December 18, 2013

Magic, Magic (2013)
This is definitely one of the oddest films that we saw in 2013. Not odd because it's all weird and trying too hard to be Avant-garde, but odd because it's just a really different kind of film.

For the record, the trailer for Magic, Magic really misrepresents the movie as a whole. It plays as if something sinister is going to happen, triggering a fight for survival on Juno Temple's part. It's marketed as a straight up Horror movie, which it never comes close to being.

Magic, Magic is a Psychological Thriller about a girl named Alicia, who is traveling through Chile with her Cousin Sara, and Sara's dickhead friends. It's apparent from the beginning that something is off with Alicia; she comes across as someone who is both naive and emotionally fragile, and she seems to be riddled with anxiety issues. Maybe she's just one of those odd ducks who doesn't know how to act in social situations?

When Sara is suddenly called away from their vacation to take a test back at school (?), Alicia is basically forced to travel (and eventually stay at some remote Chilean villa) with her Cousin's friends, which only serves to make her more and more uneasy, and push her to some pretty dark places. Mentally. Not like a cave or anything.

Why does crazy have to be so cute?
Alicia can't sleep while her Cousin is gone, and begins having some crazy hallucinations. She also gets humped by a dog (which traumatizes her more than it should have), and even attempts to give Michael Cera a handy in the middle of the night, despite the "I'm secretly gay" vibe that he's obviously giving off. Point is, as her mind unravels, Alicia does some crazy things.

By the time the movie ends, we find ourselves somewhere in Chilean Voodoo territory, and we're left with no real answers as to what in the hell just happened for the last 90+ minutes.

A metaphor for the fragility of the human mind?
Based on an actual Urban Legend in which some vacationing chick in Rio De Janeiro freaks out and starts masturbating in front of her Hostel-mates (true story, ask the director), Magic, Magic is an unnerving and uneven dive into the depths of a mental breakdown. Or maybe possession. It's all so ambiguous that we can't say for sure.

In the end, Magic, Magic is about a woman who is losing her mind, and the effects that it has on her and everyone around her. Everything we see is from her twisted, mentally-ill point of view, which definitely helps make sense of things, because we see a lot of odd things in this movie. Is everyone being mean to her? Probably not so much, but from her POV, they're all horrible people, treating her like shit while her Cousin is away. As a meditation on the unstable mind of someone who is mentally-ill, this movie is pretty good.

Who's there? Your mind. Your mind is there.
Juno Temple is about as based as an actress can be these days; she seems almost fearless with the roles that she takes, as there's not much that she won't do on screen to serve a film's (and her character's) interests. She's great in this movie, and its worth watching for her performance alone, if nothing else.

It was really odd to see Michael Cera playing a creepy freak in this movie. We're used to seeing him as the shy, goofy geek in comedies, and we're not sure how we felt about his turn here. He was good in his role, but it all just felt so wrong.

What is he even doing?
Magic, Magic was interesting enough, but don't go into this one thinking it to be a straight up Horror flick. If anything, it's a Psychological Thriller, that maybe delves into true Horror territory at times, but it's all so ambiguous that we're never really clear on what it truly is. Maybe that was the entire point of the movie.

If you wanna see Juno Temple losing her mind for 90+ minutes, then this movie is definitely for you. Just remember that the director of this movie is Chilean, so his ideas of what is horrific may be quite different from what you and I are willing to accept.


The girls of Magic, Magic pleased our collective penis, penis. Listen, I know that was a reach as far as jokes go, even for us, but libido, libido just didn't sound right. Anywho, Juno Temple, Emily Browning, and Catalina Moreno, y'all.


1 comment :

  1. I have a lot of love and adoration for Ms. Browning. I think she is remarkable in most of her performances. And goodness is she ever not too cute? She was not in this film enough though IMO. But makes sense as it is mostly about Temple's character. I also appreciate Ms. Temple for going nude in a great amount of her films (including this one). She is a fantastic actress who holds her own in the cuteness factor. And you are right about Ms. Moreno as well; she is smoking hot. Even though she played what appeared to be a prudish character.
    M.M. wore on me in the last act though, as Temple's character's constant whining and crying became almost too much to bare. She does a pretty great job at playing going crazy as you mention. However I can only watch annoying crying crazy for so long.
    To me Cera "does" play the same "shy, goofy geek" here as he usually does. Almost all of the strange and creepy things that he does appear to be figments of Temple's imagination.
    A solid C seems to fit the bill. Some may go crazy themselves watching Temple go crazy.

    Tuffy McGrubby