I just received my Blu-ray copy of Bound in the mail. Here are the two reactions you may have to this:
1. “Oh, awesome, I love that movie. Congratulations!”
2. “What’s Bound?”
If it’s “What’s Bound?”, sit down and prepare for a good talking-to…
Bound is an absolutely brilliant neo-noir erotic thriller. Released right in the middle of the greatest film-decade ever, the 1990’s, it was the directing debut of the Wachowski’s (formerly known as the Wachowski brothers) who would later go on to give us The Matrix. Plot:
“Corky, a tough female ex con and her lover Violet concoct a scheme to steal millions of stashed mob money and pin the blame on Violet’s crooked boyfriend Caeser…but thing’s don’t go as planned.”
Wait a minute…Corky and Violet? Corky and her lover, Violet? Can that mean? Would that mean? Does it mean…?
Yes, you warmblooded males out there (of which I am one) and women of that persuasion…this movie centres around a highly sexual lesbian affair. Hey, I’ll be the first to admit that in my simplistic sexual mathematics; 1 woman + 1 woman = nothing but a bonus (No, I said bonus!).
Anyway, the lesbian aspect isn’t really what’s exceptional about this thing, it’s the fact that it’s so damn hot! You think you know sexy movies? Believe me, you ain’t seen nothing yet. Unlike Steve McQueen’s Shame or David Cronenberg’s A Dangerous Method, which are movies that take a clinical and observational view of sex, Bound crawls under the sheets and revels in the heat. It’s not really a story of love, it’s a story of lust, and it makes no apologies in that regard.
Beyond the lesbian tension, however, this story involves blood and money too. No modern noir would be complete without betrayal and bullets, and there’s plenty to lap up here. As the main characters’ plan veers inevitably off course, it descends into a wonderfully compelling violent mess.
This sort of film would never work without two fantastic lead actresses. In this case we have Gina Gershon playing the stud Corky, who brings a wonderful display of mettle to her role. In an equivalent fairy tale, she would be the prince; saving her princess bride-to-be from the dragon’s breath. As the scissoring seductive princess (sorry, i meant sizzling!), we have one of my favourite women in the whole wide world:
Jennifer Tilly was born to play a femme fatale, and has done so on many occasions. She is perhaps best known as Tiffany doll, the freaky plastic girlfriend of Chucky from the Child’s Play series. Her whispering steamy voice is easily recognisable, unfailingly enjoyable, and can be found sampled everywhere from Family Guy to Monsters Inc. Some people are born to be interesting, some to be funny, some to be talented, and others with quality social skills…but Jennifer Tilly was born to be sexy! Don’t believe me? Here’s a picture of her playing poker:
Alright, so now you know what I’m talking about (and I know what you’re thinking, but it’s not just them!). Jennifer is extremely hard working and a lot smarter than she appears. She’s won several World Poker Tournaments and regularly contributes articles to Bluff Magazine, so don’t judge her by her cover…or mannerisms…or voice. Wonderfully, however, she doesn’t run from her sexual charms and instead lovingly embraces them into her career without letting them define or control her. Rather, she uses her charisma to her advantage…a natural femme fatale! (By the way…she’s 51 in that photo.)
Sorry…back to the film!
In the role of the princess-clutching dragon we have the always watchable Joe Pantoliano as Caeser. A very underrated and underused actor, Pantoliano does a tremendous job of flipping his character back and forth from a villain to a victim. Anyone who remembers seeing him in The Sopranos or The Matrix will know what good things are in store.
The Wachowski’s are known for leaving nothing to the last minute. Their strength lies in pre-production; planning out every shot, transition, and colour scheme meticulously. It’s an effort that pays off wonderfully in The Matrix and Cloud Atlas, but it all started with Bound. Symbolic uses of light, shadow, costume, and props may not be the bread and butter of today’s “shaky-cam” generation…but it’s a lesson in proper filmmaking from the days when people cared about more than just the performances. The score by Don Davis is one of my all time favourites; an operatic swell with an undercurrent of impending doom.
So fly away my pigeons! Fly out and get yourself a copy of Bound. You won’t regret it!
I’d firstly recommend watching Bound on Blu-ray, as the crisp chiaroscuro cinematography really lends itself well to high def, but it can be hard to get hold of unless you order it from the US. DVD should be alright, and if need be…you can download it. I won’t judge, honestly. You can relax, I give you permission.
Am I not merciful?
– Rant Over!