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

Dead But Will Not Lie Down
Dead But Will Not Lie Down

Among the arthouse fare, the Hong Kong International Film and TV Market, FILMART, puts up a truly international broad genre offer.

The A Women do Hong Kong
The A Women do Hong Kong

Documentarians hit Hong Kong Asia Film Financing Forum with proposed film about Chinese educated and independent women

This Week At The Box Office
This Week At The Box Office

'Insurgent' opened strong, and family fare starts its roll out in anticipation of the upcoming school holidays.

HAF 2015 awards its winners
HAF 2015 awards its winners

HAF organisers received over 300 applications for its 2015 edition, which were then narrowed down to the 25 narrative and five documentary projects presented from 16 countries and competing for some of the 13 awards on offer.