Corky is an Ex convict who is working in a building as a plumber. Until she meets Violet, the sexy mistress of mafia gangster Caesar who both live next door. Both Corky and Violet have a love affair and Violet encourages Corky to help her steal 2 million dollars from Caesar who is holding the money is custody, and torturing and killing a man who stole the money from Ceaser's employer Mob boss Gino who will pick up the money himself, and set up Caesar to take the fall. Setting their plan in motion, the two lesbian lovers find their plan is about to go wrong, when Gino unexpectedly goes missing and Mickey, one of the gangsters is assigned to find him.
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Brought to us by the Wachowski brothers Bound plays like classic noir-style movie. This was film that convinced the studio of the Wachowski talent as directors so that they could make The Matrix (1999), a screenplay/story they had come up with during the filming of their first screenplay, Assassins (1995).
Bound could easily be dismissed as just another entry in the litter of stylish, knowing crime flicks spawned by Reservoir Dogs but what makes it immediately different, however, is its lesbian angle. Whilst the film doesn’t say anything to profound about gender and or sexuality this works to its advantage and the relationship between the two female leads (Gershon and Tilly) is understatedly believable.
Bound appears to be ripe with all the elements necessary for a top-notch exploitation flick soon into the film it's obvious that the brothers at the helm are aiming for something considerably higher than quick thrills. Bound is among the best film noir entries of the decade; from beginning to end, it's solidly entertaining.
The biggest issue throughout the film is trust and the dynamics of each relationship is explored thoroughly. Like the audience, the characters themselves constantly find themselves questioning who to trust and the well orchestrated twists throughout the film keep the viewers guessing until the end.
Gina Gershon truly shines and plays the Sapphic mix of butch/femme perfectly. She achieves sex appeal without pandering to the stereotypical male fantasy which only heightens the dynamics between herself and Tilly. The usually annoying high pitch squeak synonymous with Tilly somehow works for the character rather than against her, and she even manages to make it sexy. A true feat for the Wachowski brother’s indeed.
Joe Pantoliano plays Caesar, Tilly’s on screen Mafioso villain boyfriend and transforms the film from black and white to colour. He is perfectly suited for this role, as though it was written for him and he even manages to make his ‘bad guy’ character likeable.
The cinematography is sensuously realized by Bill Pope (Clueless, The Matrix, and the Spiderman films) and is perhaps the saving grace of the somewhat slow script.
So what’s bad about the film? Not a great deal in my opinion. The only disappointing aspect of the film is the general viewpoint we are given. We are left to decide for ourselves which character we truly route for, which at times can be a little tedious. It feels more that the brothers are testing ideas within the film rather than developing the screenplay. It certainly feels lacking and takes a while to establish its own point of view.