial insult

    Sex/Homosexuality (S)
  • suggestive eye movement
  • excessive cleavage, repeatedly
  • mother grabbing daughter's breasts
  • mother encouraging false items to increase sex appeal
  • vulgar gesture and vulgar talk, repeatedly
  • crotch hit
  • sexual innuendo, repeatedly
  • anatomical reference
  • teen girls in underwear
  • making out in a car
  • girl in towel only
  • homosexual insult
  • dressing to maximize the female form and/or skin exposure
  • homosexual reference
  • admission of practicing homosexuality
  • sex talk
  • couple making out with inappropriate touch in girl's bathroom
  • lesbian kiss
  • man's face between woman's breasts, clothed
  • "Being lesbian is not all that big a deal"
  • homosexual touch

    Drugs/Alcohol (D):
  • drinking
  • teen drinking, repeatedly
  • teen drunkenness

    Offense to God (O)
  • 12 uses of God's name in vain without the four letter expletive
  • praying to a man's portrait, false religion in accordance with God's Word

    Murder/Suicide (M)
  • none noted

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    NOTE: While the Summary/Commentary section of these reports is precisely that -- a summary in commentary format which can be and sometimes is subjective, the actual CAP Analysis Model (the Findings/Scoring section) makes no scoring allowances for trumped-up "messages" to excuse, for manufacture of justification for, or camouflaging of ignominious content or aberrant behavior or imagery with "redeeming" programming. Disguising sinful behavior in a theme/plot does not excuse the sinful behavior of either the one who is drawing pleasure or example of behavior or thought from the sinful display or of the practitioners demonstrating the sinful behavior. We make no attempt to quantify the "artistic" or "entertainment" value of a movie -- whether a movie has any positive value or "entertainment" value is up to mom/dad. The CAP analysis model is the only known set of tools available to parents and grandparents which give *them* the control they need, bypassing the opinion-based assessment of movies by others and defeating the deceit of those who would say anything to convince their parents otherwise. The model is completely objective to His Word. Our investigation standards are founded in the teachings and expectations of Jesus Christ. If a sinful behavior is portrayed, it is called sinful whether Hollywood tries to make it otherwise. That the sinful behavior is "justified" by some manufactured conditions does not soften nor erase the price of sin. Whether there is application of fantasy "justification" or "redemption" is up to mom/dad.

    "There are some in the entertainment industry who maintain that 1) violent programming is harmless because no studies exist that prove a connection between violent entertainment and aggressive behavior in children, and 2) young people know that television, movies, and video games are simply fantasy. Unfortunately, they are wrong on both accounts." And "Viewing violence may lead to real life violence." I applaud these associations for fortifying 1 Cor. 15:33. Read the rest of the story. From our more than eight years of study, I contend that other aberrant behaviors, attitudes, and expressions can be inserted in place of "violence" in that statement. Our Director - Child Psychology Support, a licensed psychologist and certified school psychologist concurs. For example, "Viewing arrogance against fair authority may lead to your kids defying you in real life." Or "Viewing sex may lead to sex in real life." Likewise and especially with impudence, hate and foul language. I further contend that any positive behavior can be inserted in place of "violence" with the same chance or likelihood of being a behavior template for the observer; of being incorporated into the behavior mechanics and/or coping skills of the observer. In choosing your entertainment, please consider carefully the "rest of the story" and our findings.

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