CRYSTAL FAIRY & THE MAGICAL CACTUS

CRYSTAL FAIRY & THE MAGICAL CACTUS

Run time: 98 minutes

Director: Sebastián Silva

Cast: Michael Cera, Gaby Hoffman, Juan Andrés Silva, Augustin Silva and José Miguel Silva

 

Synopsis: On the road searching for a legendary shamanistic hallucinogen called the San Pedro cactus, twenty-something Jamie (Michael Cera) and his friends are stereotypes of drug-fuelled boorish American cluelessness. At a wild party one night, Jamie invites a fellow American traveller to join them on their quest – a free spirit named Crystal Fairy (Gaby Hoffman). As the two radically different foreigners collide on their no longer carefree journey, this shaggy road trip comedy becomes a psychological battle of wills and chemically enhanced self-discovery

 

It’s a familiar story – young people on a road trip in South America searching for an ultimate high from a new drug experience which will offer self-discovery. Here it gets fresh treatment from Chilean director Sebastián Silva (The Maid, 2009), winning the Directing Award for World Cinema at the Sundance Festival last year.

Jamie (Michael Cera) is selfish and obnoxious. While drunk at a party, he invites Crystal Fairy (Gaby Hoffman) to join the trip to Chile to drink San Pedro with his companions – three Chilean brothers (played by actual brothers, Juan Andrés Silva, Augustin Silva and José Miguel Silva). Cera does an amazing job in this part, convincing us that he is the most rude, irritating, abrasive tourist ever – especially when he is trying to obtain the prized San Pedro cactus. Hoffman too is terrific as the hippy-dippy guest who constantly infuriates him with her eccentricity. 

Eventually things reach a resolution in the Atacama desert in North Chile, as the film sidesteps the obvious clichés with a touching and honest conclusion to this journey.

 

 Images courtesy of the Glasgow Film Theatre

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