As Jamie travels in Chile, he invites an eccentric woman to join his group's quest to score a fabled hallucinogen, a move that finds him at odds with his new companion, until they drink the magic brew on a beach at the edge of the desert.
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Jamie (Cera) is a boorish, insensitive American twentysomething traveling in Chile, who somehow manages to create chaos at every turn. He and his friends are planning on taking a road trip north to experience a legendary shamanistic hallucinogen called the San Pedro cactus. In a fit of drunkenness at a wild party, Jamie invites an eccentric woman -- a radical spirit named Crystal Fairy (Hoffmann) -- to come along. What is meant to be a devil-may-care journey becomes a battle of wills as Jamie finds himself locking horns with his new traveling companion. But on a remote, pristine beach at the edge of the desert, the magic brew is finally imbibed, and the true adventure begins. Written by
Sebastián Silva pulls a Magic Magic Magical Cactus out of his hat!
I am late seeing this flick and I must disagree with a few other reviewers and their take on this very simple yet complex movie.
Once again Sebastián Silva is offering up questions on youth and how youth sees the world around them. Jamie is obviously a self centered person with a limited experience in communicating with others (sort of like the US) (as Jamie is an American) and we can see this in his 'attitude' throughout the story. The other three boys have had to share with others and they try to make the best of their trip to the beach. Jamie, on the other hand insist they do it as planed.
Enter Crystal Fairy into this mix and you already have an altered perception of exactly what they want to do - she is like the drug reduced from the cactus later in the story (she has an altered view of reality). She wants to share everything the three other boys don't seem to mind. Jamie can't tolerate it - he wants none of her.
Crystal mothers them, she wants to know them, the boys are like children to her - yet she is very childlike herself. Jamie suddenly wants to be friends with her but only when he's 'high', after he comes down he's back to his original self. Crystal leaves quietly, Jamie sees her leave and calls her name, Crystal disappears behind a rock.
What is Silva showing us here? Crystal is the personality of many different people, she's giving, caring, willing to accept life on her own and take risks - and being alone isn't easy, she is alone throughout the movie and Jamie thinks she's a phony. Jamie cannot see that he is the phony because in the end Crystal is what Jamie was seeking in the brewed Cactus they drink and even when high he could not accept it.
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