Lucy Hale Leads Inconsiderate, Messy & Misguided Thriller

Borrego, written and directed by Jesse Harris, is misguided and fails to be thought-provoking or contemplative on the issues it appears to be about.

Borrego is a movie with an identification disaster. Not solely the movie promised in its opening scroll and it finally ends up by no means absolutely greedy the depth of what it’s attempting to convey. The opening textual content of the movie references the rise of prescription drug utilization, overdoses and drug-related deaths in America. It factors to fentanyl and ADHD stimulants as being beginning factors for this upward pattern. It additionally features a observe about how all of that is impacting the lives of individuals on the border. Borrego, nevertheless, would not meaningfully interact with its set-up and it could have served the plot higher if the opening scroll was not included. Borrego, written and directed by Jesse Harris, is misguided and fails to be thought-provoking or contemplative on the issues it appears to be about.


The movie follows Elly (Lucy Hale), a botanist who’s out within the desert surveying a plant that isn’t native to it. From the start, we’re made conscious of the truth that Elly is battling some private demons. Her job turns right into a type of private exile, however then shortly turns right into a nightmare. Elly witnesses a aircraft crash, and when checking on the occupants of the aircraft discovers a drug mule, Tomas (Leynar Gomez). Elly is now in for the combat of her life as she and Tomas are hunted by cartel member Guillermo (Jorge A. Jimenez).

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Borrego primarily offers with, fairly actually, a figment of alarmist concepts. Whereas the border between america and Mexico could possibly be a harmful place (relying on who you might be and on what aspect of the border you reside on), the thought of an harmless bystander witnessing a drug aircraft crashing after which being caught in a recreation of life and loss of life performs into the fears of drug trafficking which are typically created out of dangerous religion. Statistics have proven that the majority trafficking happens via authorized factors of entry. This issues as a result of the opening of the movie signifies that it’ll interact with this matter in a significant and trustworthy means, however in follow, it solely falls into the identical stereotypical portrayals of drug trafficking. And that makes Borrego a really uncomfortable watch.

Narratively the movie additionally falters, even with out the burden of what it’s attempting to symbolize. Elly is a troubled girl who signifies that using pharmaceuticals has had horrible ramifications on her life, however that’s by no means expanded upon or addressed. It appears like there may be meant to be some hyperlink between her utilization of medicine and the medication that she is now pressured to shoulder with Tomas as he forces her to guide him to his vacation spot. On the flip aspect, we’ve got a harrowing clarification of how Tomas discovered himself on this place, a backstory that aligns with what number of people from Latin America are pressured into trafficking. Nonetheless, these thematic items by no means join nor do they lead to a significant ending that leaves an enduring impression on the matter. There are free threads left for audiences to discern whether or not they need to really feel as a lot empathy for Tomas as they do Elly.

Moreover, this can be very eye-roll-inducing to witness an change that has Elly the botanist clarify that she is finding out a plant that “shouldn’t be right here” after which have Tomas equate that to folks like him. Regardless of first rate performances from the leads, the script finally fails them. That is the type of change that ought to have gotten this script shelved. The one factor Borrego  does have going for it’s Octavio Arias’ cinematography which anchors the movie. Via his lens, we see the vastness of the desert and whereas it could be a wide ranging view, it’s by no means forgotten how harmful this dry land is. Elly and Tomas’ journey is a treacherous one, even with out a cartel member — who, by the way in which, needlessly kills folks as he pursues Tomas and Elly — on their path. Harris’ directing can be comparable, his regular hand by no means overplays the drama or the motion, easing viewers via every second of the more and more precarious state of affairs Elly is in. If solely he had a deft hand when penning this script.

As an entire, the movie is an awesome disappointment. It by no means appears like it’s genuinely partaking with the disaster at hand; fairly, fragments of depth flutter about, aimless. Clearly, there may be the intention to shine a lightweight on the victims who get introduced into these tragic conditions, resembling Tomas and, to a sure diploma, Guillermo. However Harris undercuts these nuanced portrayals by centering on a white American girl who should flee the dangerous brown Latino man. The dangerous optics are too overwhelming and stereotypical and can’t be overcome to see the center of what Harris is trying to do. 

There’s a cause why conversations about range, inclusion, and illustration typically emphasize the necessity for behind-the-scenes adjustments. It’s as a result of movies like Borrego handle to get produced they usually additional push outdated concepts, dangerous optics, and  stereotypes that aren’t adequately dismantled or critiqued throughout the work itself. 

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Borrego launched in theatres, VOD, and digital platforms on Friday, January 14. The movie is 102 minutes lengthy and is rated R for violence and powerful language.

Our Score:

1 out of 5 (Poor)

  • Borrego (2022)Launch date: Jan 14, 2022

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