is broadening. You can discover exotic new ways to get high. For an extraordinarily annoying American
expat, Chile is all about one thing: San Pedro cactus. Chile is welcome to keep him. Still, he just might learn something from a
hippy-dippy free spirit in Sebastián Silva’s Crystal Fairy,
screens during the 2013 Sundance Film Festival in Park City.
I mention how truly unpleasant it is to spend time with young Jamie? Well, it is.
Nonetheless, three Chilean brothers befriend the self-centered, manic,
immature drug-vacuum. They are about to
embark on a little Fear-and-Loathing road trip in search of some of that increasingly
rare cactus to boil up and ingest on the beach.
However, Jamie complicates matters when he invites along wild child Crystal
Fairy. He will regret the overture as
soon as he comes down from his coke bender.
While the brothers three try to make the best of it, Jamie acts like a
complete jerkweed around his fellow American.
Yet somehow, there might be a thimble full of redemption lurking in the
Michael Cera still looks like a moppet, he is so convincingly irritating, it is
rather amazing his management signed off on this Chilean escapade. Were it not for the climatic emotional
pay-off Silva handles with remarkable sensitivity, Crystal might sour viewers on Cera indefinitely.
Crystal Fairy and his class conscious
The Maid, Silva is beginning to
emerge as the maestro of the awkward situation.
He is also clearly willing to present his cast in a profoundly
unflattering light. Indeed, Jamie dubs
Gaby Hoffman’s character “Crystal Hairy” for reasons that are vividly and repeatedly
established. The obvious exceptions are
his three real life brothers, Agustín, José Miguel, and Juan Andrés, who all
come across as decent chaps with sufficient hygiene.
Fairy shows the dark side of the kooky, quirky characters that typically
inhabit indie films. Frankly, it is sort
of a corrective to many other films that will play in Park City over the coming
week, reminding viewers there are often rather unfortunate reasons behind
eccentric behavior. That is not nothing,
but Silva forces the audience to sit through a lot of noise before it starts to
get real. Only recommended for viewers
with little fondness for precious-sized indies or Cera, Crystal Fairy screens today (1/18), Wednesday (1/23), and Friday
(1/25) in Park City, today (1/18) in Salt Lake, and tomorrow (1/19) in Ogden, as
a World Cinema Dramatic Competition selection at this year’s Sundance.
Labels: Chilean Cinema, Sebastian Silva, Sundance '13