Thursday, September 5, 2013

Magic Magic – review

Magic Magic is a Chilean-American psychological thriller.  The acting is very decent and the plot complex.  The themes of animals, sleep, control, and abandonment are incredibly prevalent and make for an intriguing story.  The only thing that is weak about this story is the ending, which is strange and somewhat confusing.

 Alicia, played by Juno Temple, is visiting her cousin in Chile. While there, her cousin ditches her for a couple of days and leaves her with her friends.  Alicia soon begins loosing her grip on reality. She starts seeing things that are not there and she cannot sleep. Tensions mount and soon she is getting progressively ill and her friends are desperate to find help.

The acting is very good for this movie.  Juno Temple plays her character, Alicia, well and we can see her breakdown and her vulnerability with every scene.  Emily Browning as her cousin Sarah does a good job portraying the confusion and the desperation of someone whose family member is having a mental illness. It was also really great to see Michael Cera as Brink, playing against type for a change, acting creepy and almost coming off sinister in some lights. 

Magic Magic hits you hard with thematic elements.  Sleep and the lack of it is a common theme in the story. Animals such as sheep and collies show up and seem to be symbolic of control or in some cases safety abandoning them.   There are multiple scenes that involve scenes of abandonment- for example, the travelers leave a puppy on the side of the road to basically die, Sara leaves her cousin with strangers to travel alone, and Sara goes and gets an abortion.

The ending is very bizarre.  If you are not into spoilers I advise you to stop reading now.  While trying to find a doctor for Alicia her friends take her to a witch doctor of sorts.  In the end she is told that her soul has left her body and that by rubbing herbs under her nose it will bring her back.  We then see the travelers carrying Alicia’s body with them and rubbing the herb under her nose crying.  Does she eventually wake? I don’t know, but I really doubt it. 

As a whole, Magic Magic is a good movie.  It is reminiscent of movies such as Repulsion and really seems to be a gripping drama.  It will keep you interested and leave you wondering long after the last scene is over.  If you are in the mood for a taut psychological thriller with impressive young talent at the helm, give it a shot.  You will likely enjoy what you see.

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