Bend It Like Beckham
Bend It Like Beckham
What is the purpose of the beginning of your class film? How has the director used film techniques in this part of the film to achieve this purpose? Film techniques are used by film directors to establish understanding of both the characters in the film, as well as the general plot. In the film Bend It Like Beckham, directed by Gurinder Chadha, the purposes of the film are introduced and established through the use of a wide range of film techniques.
Such purposes which are highlighted especially in the first few minutes of the film include the issue of stereotypes, the passion of an individual to succeed, differences in cultural beliefs and values as well as the establishment of different and unique characters in which audiences are able to relate to. These are all highlighted through the use of techniques such as contrast, voice-over, montage, as well as many other film techniques.
Costuming is an important technique used by the composer to highlight the main purpose of the beginning of the film, which is to draw attention to the issue of certain stereotypes in gender roles as perceived by society. This is emphasised in the beginning of the film through the contrast in the costuming of the two sisters, Jesminder and Pinky Bhamra. From the costuming itself, it can be seen that the personality of both sisters are drastically different; Pinky seems to be the stereotypical traditional girl, wearing stylish street wear as she goes out to shopping, while Jesminder wears track pants and sportwear.
Such contrast in costuming for the two characters highlights Pinky’s femininity and Jesminder’s lack of femininity. It also further emphasise that Jesminder is very different from the common society stereotype of female, which in turn lead into her passion for soccer that sets her apart from her cultural and gender expectations. It can therefore be seen that although it is only the beginning of the film, the use of costuming as a technique has established the main purpose of the film to the audience, that is bringing the attention of social stereotypes thrust upon females in society today.
Another key technique that is used by the director of the film to convey the main theme of the film is the use of montage and voice-over. Jesminder’s passion for soccer is highlighted through the use of montage at the start of the film. This is used in the dream sequence, in which Jesminder pretended that she was part of the professional English soccer team, Manchester United, in which her idol David Beckham is part of. This dream sequence highlights her dreams to be a rofessional soccer player, which defies her cultural as well as society’s expectations as soccer is generally deemed to be a “male” sport due to much of the sport being dominated by male players.
Voice-over is also used in the dream sequence scene and like the montage technique, the voice-over dialogue also introduce and emphasises Jesminder’s passion for soccer. This is especially evident in the scene dialogue “…and there is Bhamra…It’s a goal by Jess Bhamra! as it further displays her passion and dreams to be a professional soccer player, like David Beckham. Through these two techniques of montage and voice-over, the director successfully conveys the main theme of the film to the audience, which is, Jesminder breaking social barriers and stereotypes to pursue her dreams to be a professional soccer player. Music and set design in the film are also employed as techniques by the composer of the film to highlight the difference in culture, as well as characters.
This is especially demonstrated through the use of traditional Indian music played at the Bhamra’s household emphasising that they are not only religious, but still stick by their cultural beliefs from their homeland, despite being in a foreign country. Through the use of music, it can be easily seen that there is a significant difference in Indian culture, compared to Western culture in England. The use of set design in the film is also used as a technique to highlight the differences in personalities of the characters.
This is especially seen in the character of Jesminder, where her bedroom is shown to have large posters of her soccer idol David Beckham. This further emphasises how she is completely different from how society deems a female should be. Characterisation is established in the opening scene of the film through the use of costuming as a film technique. This is evident during the first few minutes where the two protagonists, Jesminder and Juliette are introduced to the audience as teenagers thriving for their dream as a professional football player, despite conflicts and disapproval from their family.
In this scene, it can be seen that costuming is used by the director to further emphasise how the two girls are different from their family and the society’s expectations through sporty and masculine clothes worn by both Jesminder and Juliette. Their differences show that they are stepping out from what the society and their family believe, to pursue their dream as professional soccer players, a role which is stereotypically associated with males. The contrast of costuming between Jesminder and
Juliette, and the rest of the female cast in the film further draws the attention towards their masculinity, as well as the traditional and stereotypical aspect of the female casts. This can be seen especially through Jesminder’s mother who wears traditional feminine clothes, highlighting her social background as well as her femininity. Through the use of costuming and contrast as film techniques, the director of the film clearly establish and differentiate each of the characters, particularly the protagonists, which further aids the understanding of the plot for the audience later in the film.
It can be seen that through the various use of film techniques by the composer of the film, the purpose of the film is effectively established. Such purpose of the film include bringing attention to the issue of stereotypes in both culture and gender, the passion for soccer, difference in cultural values and the establishment of unique characters. These purposes are all conveyed through the use of different techniques such as costuming, set design, voice-over, contrast and montage to further create meaning in the audience’s minds.
It also further emphasises the main purpose for the creation of the film, which was to both entertain and to draw the attention towards current social expectations and barriers in which females primarily face, as well as how culture can still have a huge impact on an individual, even though they are in a foreign place. Through the different use of techniques, audiences are also able to relate to the characters effectively, thus allowing the director to convey her purpose for creating the film.
University/College: University of Chicago
Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter
Date: 1 October 2016
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