The Crystal Fairy | Screen | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

The Crystal Fairy

A road trip of self-discovery, in Chile, with a psychedelic cactus


Sebastián Silva's loosely plotted road-trip dramedy charts a few days in the life of Jamie (Michael Cera), an abrasive, self-centered American freewheeling in Chile. Jamie's goal is to acquire an hallucinogenic cactus and retreat to an isolated beach to take the trip. He's accompanied by three local dudes — and unexpectedly, at the last minute, by a funky, hippy-dippy American woman calling herself Crystal Fairy (Gaby Hoffman).

Not much happens — there's some humor around the pursuit of the cactus, and the guys' ongoing bemusement at Crystal's eccentric behavior — and the fabled drug trip is mostly a McGuffin. The real journey is what happens when these random people are thrown together and begin challenging each other's behaviors and dropping various masks. Silva's handheld cameras and the cast's improvisation work to put the viewer in the mix. Thus, your enjoyment of the film may depend on much you enjoy just hanging out with people while they squabble, talk nonsense and occasionally say something interesting.

Ephemeral art made at Chalk Fest
25 images

Ephemeral art made at Chalk Fest

By Pam Smith