Review: Crystal Fairy
A carefree youth (Michael Cera), inclined to weed, coke, and odd forms of yoga, is living in Chile with friends enjoy long nights and parties. After drunkenly inviting a woman who calls herself the Crystal Fairy on a road trip, Jaime finds his plans interfered with when the odd Ms. Fairy tags along.
Michael Cera is the wandering Jamie, often stoned or high but not stoned or high enough. His three road-tripping friends are played by the real life brothers of director Sebastian Silva. The titular Crystal Fairy, high as a kite and generous with her drugs, is played by Gaby Hoffman.
This road tripping adventure through the desert is probably a better trip for the viewer than for the four men and their tagalong Fairy, but it’s marginable. As Jaime and company travel in the hot sun of Chile, seeking a magical cactus that is a powerful psychedelic drug. Along the way though, the viewer gets treated with the image of random women peeing on the side of the road, a sudden flash of a creepy monster, and a toilet bowl that doesn’t quite want to flush.
In some respects, the story is a coming-of-age story; as easy going as Jaime initially seems, and as much as he would like to think he is carefree, the presence of Crystal Fairy, who acts without urgency, without humility, challenges Jamie. He feels the need to be more responsible due to her presence; he is the one to tell her they need to get ready to go here and do this. After one lengthy scene of Crystal hanging around the apartment naked, he tells her she should put on some clothes.
It is Jamie’s character that becomes far more interesting than Crystal – she is static, almost a caricature. She dances on the sand, tells stories with no beginning, ending, or point, and is often under the influence. Jamie, though
The original title of the film, Crystal Fairy and the Magical Cactus and 2012, is a bit of a mouthful, but references the journey as well as the year when some thought the world might come to an end. Written and directed by Sebastian Silva, the story is one of his own youth, a somewhat autobiographical trek through Silva’s childhood. In one intimate, open-minded scene around a campfire, all three of the aspects of the lengthy title come into play. The conversation though, is more meandering than deep.
That’s the film too – a low budget, mumbling, wandering film that follows closely it’s stoned, sweaty, curious stars. While it captures your attention for most of the way through, there inevitably comes a point where there isn’t enough to keep you interested in the characters. Unlike them, at least you can escape from a bad trip when you need.
Should You See It?
An often tame by random peyote trip, you have to be in a very specific mood to enjoy and embrace the film.