Have A Good Trip: Adventures In Psychedelics is exactly what it claims to be. A hilarious techno colour Netflix Documentary, filled with celebrity anecdotes laughing off their best and worst trip experiences. Honestly, watching the documentary is a trip in itself.
The first few minutes of the film are enough to get you hooked (pun intended). It explores all the questions that go through our mind when we hear the word drugs. Should we do them? Are they dangerous? What is it like doing them?
And when you have people like Carrie Fischer, Ben Stiller and ASAP Rocky talking about their experiences and sharing their hilarious and sometimes profound anecdotes, you’re bound to lend an ear.
What Is Have A Good Trip: Adventures In Psychedelics About?
Have A Good Trip: Adventures In Psychedelics is one of the breeziest and easy flowing documentaries I’ve come across. It is a light watch that gives you an insight into the world of psychedelics and hallucinogens without going too deep that it’ll isolate someone who hasn’t done drugs before. It has something for everyone.
The movie’s structure is simple. It is a 75-minute long documentary, with people from all walks of life, artists, doctors, musicians and actors recounting their experience with psychedelics.
But Have A Good Trip: Adventures In Psychedelics isn’t your ideal documentary that just has a bunch of people speaking to the camera.
The animations and graphics, done by Sugarshack Animations deserve a round of applause as well. They’re everything you would associate with a good trip. Full of colour, sharp images, and bright lights combined with technicolour artwork that screams psychedelics every time it comes on the screen.
The same is used skilfully by the documentary every time the narrator recounts their experiences with LSD. So if you have Sting talking about how he got high on peyote on a farm and had to help his friend in birthing a calf, you can actually see the image play out in a cartoon narrative.
What Works For Have A Good Trip: Adventures In Psychedelics
There are many things that writer-producer Donick Cary gets right with his directorial venture. With its content, structure and storytelling, he ensures that irrespective of the fact where you stand on the use of drugs, you have a good time watching the movie.
The stories and anecdotes from a central tenet of the movie and the Netflix Documentary nail them head-on. All the interviewees speak about psychedelic drugs from a personal viewpoint, sharing their experiences and what it meant to them. This ensures that a personal narrative is woven throughout the film. What also works well is that each story is backed by a sort of pictorial enactment, helping people who aren’t well versed with the effects of hallucinogens relate to the experience as well.
So when Anthony Bourdain is talking about the night he overindulged and mixed weed, hash, LSD and beer together or when A$AP Rocky shares his experience that led him to taste colours, you can actually see the experience play out on screen, bringing you as close to the experience as a visual medium can.
No Glorification of Drug Use
Another thing Have A Good Trip: Adventures In Psychedelics does really well is that it doesn’t glorify drug use. This is really commendable because sometimes such documentaries tend to portray a single side of the story, and tend to become an echo chamber with a bunch of people preaching the same thing.
The self-awareness of Cary ensures that the movie isn’t too heavy on the messaging, while also touching upon the positives in the field of psychedelics. Even this is done by psychologists like Dr Charles Grob and author Deepak Chopra. Their views lend a certain gravitas to the situation when they discuss studies on psychedelics and its possible use in treating cancer and mental illness.
What Could Have Been Better?
Looking back at the viewing experience, one thing that could have been better in Have A Good Trip: Adventures In Psychedelics is the argument it tries to make in favour of psilocybin and other substances.
While hearing famous people tell funny and sometimes embarrassing stories about good and bad trips, the documentary could have done more to defend or expound upon its pro LSD agenda.
The film aims to exist as an antithetical narrative to the kind of content that has made psychedelics taboo in America, and to a larger extent, in the world. The point could have worked better if the movie expounded more on myths, taboos and misconceptions about hallucinogens and touched upon the scientific studies and the mind-expanding possibilities of psychedelics in further detail.
In conclusion, Have A Good Trip: Adventures In Psychedelics is a good entertaining watch that won’t really leave you with life-altering information about psychedelics. It just is what the director wants it to be. A bunch of people sharing their adventures in psychedelics.