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Crystal Fairy aka Crystal Fairy & the Magical Cactus


Stars: Michael Cera, Gaby Hoffmann, Juan Andres Silva, Jose Miguel Silva, Agustin Silva

Director: Sebastian Silva

Crystal Fairy & the Magical Cactus, the original title of this niche road-trip/comedy, more or less sums up the slim storyline that basically follows twentysomething American Michael Cera as he wanders around Chile getting high. When, suitably wasted as usual, he meets hippie fellow American Gaby Hoffmann and invites her to join him and his Chilean friends Juan Andres Silva, Jose Miguel Silva and Agustin Silva on their odyssey to find the magical cactus of the title, boil it and enjoy its one-of-a-kind hallucinogenic highs.

Give the seriously slim storyline, writer/director Sebastian Silva has to rely on character rather more than incident to keep you watching. Interesting Chilean locations are an asset in decorating a tale that loses impetus much of the time and finally succumbs to a disappointing ‘so what?’ climax.

Under the circumstances Cera acquits himself competently enough, Hoffmann (best remembered as the child star of films such as Uncle Buck) spends much of the time naked (not perhaps the most comfortable way of spending time on the beach) while the three Silvas (brothers of the director) do what they are called upon to do.

It’s the kind of movie that I imagine (look what allegedly occurred when American hippies saw Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey and hailed it as the ultimate ‘trip’) would be best watched when high, like its characters.

Sadly, I wasn’t high and so ended up enjoying the scenery.

Alan Frank

Chile 2013. UK Distributor: Content Film. Colour.
94 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 18.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 3, Violence/Horror 0, Drugs 3, Swearing 2.

Review date: 10 Jan 2014