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Friday, 26 July 2013 00:00

'Crystal Fairy' is a slice of life best left shelved

'Crystal Fairy' is a slice of life best left shelved
Written by Martha K. Baker
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It matters little that Sebastian Silvio, the writer/director of "Crystal Fairy," also wrote and directed "The Maid," a little masterpiece. It matters only that he thought a moment in his own life would make a dandy little film, and, further, that he thought that moment and that film would interest anyone. It does not.

That slice of his life makes a film that might be avoided like milk with a sell-by date too near the shop-for date.

Crystal Fairy is one of the main characters. She is deep into drugs and a new age and into the vernacular of healing and dancing and flying. She is dark, as noted by the hair on her head and pudenda, under her arms, and by her unibrow, hair that is wild and undomesticated, not the usual siren call to the American male.

Still, there is something about her that calls to Jamie, an American male of singular egotism and not a little wealth. He took a trip to Chile in order to go on more trips via drugs, from cocaine to cactus. In fact, the subtitle of "Crystal Fairy" is "The Magical Cactus and 2012." Jamie annoys a lot of people -- he is so uncool). He goes to a party with three brothers, played by the Sebastian brothers of the director, and, there, he is drawn to Crystal Fairy. She dances alone. Jamie feels obliged to tell her that she is embarrassing herself. She responds, "We're all one self." He goes to the bathroom, stares terrified at a copy of Hieronymous Bosch's image of Hell, and returns to invite her to go along on the trip. The next day, he does not remember his invitation, but one of the brothers firmly fills in his blank.

From that moment on, Jamie and Crystal Fairy, soon called "Crystal Hairy," vie for leader of the pack, or assumed leader. The real leader is the quiet oldest brother.

As Jamie, Michael Cera, familiar from "Juno" and "Arrested Development," certainly defines the man as callow and shallow, a man who's done his homework on drugs and is ready for the real thing. Cera is also good at appearing sick after drinking the essence of a San Pedro cactus. 31-year-old Gaby Hoffman, whose career goes all the way back to "Field of Dreams," crawls into the title role as if it were an envelope. They are supported in shadow by the Brothers Silva -- Augustin, Jose Miguel, and Juan Andres.

Sebastian Silva added hollow sounds and over-chatter, played with slow motion at the beach, and chose odd music, such as "Two for the Road." His memory of his own experience with Crystal Fairy informed this film but does not make it a good time. Watching someone else trip is not a trip.

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