Tyro scripter-helmer Marisol Torres' "Borica" is an uneven Puerto Rican variant on "Do the Right Thing" set in the Humbolt section of Chicago. Oddly, Torres' strengths and weaknesses flip usual gender expectations: Her action scenes convincingly erupt with stunning violence while her scenes of sisterly confidences flounder in awkwardly forced banter.

Tyro scripter-helmer Marisol Torres’ “Borica” is an uneven Puerto Rican variant on “Do the Right Thing” set in the Humbolt section of Chicago. Oddly, Torres’ strengths and weaknesses flip usual gender expectations: Her action scenes convincingly erupt with stunning violence while her scenes of sisterly confidences flounder in awkwardly forced banter. Vital feel for neighborhood atmosphere and an unusually aggressive, forthright take on male/female relationships could rack up a sizeable Hispanic following on homevid and cable.

In the days before the annual Puerto Rican Day parade, upwardly mobile wannabe, nice kid (Eric Aviles), the token Hispanic in a cutthroat real estate firm, unwillingly hones his skills at exploitation on friends and neighbors, seducing an old man’s daughter to cinch a sale. A bright college girl (Aimee Garcia) dabbles in drugs and enjoys a dalliance with a sometime drug dealer (Ramses Jimenez), her feisty independence setting off unexpected fireworks in the out-of-his-depth macho male. Lastly, an Anglo sexpot (Christina De Leon), who has always passed as “Boricua” (Puerto Rican), must fake her birth certificate to compete for Parade Queen.

Boricua

Production

A BDYD production in association with Snapping Turtle. Produced by Samantha Sanders. Executive producer, Richard Sweren. Directed, written by Marisol Torres.

Crew

Camera (color), Christopher Rejano; editors, Paul Miglio, John Farbrother; music, David Adler. Reviewed on videocassette at Tribeca Film Festival (Showcase), May 9, 2004. English, Spanish dialogue. Running time: 102 MIN.

With

Aimee Garcia, Eric Aviles, Christina De Leon, Ramses Jiminez, Victor Gonzales, Khanisha Foster.
Follow @Variety on Twitter for breaking news, reviews and more