January 18, 2011

Queer Review: Bound

Bound (1996) was the directorial debut from The Wachowskis (although before Larry Wachowski became Lana Wachowski they went by The Wachowski Brothers). The Wachowskis would later go on to direct The Matrix and would write the script for V for Vendetta.

The plot of Bound is straight forward enough, but there are enough twists and turns to keep viewers guessing as to what will happen next. At the start, ex-con Corky (Gina Gershon) is trying to go on the "straight" and narrow when she meets Violet (Jennifer Tilly) who immediately seduces her. Shortly thereafter, Violet proposes to Corky that they steal 2 million dollars from Violet's boyfriend Ceasar (Joe Pantoliano) who happens to be a money launderer for the mob. Corky, although suspicious, soon agrees and the heist, not unexpectedly, does not go off without a hitch.

In my opinion, Bound is probably one of the best mainstream movie featuring two lesbians. There are many queer themes and imagery scattered throughout the film. The most obvious being that the title itself can be seen as a reference to being closeted, an idea confirmed by the opening scene. Although I do have to say that, while the film does not invite in depth analysis, there is still plenty of material that can be looked at for deeper meaning.

The Wachowski's provide solid direction and the film features a lot of darkly brilliant cinematography. Suspense is built to the sort of mind bending levels that few films aspire to, much less achieve. On the acting front, there is not a weak performance to be found. Each of the three leads -Tilly, Gershon, and Pantolino - gives a riviting performance.

On the whole, I highly recommend this film. It's smart and pushes boundaries in all the right ways.

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