Blu-ray Review: Crystal Fairy & The Magical Cactus

Crystal Fairy is the story of an expatriate named Jamie (Michael Cera) who goes on a road trip through Chile with some friends and a random girl he met at a party named Crystal Fairy (Gabby Hoffman). Their goal: Find a San Pedro cactus, take it to the beach and get really high off it.

If there is one thing that is abundantly clear from the get go, it is that Jamie is a jerk. He seems to be a rich American trying to have a meaningful life experience in another country. We never learn too much about him, where he’s from, why he’s there, how long he’s staying, what he does, if anything, for a living, but he does seem to have enough money for whatever it is they need at any given time.

The film opens at a party where a coked out Jamie invites Crystal, a girl he just met, on a road trip he is taking with his friends, three brothers (Juan Andres Silva, Agustin Silva and Jose Miguel Silva). However, the next day when Crystal decides to take Jamie up on his offer he is a little annoyed that she has attached herself to their trip. The three brothers have accepted and embraced her, but Jamie fights her every step of the way. Not physically, but he is annoyed by everything she does and is unwilling to accept her for who she is.

Jamie is in a rush the whole film, from getting the cactus, to preparing it for ingestion, he doesn’t want to stop and appreciate anything. He’s a very hard character to like. Hey Crystal acts like a crazy person, but the brothers seem okay with who she is while Jamie is annoyed by everything she does.

This is a very meandering movie that is more of a character study than plot driven, but the characters aren’t really studied all that closely. By the end of the film we learn a little about Crystal Fairy, but we still don’t know anything about Jamie. He has a little bit of an epiphany about how much of a jerk he was, but not enough to really make us care.

Crystal Fairy is a movie that some people are going to like, but not a bunch. I thought it was okay, though, had I seen it in another time in my life I might have really liked it. Michael Cera plays an different kind of character for him, which is good, and Hoffmann is great as Crystal, but that alone isn’t enough to make this much more than just an okay film.

The film is presented in 2.40:1 widescreen and DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 Surround sound. The movie looks at sounds find.

Behind the scenes: (4 min.) and trailers.

Had the film delved more deeply into who these characters really were and why we should care about them it might have been a better movie. Or maybe I just missed the whole point. Either way, I’d be hard pressed to recommend this to anyone other than die hard Cera and Hoffmann fans.

Sundance Selects presents Crystal Fairy & The Magical Cactus. Written and Directed by: Sebastian Silva. Starring: Michael Cera and Gabby Hoffmann. Running time: 99 minutes. Rating: Not Rated (does contain full frontal nudity). Released: November 19, 2013.