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average rating is 3 out of 5


Swati Verma


Posted on:

Apr 8, 2024

Film Reviews
Directed by:
Josiah Angcanan
Written by:
Josiah Angcanan
Aaron Velasco, Abraham Lee, Chris Karraa

The writer-director Josiah Angcanan utilises both red and yellow colours for the name of the short film which has the connotation of power, aggression, dominance, risk taking, stress, anxiety, and deception which resonates with the subject matter of the movie. Aaron Velasco, and Abraham Lee along with the supporting cast fits perfectly fit into the combination of Gangster and Crime genre to give life to the vision of Angcanan.


The plot of the short film revolves around two drug runners who earn their keep by overcharging their classmates at Christian University. But one night their ruthless dealer gives them just a few more hours to collect the money they owe him.


Rooftops begins with mid closeup shot of Aaron Velasco (Victor) and Abraham Lee (Nate) on a phone call having a serious discussion. Fast paced, distorted, and shaky camerawork along with the night time shooting schedules are utilised to showcase the elements of tension, risk, fear, and mystery in the lives of the central characters building the desired engagement with the audience all through the running time of the movie. The set design, location, lighting, camera angles, colour pallet, dialogues, music, costume, hair, makeup, and props assist with providing realism, relatability, and depth to the subject matter of Rooftops.


In terms of performance, Aaron Velasco plays Victor, he is the more sensible out of the two drug runners. Victor is a team player and wants to safeguard his friend paying the sum of money they owe them. Velasco showcases the range of emotions Victor goes through in these difficult times. The young actor utilises elements like body language, voice modulation, facial expression, and eyes with the changing situation as per the script allowing the audience involved in the movie completely.

Abraham Lee plays Nate one of the drug runners and Victor’s friend who wants to collect money to pay their drug dealer back but also wants to save some money for himself so that he can have some fun in life. Lee depicts Nate’s more casual approach towards the situation providing the audience a very different perspective to the given scenario.

Dayna Womack plays Faye, a friend/client of Nate and Victor who tries to help Nate but they end up in a more dangerous life-threatening subplot twist in the narrative. Though Womack has limited screen time but understands how crucial her role is to increase a sense of mystery in the viewer’s mind and also ensure the smooth flow of the narrative.

Chris Karraa, Kevin Chang, and Jared Obermeier are three members of the villain team, the drug dealer and his henchmen who are ruthless, cruel and the only thing they care about is money. Chris Karraa as Sanchez embodies the evilness in his attitude and body language as he carries the character so brilliantly exuding the desired reaction from the audience.


Rooftops talks about how taking the wrong path can give happiness and peace for a small amount of time and prove to be detrimental to the wellbeing of everyone involved in the long run. The short film reiterates the importance of choosing the right people as friends to flourish in life both personally as well as professionally. Rooftops highlights the influence of addiction to drugs that makes people hungry for money therefore making them care less about showcasing humanity in their behaviour.

About the Film Critic
Swati Verma
Swati Verma
Short Film
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