Stylish and daring, tense and atmospheric, Bound was one hell of a directorial debut, securing the Wachowskis' their Matrix gig by impressing studios in spite of a restrictively low budget.Showcasing many of the basic ideas and stylistic elements that they would perfect in The Matrix (including bullet-time), it's almost a shame that Bound will mostly be remembered for its controversial and undeniably explicit lesbian sex scene (here rendered in its uncut form, which runs just a scant few seconds longer than the R-rated cut version).The reality is that this superior modern noir tale is essentially a classic genre entry with merely the traditional male counterpart character exchanged for a woman, which is why it worked so superbly as a lesbian-protagonist thriller which didn't fumble around in a bid to focus on the lesbian angle, instead playing it out exactly the way it would have been had this been a traditional man/woman role.
With standout performances from a game cast - perhaps career highs for Gina Gershon, Jennifer Tilly and Joe Pantoliano, with the latter making a strong impression in what was his debut lead outing - and a sharp script, combined with a superbly atmospheric score, the credit still ultimately lies with the Wachowskis.
Oozing style and sexuality, this impressive directorial debut is a marvel of low budget innovation, sharp scripting and taut direction.
They deliver the goods in terms of taut, minimalistic-but-stylistic tension, trading in mood and sexuality and some precisely choreographed shots that are now simply iconic. Whilst still ultimately a low-key affair, Bound exceeds its boundaries, becoming a modern genre classic and remaining eminently enticing even almost twenty years on.
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