No: Film Review

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You might think that “No” is an odd name for a movie, and it would be for any other movie where the negative wasn’t so central to the idea of the movie about the positive. This isn’t about rejecting an idea – it’s about a movement that was borne upon the idea that revolution begins with “NO!”

Set in the 1980s during the Chilean dictatorial rule under General Augosto Pinochet, the movie is about the advertising campaign launched against the U.S.-backed dictator by Rene Saavedra (Gael Garcia Bernal) who works for one of the nation’s leading advertising agencies. Saavedra is a young liberal who craves freedom from the oppressive regime that Pinochet claims is a democratically elected administration. Reagan never got the memo, apparently.

This is, of course, a flat out lie, and the battle to take down one of South America’s most tyrannical despots is fought between the Saavedra and his agency colleague Lucho Guzman (Alfredo Castro) who happens to be a member of Pincohet’s advisory council. Guzman thinks he can use the simple “Yes” campaign to legitimize the Pinochet regime in the eyes of the world and a Chilean populace eager for democracy. Saavedra counters him with a simple “No” campaign.

This is not your usual political drama; it is about ideals but it’s also about the lengths two men will go to to make their ideals bear out into reality. One of the best movies to emerge from the international stable in a long, long time.