[Movie Review] BORROWED
BORROWED l EL CENTRAL producciones & Brodway United

Love stories feel not as relevant as they once were in Hollywood. While they still are being made, the genre that made actresses like Kate Hudson and Julia Roberts earn fat checks has slowed down. It can be argued that maybe we don’t have that glamorous A-list star anymore, with only Jennifer Lopez really trying to repeatedly make it happen. However, it’s hard to sell outrageous scenarios that involve two unlikely strangers falling in love nowadays, especially after the #MeToo movement. Gender identities have changed and gender roles are blurred. Is it sexist now to have a female character have her only purpose be searching for a man? Is it sexist to assume that they are both heterosexual? Is it offensive to assume their genders?

Recently, we had the problematic Bros try to change the game with a Hollywood-budget gay rom-com, but that flopped hard at the box office. Depending on who you ask, there are many factors as to why audiences didn’t turn out for it. Personally, it’s hard to sell that genre to me, but I love a great thriller about toxic relationships. Give me more Fatal Attraction and Fear (Mark Wahlberg’s best role, in my opinion). I will shell out $20 to watch those on the big screen. I find those thrillers to be more realistic and relatable than something like Marry Me or How To Lose a Guy in Ten Days.

BORROWED is being marketed as a thriller, but it melted into my soul as an unconventional love story. The power dynamic on display is disturbing and can be seen as a straight-up kidnapping saga. Plenty out there say that gay relationships, especially between men, follow different rules than straight relationships. That opinion irritates me as it insinuates that we are all heartless whores, but in BORROWED, there’s plenty of psychology behind the attraction to explore.

David is a lonely artist living in the Florida Keys. He’s prepping for a dinner for two when there’s a knock at the door. In comes Justin, his date for the evening. This is their first time meeting and there’s an obvious instant sexual attraction. However, David’s behavior lights up red flags for Justin, and tries to leave after some time. Under various circumstances, David manages to prevent Justin from leaving and keeps him as a prisoner. This scenario isn’t as black and white as one would assume. David promises to let Justin go the next day as long as he lets him finish painting his portrait.

As their story progresses, BORROWED indulges us in stories from their past involving love, sex, and family. Their histories paint a fuller picture of their choices throughout the movie. There are meals, sex, and cuddling that cross the line between rape and consent. Is Justin just playing along so he can be free or is he legit falling in love?

BORROWED dares to take risks with these issues as many of us relate to their stories. Our traumatic history is on the screen and forces us to visit that grey area that is love and abuse. This might anger some audience members, but BORROWED is well worth watching and discussing afterward.

Jovy Skol
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