Bound (Andy & Lana Wachowski, 1996)


Jennifer Tilly (Violet), Gina Gershon (Corgy), Joe Pantoliano (Caesar). Screenplay by Andy and Lana Wachowski. Directed by Andy and Lana Wachowski. Rating: 18. Running time: 108 minutes.

An absolutely crazy tale of a gangster’s wife who is in fact a dyke in love with her next door neighbour, Bound gives us two women conspiring to steal a mafioso’s money whilst pinning the blame on the husband’s rival in the underworld of crime. The Wachowski brothers may as well be the Coen brothers by the time this one properly unfolds: there’s calamity all around as the lies amplify in their disastrous consequences. Soon the couple’s apartment becomes a bloodbath as the delirious husband takes the appropriate courses of action following his deceit. Blood isn’t only dripping from the increasing pile of bodies, however, that fills their apartment’s bathtub. It’s also squelching through the rug quickly used to cover up floor stains as police officers arise, and early on it’s covering the wads of cash, leading to the film’s most bizarre sequence, as each note is washed, ironed and pegged up to dry.

Throughout is the lure of the delicious Violet, desperate to be next door but trying to keep her cool and look as if she’s on the side of her senile husband. Bound is told in the strangest of ways – completely indifferent to the severity of its excessively graphic violence in a way reminiscent of Tarantino, but also equally relaxed about the nature of its wild plot, stimulating significant but reserved laughter. Never does it cease, however, to be enthralling throughout. A masterclass in cinematic absurdity.

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