No

  • Year:2012
  • Rating:M
  • Director:Pablo LarraĆ­n
  • Cast:Antonia Zegers , Alfredo Castro , Gael Garcia Bernal
  • Release Date:April 18, 2013
  • Distributor:Rialto
  • Running time:118 minutes
  • Film Worth:$19.00
  • FILMINK rates movies out of $20 - the score indicates the amount we believe a ticket to the movie to be worth

A bitingly funny, fascinating and moving portrait of Pinochet’s fall that’s smartly shot and superbly performed.

review image 0a3d5e1fdc1b25e1be25.jpg

In 1988, Chile held a national referendum to determine whether the people wanted Augusto Pinochet’s iron fist to continue ruling. As its title suggests, No focuses on the battle to oust the dictator, but it’s surprisingly told via the perspective of the advertising team drafted to convince people to vote against him. What evolves is a stinging and often hilarious satire of modern politics, but one that’s deeply humane and ultimately hopeful. 

The maverick ad ace recruited to lead the “No” camp – who initially expect to lose, and at best “raise awareness” – is Rene (Gael Garcia Bernal), a politically apathetic young father who’s a whiz at selling soft drink. But Rene’s ideas for the campaign – each side has a fifteen-minute TV slot to make their case – unsurprisingly clash with the veterans of the movement. They want to fill these slots with lists of the disappeared, executions, and other transgressions of the regime. But to their dismay, Rene pushes a “nicer” agenda, involving cheesy videos of singing and dancing Chileans, sunshine and rainbows, and a catchy jingle. He’s selling happiness and freedom to the public, and they buy into it.

While one can hardly believe that these absurd slices of kitsch were crucial to Pinochet’s undoing, the real ads are used here, and director, Pablo Larrain, shoots the entire film on washed out old video so the whole experience feels seamless. But what really holds this film together is Bernal’s superb performance. Rene is originally pulled in by the pure marketing challenge, and only in having to “pitch” for democratic freedom does he come to understand what it means. It’s a compelling personal journey that climaxes in one of the most understated yet uplifting scenes that you’ll see all year. 

follow us on twitter
like us on facebook

latest categories

DVD

latest issue

Filmink latest issue

latest news

‘Pirates Of The Caribbean 5’ To Shoot In Queensland
‘Pirates Of The Caribbean 5’ To Shoot In Queensland

The blockbuster production will set sail in our sunshine state next February.

The National Film & Sound Archive Turns 30!
The National Film & Sound Archive Turns 30!

Celebrate by revisiting a century of milestones in screen and sound.

Australian Made
Australian Made

A Melbourne based animation studio is about to launch a series on Cartoon Network.

Many Miles for Independent Filmmakers
Many Miles for Independent Filmmakers

Queensland-based filmmakers, Terrance M. Young and Ashlee Jensen, prepare for the release of their crowd-funded, decade-in-the-making indie drama, ‘500 Miles’.