A great depiction of a small aspect of the Chilean plebiscite in 1988, shot in the way I remember the revolutions of the late 80s - crappy U-matic video designed for malfunctioning Academy ratio TV sets. Bernal is excellent as the young man trying to develop a political ad campaign with broad appeal, one more positive than the more polemical denunciations of his leftist colleagues. A compelling moment in time.
Larraín has a very distinctive, attractive impressionistic style. The problem (for me) in his films (like "Jackie" and this one) is the script. I feel them naive, simplistic, they lack some Machiavelism, depth, and seriousness. I sense they have nothing to do with reality even if they deal with "bio and social reality".
A nice way to learn about politics is through film, where sensory experience accompanies the gathering of information. This film did this job perfectly: it has succeeded in celebrating this great event in recent history, meanwhile entertaining you using the absurdity of it all. There's also a deeper message I get from this film: sometimes, the rhetorical approach beats the honest, factual one. Time for me to grow up.
The confident collage of mixed media works well with the retro-styling and tempo of the film, aided by an excellent cast and laconic central performance from Gael Garcia Bernal. A problematic and somewhat hasty conclusion, however, posits marketing as the primary cause for the campaign's success, which rather ignores the cumulative weight of injustices suffered by the Chilean people as motivation for change.
Another superb film from director Pablo Larrain that captures a particular time in Chile. Gael Garcia Bernal plays an advertising exec type who ends up putting his efforts into the "No" campaign on the run up to the vote on whether or not General Pinochet should stay in power for another eight years. The acting is great, with Alfredo Castro also doing more good work, and Larrain directs with his usual assurance.
What could have been a feel-good film about the victory of hope over fear,at the hands of Larrain becomes a complex, ethical exercise.Jingles instead of historical truth;entertainment instead of activism:Is a commodification of politics ethically right if the cause is just?Larrain's final images suggest that democracy,the hyperreality of advertising & capitalism are so entangled,that the answer might no longer matter
At first the 80s VHS cinematography feels like a gimmick but this soon changes as Larrain exquisitely merges real historical footage with the film, including a superb riot sequence. This is an intelligent and very enjoyable drama reminding us of the power of hope in politics, with a great leading performance from Bernal.
wonderful evocation of time and place, bottled-up emotions from a professional manipulator and a commentary on our times and our current spate of dramatic political elections/referenda in the context of right vs. left just as much as on the demise (I have to hope this is not a spoiler for ANYONE) of one of the recently departed Latin dictatorships.
A tremendous film, wonderful subtle acting, seamlessly blending with period footage provide a seemingly feel-good narrative of Chile's return to democracy. However Larrain questions this new Chile which we see emerging, represented by Bernal's advertising creative, commenting on the shallowness of modern political discourse, and a failure to deal with the Chile's past under Pinochet. Wonderful
Very narrow look at a critical period that crystallised with the fall of Pinochet. The overall lack of tension and the anodyne performance of Gael G Bernal are ultimately eclipsed by the assumption that a somehow straightforward propaganda campaign was pivotal in the final result. Of course it was not. Chileans were given the chance to get rid of a crumbling murderous military dictatorship and they grabbed it.
"No" is one of the two best works from young director Pablo Larrain--ranking alongside his "Neruda." "Jackie" and "The Club" are good but not as good as the first two films mentioned earlier. It is also one of the most engaging performances from actor Gael Garcia Bernal.