‘Borrego’ Ending, Explained: Did Elle Manage To Survive? What Does The Buttercup Signify?

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“Borrego” tries to be purposeful but ends up being an extremely boring watch. With a predictable storyline, average acting, and overdone shots, “Borrego” has nothing much to offer. A botanist explores the deserts of San Diego to study the overgrowth of a plant. She comes across a crashing airplane and reaches for help. She notices the scattered bundles of drugs and a man with a gun. She tried to escape, but the man caught up with her and held her at gunpoint. Thus began Elly’s journey with a stranger who held her captive, but somehow, they managed to share a bond of respect and understanding.


‘Borrego’ Plot Summary: What Is The Film About?

From the start, we realize that Elly misses her younger sister. Her mother calls her to discuss a diary of dried flowers they found in her sister’s room, a gift that Elle had given her. Her family wanted to remind her that they loved her and hoped to talk to her soon. While studying the overgrowth of a plant, a young girl named Alex suggested helping her. She had missed school and wanted to spend her time doing something. Elly accepted her help, and they had a good time looking around the desert. Before leaving, Alex noticed the tattoo on Elly’s hand. Elly explained that it was a buttercup. It was suggested that Buttercup was associated with her sister, considering how her tool had Buttercup engraved on it. As Alex left for home, Elly decided to stay a little longer and process the overwhelming emotions she was going through.

As she was about to leave, she saw a plane crash a few feet away from her. She drove her car to help if needed, but she instead saw a man with a gun. He threatened to shoot her. She got in the car, but the wheels got stuck, and she could not escape. Just when the man was about to pull the trigger, she suggested helping him. She proposed to show him the road through the desert, since he was not aware of the location, and spare her life. The pilot, Tomas, agreed. With the car wrecked, they now had to walk through the desert carrying the drugs in a backpack. The next morning, the Sheriff, Jose, goes around the desert as per usual and notices his daughter, who happens to be the young girl we were introduced to before, Alex. He offers to drive her to school; during their conversation, he receives information from his office about a botanist who was supposed to meet a man there but had not arrived. Alexa mentioned knowing the woman in question and wanting to help her father find her. He rejected the idea and dropped her off at school.

Meanwhile, the person who was supposed to receive the drug, Guillermo, goes on a frantic search for it. He was responsible for it, and the loss of the drugs would have consequences in his life. “Borrego” follows these four people out in the desert, some trying to bring justice, while the others are part of a dark world that they could not escape even if they wanted to. “Borrego” explores the personal stories of each character and how each was as lonely as the other.

Major Spoilers Ahead


Did Elly Manage To Escape From Tomas?

After walking through the desert in the scorching heat, Elly proposed that they rest and then continue with the journey. As Tomas turned his back, she ran away. She was again caught hold of by him, and he tied her hands for safety. They continued with their journey, but with the sun right over their heads, it was getting extremely difficult. Tomas collapsed and decided to rest on the spot, but Elly realized that if they were exposed to the sun any longer, they would not survive. She explained herself to Tomas and suggested that they travel to the canyon, reach the town of Borrego Springs, and then get a car that Tomas could use to drive and supply the drugs. With no better option at hand, Tomas agreed to it.

At night, they lit a fire and rested to complete the rest of the journey the next day. It was at the bonfire that they shared their life story. Tomas used to be a teacher, but he lost his job. His cousin got him a job at the boatyard, where he was given the responsibility of transporting gasoline. He was initially unaware that he was working for the cartel. His father was sick, and he needed costly medicine to survive. Tomas’s circumstances forced him to choose the illegal route to provide for his family. While returning her magnifying glass, he asked the meaning of Buttercup, a word that was engraved on the tool. She replied that it was a name her sister gave her. Her half-sister was a charming, smart, and funny young girl who was full of life. Elly struggled with her everyday life, and she resorted to pills to keep her sanity. One day, when her sister asked her to drive her to school, she could not refuse, even though she had not slept for three days. The lack of sleep and the drugs made her jittery, and she crossed a red light. It was due to her mistake that she had to watch her sister die in front of her eyes, something that she could not forgive herself for. She wanted to keep on running, as she had been for the rest of her life. After listening to her story, Thomas told her that one must not run aimlessly like a lamb but must rather run like a wolf with purpose. This was a lesson that was passed through generations in Tomas’s family.

When Tomas went to sleep, Elly grabbed hold of the pocket knife that she had kept hidden in her socks. She managed to cut through the rope, and after grabbing a bottle of water, she escaped from Tomas’s captivity.


‘Borrego’ Ending Explained: Did Elly Manage To Survive? What Does The Buttercup Signify?

The Sheriff went in search of Elly but instead came across her car that had two bodies lying around. He anticipated that danger was lurking in the desert. The two men were shot by Guillermo. When Guillermo was looking around to find the drugs and the man responsible for them, he came across a car. As he was snooping around the car, two men on bikes questioned him about the car. To avoid further problems, he shot them to death. Jose tried to reach for backup, but no one responded. He knew he was left all alone to face this. Wearing his bulletproof jacket, he followed the steps of Guillermo and found him. They fired shots at each other, and in the process, Jose fell into a pit. Guillermo assumed that the Sheriff had died and left the scene. Alex searched for her father. She noticed his car and called out his name. Jose responded, and they were reunited. Alex refused to leave her father alone and reminded him that nobody cared about their lives. They had to figure out a solution. With the help of a rope, Alex helped her father out, and they both went in search of Elly. Jose asked Alex to find help from the town, but she instead traveled to the canyons to find Elly.

Relieved after escaping Tomas, Elly walked through the dusty track and suddenly crossed paths with Guillermo. She ran as fast as she could, and as she turned her back, she found Tomas standing on the other side. But instead of stopping her, he allowed her to leave. Tomas met Guillermo and handed him the bags of drugs. When Guillermo noticed that a few kilos of drugs were missing, he declared that someone had to pay for the missing drugs. He pointed towards Elly and asked Tomas to look for her, but he refused to do so. He had to do his job for his family, but he did not wish for any more blood spills. It was not just Tomas who was entrapped in his business for his family but also Guillermo, who, even after fifteen years, hoped to be united with his family. Trusting him, Tomas tucked in the gun, and that was when Guillermo fired. Tomas lay dead on the ground, and blood started to spread across his chest.

Meanwhile, Elly noticed Alex’s bike and called out for her. As they were about to unite, Guillermo grabbed hold of Alex and shot Elly in the stomach. Alex found the opportunity to attack him when he was distracted and rushed out of the spot with Elly. She carried Elly on her bike and drove, but Guillermo did not give up. With no bullets left, he planned to end it all with gasoline. Elly started to lose consciousness due to the loss of blood. She ultimately fell from the bike and collapsed to the ground. Alex, in the moment of confusion, reached out to help Elly but was caught by Guillermo. He poured gasoline over her. In the meantime, Elly regained her strength and poured the other bottle of gasoline into the drug. As he was about to burn Alex, she burned the drugs. In shock, Guillermo lost his mind and tried to save the drugs; in the process, he was caught on fire. Just when the threat had passed, Jose was reunited with the girls.

At the end of “Borrego,” Elly noticed a buttercup flower in the scene. It was a reminder of the presence of her sister, who, even though she had left the world, was still there with her sister in spirit. It was perhaps her sister who provided her with the endless courage that she needed to face the difficult circumstance. By burning the drugs, she was able to bring some justice to her sister’s death since the drugs were the reason she lapsed judgment that day.


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Srijoni Rudra
Srijoni Rudra
Srijoni has worked as a film researcher on a government-sponsored project and is currently employed as a film studies teacher at a private institute. She holds a Master of Arts degree in Film Studies. Film History and feminist reading of cinema are her areas of interest.

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