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Bound, Directed by Andy Wachowski and Lana Wachowski

Gramercy Pictures, October 4, 1996 (US)

Screenplay: Andy Wachowski and Lana Wachowski

Starring: Jennifer Tilly, Gina Gershon, and Joe Pantoliano

Everyone is hopelessly bound—tied to people, places and things—often times incomprehensibly so. A boy is born into a family by which he is forever defined and later weds a woman in holy matrimony, locking into a steep mortgage for their dream home, only to discover neither can sever what stagnates as a loveless marriage. He is in deep. The woman, herself, dreads a job as a pharmaceutical rep but fulfills the obligation anyway, in order to maintain a 401(k) and health insurance. What she would really like to do is to move from Kansas to New York to work for a magazine; however, she is firmly rooted to the same twenty mile radius that has constrained her entire life, ostensibly to support her brother, whose drug addiction enslaves him (and by default her, along with her failing marriage), through the highs and lows of binging. There is also the matter of the brother’s freakish compulsion to hoard plastic grocery store bags, burrowed like vermin into every nook and cranny of his domicile, held “just in case,” but that is a habit best broken after the controlled substances are kicked, except the two indulgences may very well coincide as one and the same. The air is stifling.

Boxes. They contain us all, sometimes like Russian matryoshkas, nesting one inside the other. We are inhibited.

Violet (Jennifer Tilly): I know what I want. I want out. I want a new life. I see what I have been waiting for, but I cannot do it alone.

Occasionally, the fortunate distinguish walls built too close around, marking them for demolition in personal gut-rehabilitations, those fashionable opportunities to redefine old spaces. An accomplice may aid in construction, offering guidance about keeping key structures intact to avoid collapse. The simplest suggestion, though, regarding opening up a specific area … letting in more light … is often enough to make a difference. No matter what, change is beyond an architectural trend. It is a right.

Fearing the expense of a remodel is a cop-out. Today, The Home Depot puts even the layman in charge of improvement at affordable prices. Or, watch a little HGTV for ideas and head to The Container Store, where for a couple of bucks there is a place for everything; everything is in its place. Do-it-yourself. Organize your living area. Step out and design the world around without letting surroundings design you.

Violet: We make our own choices. We pay our own prices.

Therefore, should one find oneself alone, taking stock while wrestling enclosed in a tiny room flippantly called a closet, trying to determine where things went wrong and how one became caged by four walls, take action. The true cost may come more in a battle of wits than credit card swipes at the cash register. Quick decisions and trust lead the way out of clutter, passing encounters with the beautiful and the grotesque. Both the good and the bad are present in the heat of any liberation because life is invariably decorated as one helluva kinky adventure. Just be certain before settling this time whether or not the floor plan truly fits every secret possession.

Violet: I have this image of you … inside of me … like a part of me.

It all ends in yet another box, but, with custom touches outside what may be deemed mainstream tastes, where you finally sleep feels like home. There is room to breathe, and two are unbound in each other’s passionate embrace.