Crystal Fairy

"Very Good"

Crystal Fairy Review


Films don't get much more offbeat than this trippy comedy-drama about Americans in Chile. Thankfully there are some provocative themes gurgling under the surface - not just in the constant drug-taking but also in the way the film depicts the self-involved behaviour of Americans abroad. And the characters are complex and witty enough to keep us engaged.

At a raucous party in Santiago, Jamie (Cera) is trying to open his horizons by indulging in as much alcohol and drugs as he can find. When he meets the free-spirited fellow-American Crystal Fairy (Hoffmann), he invites her along on a road trip with brothers Champa, Pilo and Lel (played by the filmmaker's siblings Juan Andres, Augustin and Jose Miguel). As they drive through the country to a deserted stretch of coastline, Jamie becomes increasingly intent on finding some San Pedro cactus, because he's heard that boiling it up and drinking it causes hallucinations.

Even though Jamie and Crystal are a mass of American obsessions and phobias, their enthusiastic naivete makes them both irritating and likeable. And like the brothers, we grow tired of their arrogant assumptions and random demands. When Jamie tries to get people to sell him some cactus, he whines "Look how much you have!" when they say no, completely missing the irony of his privileged background. And of course his believe that everything has a price. Both Cera and Hoffmann find fascinating edges to these characters, keeping them grounded while hinting that even their drug tripping is due to self-indulgence rather than inebriation.

The film's full title is Crystal Fairy & the Magical Cactus and 2012, layering one more obsession into the mix: Crystal is sure the world will end on 21 December 2012. The Chileans they meet all dismiss their compulsiveness with laughter, especially as the plot enters its more free-form, emotional final act. This gives the film a strong but affectionate kick, as it explores the perception of the US as a nation that always thinks it's right and sees the rest of the world as subservient. And it's Lel who puts this into words while sitting around the campfire: "The scariest thing in the world is a person who has bad intentions but doesn't realise it."



Crystal Fairy

Facts and Figures

Genre: Dramas

Run time: 98 mins

In Theaters: Thursday 24th April 2014

Box Office USA: $0.2M

Distributed by: IFC Films

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 80%
Fresh: 65 Rotten: 16

IMDB: 5.8 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director: Sebastian Silva

Producer: Pablo Larrain, Juan de Dios Larrain

Starring: as Jamie, as Crystal Fairy, Juan Andrés Silva as Champa, José Miguel Silva as Lel, as Pilo, Sebastián Silva as Lobo, Manuela Baldovino as Girl high on life, Gepe as Daniel Riveros, Esteban Carreno as Botota, Juan Carlos Lara as Hanna, Gary Boyd as Highway Restaurant Man, Marines Munoz as Copiapo Hostel Owner

Also starring:

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Manchester by the Sea Movie Review

Manchester by the Sea Movie Review

This may not be the cheeriest movie of the season, but it's so skilfully written,...

Live By Night Movie Review

Live By Night Movie Review

Ben Affleck launched his directing career 10 years ago with his film of Dennis Lehane's...

La La Land Movie Review

La La Land Movie Review

After storming awards season with Whiplash two years ago, writer-director Damien Chazelle returns with something...

Assassin's Creed Movie Review

Assassin's Creed Movie Review

Hopes were high that this film might finally crack the curse of movies based on...

Silence Movie Review

Silence Movie Review

Faith is a topic Martin Scorsese can't quite shake, courting controversy with complex films like...

A Monster Calls Movie Review

A Monster Calls Movie Review

A difficult movie to market, this isn't actually the BFG-style fantasy adventure it looks like....

Monster Trucks Movie Review

Monster Trucks Movie Review

Word has it that a 4-year-old came up with the idea for this unapologetically silly...

Advertisement
Collateral Beauty Movie Review

Collateral Beauty Movie Review

Dramas exploring the nature of death and the true meaning of life are always in...

Paterson Movie Review

Paterson Movie Review

Unpredictable filmmaker Jim Jarmusch ricochets from his artful vampire movie Only Lovers Left Alive into...

I, Daniel Blake Movie Review

I, Daniel Blake Movie Review

At 80 years old, British filmmaker Ken Loach won his second Cannes Film Festival with...

Why Him? Movie Review

Why Him? Movie Review

Writer-director John Hamburg continues to recycle the formula that made his first hit Meet the...

Passengers Movie Review

Passengers Movie Review

Anchored by the almost ridiculously engaging Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence, this sci-fi movie travels...

Neruda Movie Review

Neruda Movie Review

Clever Chilean director Pablo Larrain (who also directed Natalie Portman's Jackie) takes on the Nobel-winning...

The Eagle Huntress Movie Review

The Eagle Huntress Movie Review

Narrated by Daisy Ridley (The Force Awakens), this documentary is one of the most gripping...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.