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The Independent Critic

Tatiana Borie, Timothy J. Cox, Bruce C. Bradbury III, Alex Leombruno, Sloan Pirie
Bruce C. Bradbury III
Bruce C. Bradbury III, Zavier Henderson
12 Mins.

 "Rooftops" a Simple Coming Home Story  

Tatiana Borie, Sloan Pirie - "Rooftops" 

Bruce Bradbury's 12-minute Rooftops tells the simple "coming home" story of up-and-coming musician Rachel (Tatiana Borie), whose life appears to be on the cusp of major changes as the New York musician whose recent tour has taken away from the stability of friends and the familiar. We gather that she's just becoming known, the enthusiasm of an autograph-seeking fan (Timothy J. Cox) our biggest clue that Rachel's popularity is growing and her naturally introverted ways are on the verge of being challenged. 

Rachel returns home to the relative sanctuary of friends Johnny (Bradbury), Kim (Alex Leombruno), and Margaret (Sloan Pirie). There's an obvious spark between Rachel and Margaret that mostly hints at a deeper connection between the two, though Rooftops focuses most of its energy on the more coming home aspects of the story and that uncomfortable balance that exists when our lives change and we start to leave our former ways and former people behind us and have to decide if that's the path we really want to take. 

Rooftops is a simple film with a simple story, Bradbury's eloquent and ambitious shots the film's most ambitious moments as the action gets clearly set in Brooklyn before finding its home both in the familiar placement of an apartment and in a waterside park that looks beautiful as captured by Leombruno's lensing for the film. 

There's a natural, relaxed chemistry amongst the film's ensemble, though the film's tone never feels firmly planted. Cox, a dependable indie actor seen in quite a few flicks reviewed by The Independent Critic, goes broad early on with an energy that is never really matched and his enthusiastic fondness for the obviously much younger musician feels borderline creepy despite obvious costuming efforts to reduce the gap. 

The quiet intimacy between Borie and Pirie works in its minimalism as it's obvious there's an unspoken language of connection between the two. Other attempts at casual dialogue range from uncomfortably stilted to goofily endearing. 

Bradbury shows promise with Rooftops, a film with a familiar story that still feels honest and authentic for much of its 12-minute running time. While there's nothing groundbreaking at work here, it's an enjoyable enough film to check out if you get the chance. 

Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic