Michael Cera’s Jamie is the most conservative drug collector you’re likely to meet. He may be in search of a rare hallucinogenic cactus, but he is also controlling and close-minded. His frustrated search for the cactus infuriates his companions, but provides a strong narrative drive that sadly evaporates as soon as the drug-taking begins.

Played too close to caricature by Gaby Hoffmann, Crystal Fairy is often gratingly earnest, but still exudes a welcome warmth that gradually calms Jamie. Despite some interesting late character developments, the film is only saved by some big revelations and excellent acting during the comedown.

A drug trip where the destination is less compelling than the journey. Refreshingly, Silva avoids clichéd psychedelic visuals, but as a writer he is much less successful. Much of the film was improvised, including the cast drinking mescaline for real, and it shows in a weak, meandering story.

Rating: 3/5


CAST: Michael Cera, Gaby Hoffmann, Juan Andrés Silva, Agustín Silva, José Miguel Silva

DIRECTOR: Sebastián Silva

WRITER: Sebastián Silva

SYNOPSIS: Jamie travels across Chile in search of the fabled Magical Cactus, but is unsettled when the free-spirited Crystal Fairy joins him and his friends.