Newest Reviews
American Fiction
Poor Things
Legend of the Bat
Party Line
Night Fright
Pacha, Le
Assemble Insert
Venus Tear Diamond, The
Beauty's Evil Roses, The
Free Guy
Huck and Tom's Mississippi Adventure
Rejuvenator, The
Who Fears the Devil?
Guignolo, Le
Batman, The
Land of Many Perfumes
Cat vs. Rat
Tom & Jerry: The Movie
Naked Violence
Joyeuses Pacques
Strangeness, The
How I Became a Superhero
Golden Nun
Incident at Phantom Hill
Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City
Maigret Sets a Trap
Hell's Wind Staff, The
Topo Gigio and the Missile War
Battant, Le
Penguin Highway
Cazadore de Demonios
Imperial Swordsman
Newest Articles
3 From Arrow Player: Sweet Sugar, Girls Nite Out and Manhattan Baby
Little Cat Feat: Stephen King's Cat's Eye on 4K UHD
La Violence: Dobermann at 25
Serious Comedy: The Wrong Arm of the Law on Blu-ray
DC Showcase: Constantine - The House of Mystery and More on Blu-ray
Monster Fun: Three Monster Tales of Sci-Fi Terror on Blu-ray
State of the 70s: Play for Today Volume 3 on Blu-ray
The Movie Damned: Cursed Films II on Shudder
The Dead of Night: In Cold Blood on Blu-ray
Suave and Sophisticated: The Persuaders! Take 50 on Blu-ray
Your Rules are Really Beginning to Annoy Me: Escape from L.A. on 4K UHD
A Woman's Viewfinder: The Camera is Ours on DVD
Chaplin's Silent Pursuit: Modern Times on Blu-ray
The Ecstasy of Cosmic Boredom: Dark Star on Arrow
A Frosty Reception: South and The Great White Silence on Blu-ray
You'll Never Guess Which is Sammo: Skinny Tiger and Fatty Dragon on Blu-ray
Two Christopher Miles Shorts: The Six-Sided Triangle/Rhythm 'n' Greens on Blu-ray
Not So Permissive: The Lovers! on Blu-ray
Uncomfortable Truths: Three Shorts by Andrea Arnold on MUBI
The Call of Nostalgia: Ghostbusters Afterlife on Blu-ray
Moon Night - Space 1999: Super Space Theater on Blu-ray
Super Sammo: Warriors Two and The Prodigal Son on Blu-ray
Sex vs Violence: In the Realm of the Senses on Blu-ray
What's So Funny About Brit Horror? Vampira and Bloodbath at the House of Death on Arrow
Keeping the Beatles Alive: Get Back
  Crystal Fairy & the Magical Cactus and 2012 Open Your Mind And See What Falls Out
Year: 2013
Director: Sebastián Silva
Stars: Michael Cera, Gaby Hoffmann, Juan Andrés Silva, Agustín Silva, José Miguel Silva, Sebastián Silva, Manuela Baldovino, Gepe, Gracia Ariztia, Esteban Carreño, Juan Carlos Lara II, Gary Boyd, Garciela Gonzalez Cruz, Sol Squire, Mark Grattan
Genre: Comedy, Drama, AdventureBuy from Amazon
Rating:  7 (from 1 vote)
Review: Jamie (Michael Cera) is an American tourist travelling through Chile, mostly in search of the perfect high and the perfect surroundings to appreciate that best. Tonight he is at a party with a friend he has met there, and a chatterbox on the subject of drugs which he is all too pleased to see are very much part of the conversation, beginning with him seeking out the marijuana which meets with his approval, then the cocaine which does likewise. After a moment in the bathroom where he reaches a brief profundity with a Hieronymous Bosch print and a turd that won't flush, he proceeds to the living room only to be alarmed by a young woman's dancing...

That young woman calling herself Crystal Fairy, and played by Gaby Hoffman in a performance so uninhibited it alarmed more than the Jamie character, prompting more than one viewer to question what had happened to that cute girl they had seen in movies before this one. Whether she was being brave or truly didn't care, if you could see past her portrayal's lack of personal grooming then you had a really nice, slyly humorous rendering of a particular type of hippychick, one she played to the hilt and guaranteed to rub Jamie up the wrong way, which naturally made her even more humorous since Cera was also going out on a limb to essay an obnoxious personality.

He drove some audiences up the wall, but you could see his sense of humour peeking through as well as his "Ugly American", all selfish experience obsessing to the exclusion of all else, was at just enough of a remove to have us perceive him as a look askance at an individual sort of pretentious thrill-seeker. Not one who would take a trip to a rollercoaster, but one who would prefer to open the doors of perception for a different trip entirely (it's clear he knows his Aldous Huxley, which comes as no surprise), and that means one thing: drugs and plenty of them. When we meet Jamie he is dead set on getting his mitts on a San Pedro cactus since he has learned cooking up one of those is a certain method of getting an excellent high, and he knows he's in the right place.

Unfortunately for him, a person for whom things have to be just so or his day is ruined, he accidentally gives his phone number to Crystal Fairy and she calls him while he's on his way to his preferred location to tell him she's going to meet him there. That's all he needs, but he has three brothers, actually the brothers of the director Sebastián Silva, who are accompanying him, who are keen to experiment and friendly enough to assist him in his quest. They regard these two Americans with bemusement, which may well be how Silva regards them as his film was based on a real experience he had - yes, there's a genuine Crystal Fairy wandering the wide world - and there was a sense of authenticity to even the more outlandish aspects, drawn from strong characters.

Or strong enough to bear the load of a seemingly semi-improvised movie, as rather than a clear plot this was more of a ramble, fittingly enough when you saw the loose approach to relating that story. So loose in fact that it was difficult to tell if Silva was sending up his characters or had any emotional investment in them: from Jamie stealing part of a cactus from a lonely woman's front garden to Crystal Fairy's big revelations at the campfire scene which ends the movie (aside from a short final sequence which leaves us deliberately hanging), how seriously you were meant to take them was very much up to you. Considering the Chilean characters were more sensible than the Americans, and that this was a Chilean film anyway, you could understand this was very much seeing the sort of people who would be the leads in a touristy Hollywood flick as outsiders and figures, if not of ridicule, then of a querying nature, whether it was Hoffman spending stretches of this very naked or Cera apparently unbothered if we found him entertaining or not. Music by Pedro Subercaseaux.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark


This review has been viewed 2750 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

Review Comments (0)

Untitled 1

Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside

Recent Visitors
Darren Jones
Enoch Sneed
  Louise Hackett
Mark Le Surf-hall
Andrew Pragasam
Mary Sibley
Graeme Clark
  Desbris M


Last Updated: