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By Felix Vasquez Jr. | July 20, 2007

Saleebey made a special point, a review noted, that a mockumentary is a much different breed of animal than a faux documentary, which is something I’m not sure I totally agree with. Mockumentaries aren’t always a fake documentary revolving around comedy a la Christopher Guest, which ultimately sets me back with “Rolling.”

It’s a mockumentary of a sort with a faux documentary tag serving as a touch of semantics, but overall, “Rolling” is much more of a docudrama, one that seems to cover the grounds of a typical reality show, but brings much more to the table as a competent although repetitive drama about drug users.

Saleebey’s drama is a glimpse in the lives of a small group of people who happen to be avid ecstasy users, and really only seek to revolve around this drug that acts as a distraction from their own lives. The folks here are unlikable, they’re obnoxious, and often shrill, and behind every face is a sense of sadness and emptiness that reflects on their addiction to this drug that can really bring them out and create a false image of happiness and satisfaction.

One of the few hooks that “Rolling” presents with enough competence is the plot device and potential MacGuffin of an upcoming rave that every character boasts of with enthusiasm, in spite of the fact that a lethal new type of E has been passing around and killed three users so far.

Who will come across this killer and suffer the fate is anyone’s guess, but they know as much as the viewer does that the characters here are already dead inside. “Rolling” really makes no subtle hints about this underlying message from the beginning, by examining the characters in their own surroundings, and devices, letting us see how E really is a better option, all things considered.

“Rolling” may not be the brilliance I’ve read about, but the looming threat of a deadly batch of E among the Ecstasy circuit these people cherish is a key aspect that keeps it suspenseful and awfully tense.

The suspense on who or whom will ultimately come across the dead batch is really telegraphed about an hour or so into the film, thus “Rolling” loses much of its steam during the last thirty minutes and borders on repetitious. Saleebey’s film is hardly a tour de force, but it succeeds as a startlingly realistic depiction of Ecstasy users and the world they live in.

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