The directors of ‘Bend it like Beckham’ and ‘Wondrous Oblivion’ both feature types of cultural representation in their films. Both cultures are represented as being very different from the English society, but people of each society do eventually become friends. This usually happens just after the start of the film. At the beginning of ‘Bend it Like Beckham,’ Jess, the Indian girl, has a fantasy about playing football for Manchester United, whereas at the beginning of ‘Wondrous Oblivion,’ David, the Jewish boy, thinks he can play cricket well but in reality, he isn’t very good at all.
In ‘Wondrous Oblivion,’ the Jewish family are disrespected by the English who live on the same estate, but when the Jamaicans move in next to the Jew’s, the English diverted their attention from the Jews to the black Jamaicans. After a few days, David plays cricket in the Jamaicans garden and makes friends with Judy, the Jamaican daughter. In ‘Bend it Like Beckham,’ Jess is good at and likes to play football. Her parents don’t like her playing football and they don’t allow her to play either.
Her mother says it isn’t right for Indian girls running around showing their bare legs to the world. Your sister’s getting engaged and you’re watching this skinhead boy! ” This is said by Jess’s mother. It tells us that there is conflict between the Indian family and Jess’s love of football. In Wondrous Oblivion, when David goes to the Jamaicans house to play cricket in their back garden, his mother got quite upset as the English citizens living in the same street told her to get rid of the black Jamaicans otherwise she would get into trouble with them. Jess and her family are represented as archetypes and the film depicts them as being stereotypes.
This gives the audience the feel that the director made Jess and her family different from the English so as to make them stand out from everyone else. This also gives the audience the idea that the English, in both ‘Bend it like Beckham’ and ‘Wondrous Oblivion,’ are the superior race. ‘Wondrous Oblivion’ shows this in the film more than in ‘Bend it like Beckham’ as it shows David being picked on and the black family sent death threats. This also is made more extreme in ‘Wondrous Oblivion’ as it is set in the early nineteen hundred’s when racism was quite bad.
Bend it like Beckham’ shows the English as being racially the same as the Indian family. This is one message that the director tries to convey. The Indian family is represented as being a strong, controlling family culture. The football coach in ‘Bend it like Beckham’ tries to mediate between Jess playing football and her Indian family responsibilities. Jess’s mother doesn’t want her to play football. She wants her to be a typical Indian daughter who does everything a typical Indian daughter should do.
What family will want a daughter-in-law who can play football all day but can’t make round chapattis? ” This is said by Jess’s mother. It tells us that she wants Jess to attract a husband and that a women’s place is in the kitchen. In ‘Wondrous Oblivion,’ the Jewish women, mother of David, tries to mediate between the English and the Jamaicans. Some scenes in the film suggest that the Jamaican father and Jewish mother are having some sort of relationship. This might change the agreement in the mediation as it might be bias towards the Jamaicans.
Cultural conflicts are represented as being quite raciest in ‘Wondrous Oblivion. ‘ This is aimed at the blacks and the Jews. The English are portrayed as being the highest of the social class. In ‘Bend it like Beckham,’ cultural conflicts are represented as not so racist against the Indians but they don’t have a high social class. The English are still a bit higher in the social class. When negative things happen to the English society in ‘Wondrous Oblivion,’ slow, sad music is played which gives the audience the idea that, again, the English society is higher up the social class.
When positive things happen, fast, happy music is played. When the camera focuses on the Jamaican family in a positive way, stereotypical music is played. In ‘Bend it like Beckham,’ typical English music is played when positive things happen. For example, Beethoven, Bach. The scenes are cut slowly and the camera focuses on the on individual who is in the spotlight. Again, when negative things happen slow, sad music is played. When the camera focuses on the Indian family, again, stereotypical Indian music is played.
The different cultures in both ‘Bend it like Beckham’ and ‘Wondrous Oblivion’ are styled with different clothes. The English usually wear neat, ‘posh’ clothes whereas the Indians and Jamaicans wear bright, colourful and traditional clothing. This is shown in both films and the directors both emphasise this. ‘Wondrous Oblivion’ was set in about nineteen-twenty to nineteen-thirty. This was a good time to set the film as it was then that racial abuse was at a high. ‘Bend it like Beckham’ was set around the year two thousand.
This helps send the message of the film as it was when women started to really play football in proper leagues. The main message in ‘Wondrous Oblivion’ is that even though you are different races and come from different cultures, you can still interact with each other and not be criticized because of the colour of your skin. The message in ‘Bend it like Beckham’ is that if you’re a different race or colour, you can still be treated with respect and join in with other races as well as your own.