Jess Kaur Bhamra

Jess Kaur Bhamra

    Bend It Like Beckham
Photo Credit: Everett Collection

Character Analysis

(Avoiding Spoilers)

Grew Up… in a Punjabi Sikh Indian family. Jess’s parents are very set in their traditional ways after they fled from Uganda to England. Her father used to play cricket there, but he was shunned when he tried to join a local London club.

Living… in Hounslow, West London. Jess lives with her parents and her sister Pinky in a suburban home in Hounslow, which is located right underneath the flight path of loud planes. Her father works at the nearby Heathrow airport, and her mother just wants her to grow up to be a good Indian housewife for her future husband.

Profession… student and aspiring football (soccer) player. Jess dreams of playing football for the English national team one day. She was recently spotted by a player on the Hounslow Harriers, a local women’s team, who has asked her to join the team.

Interests… football. Jess is absolutely obsessed with everything football. She even has a shrine to star player David Beckham on her wall. Jess also goes to the park every day and practices with the boys. She’s pretty talented and usually out-dribbles them all.

Relationship Status… complicated. Jess is very attracted to her coach, Joe. This causes problems since her newfound best friend Jules also has a crush on him, and the coach shouldn’t be dating either of them since they’re both his players. But it seems like Joe is more interested in Jess, even though she fears that their relationship could ruin everything.

Challenge… pursuing her dream of playing football without her parents finding out. Jess’s parents are adamantly opposed to her playing football because of the conflicts with her culture as a girl. Despite this, Jess decides to join the Hounslow Harriers. Keeping her football playing a secret from her parents becomes more and more difficult, however, as the team is supposed to travel to Germany.

Personality… determined, playful, and tough. The complete opposite of her fashionable and feminine sister, Jess is a rough-and-tumble tomboy. She’s free-spirited and enjoys doing cartwheels after she scores a goal. Jess is passionate about football and will do anything she can to play – even if it means being dishonest to her parents.


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