Money, Drugs and Lesbian Love - Bound Has it All

Sunday 26th February 2017 | Charlotte Layton

It isn’t often that you find a film, twenty-one years of age, that really catches the attention of the film critique within.

Of course, you have the major franchises that film critics can’t help to ogle over and pour out critique after critique – while some speculate over the tiniest of unstated hints of overlapping storylines, concept and character background. Harry Potter and Star Wars are just to name a few.  No. Instead, the 1996 film Bound, directed by The Wachowski Brothers, has caught my attention, sparking the film critique within, once again.

Yet, Bound is a completely different ball game in the world of film, one of which would have been newly exciting in the late 90’s. Corky (Gina Gershon), a lesbian ex-convict, is hired to work and live as maintenance support in a cluster of apartments in New York. Here, she meets neighbors Caesar (Joe Pantoliano), who launders millions of dollars at a time for the mafia, and his effeminately bold girlfriend, Violet (Jennifer Tilly). 

The two women form a close bond, which develops into an immense love affair, that is intriguingly satisfying.

Together the pair conduct a scheme to steal two million dollars from the mafia, that Caesar has in his custody, before handing it back to Gino Marzone – the head of the infamous mafia. Corky and Violet plan to set up the mafia’s money launderer, framing him for the theft of the money, aiming to turn the attention away from themselves, as they walk away with two million dollars instead. Caesar ultimately becomes the two lover’s scapegoat. 

Although, Caesar finds the money missing. He frantically tries to find out who has stolen the millions of dollars, assuming at first, it is Gino Marzon’s son – believing that the outtery of a thief in the family will save his own life. Though this isn’t what the two lovers had intended to happen. They had expected Caesar to run. As it dawns on Caesar that it was a scheme conducted closer to home, Corky and Violets life become threatened. 

As your thrown into the world of the Mafia, it is clear that this film is full of concept. Although, the first thought you have is: "A lesbian love affair? That's new." And for the time that this film hit the scene – it was new.

Though, the film has many underlying themes, though the most apparent is sexuality, the sense of entrapment is one that you can’t quite put your finger on the first time that you watch the film.

The Wachowskis brothers also wanted to define the characters by the “trap” that they had made for themselves. The theme of being trapped is aggravated by the apparent claustrophobic feeling throughout Bound.

Violet, for instance, is trapped in her relationship with Caesar, and in the first scene, Corky is literally inside Violet’s closet, bound by Caesar. This scene is echoed later in the film when violet says “I had an image of you inside of me.” 

Though the film has many underlying concepts, the storyline itself is one that captivates you right from the beginning. You sit, biting your nails, hoping that the two women succeed in their bid to steal the two million dollars. You are captivated in their story, their life and their budding relationship. 

The cast is also deep with talent. Jennifer Tilly immerses herself into the femme lesbian role, though never ceases to amaze her audience with her inginuity and fatale – delivering the outcome that she so desires. Gina Gershon, also portrayed her role with masses of excellence - emerging herself into the cunning, butch, ex con - making it possible for the lesbian duo to pull their cunning operation together. 

The Bound storyline gave in to the mainstream film culture - which makes Bound one of the most profound films ever written and directed by The W Brothers.