No

No ★★★½

Completes Pablo Larraín's loose trilogy about life under Chilean dictator, Augusto Pinochet (preceeded by "Tony Manero" and "Post Mortem"). Albeit conceived in strong historical and socio-political context; this story is a simple tale centered on young advertising executive, René Saavedra (portrayed with flair by enigmatic chameleon, Gael García Bernal) — thus making the film accessible to a wide range of foreign viewers.

The film charts two narrative blueprints juxtaposed next to each other: the No campaign from inception to post-referendum, and how it is inextricably linked to René's democratic ideology. Against the backdrop of fierce competition between both camps, his middle-class existence as a single father still harboring feelings for the ex-wife comes into close, thematic focus.

Shot with an aspect ratio of 4:3 using analogue tape; the format also implies a cautionary facet to this film — concerned with lasting effects created by commercials in the heydays of TV, suggesting how a simple medium and viral marketing can radically influence political views of the masses, creating landslide victories for the underdog.

No is a tremendously simple film that burns with quiet ferocity. Pablo Larraín displays talent in using visual moods, incisive dialog and dramatic scores; giving shape to the social atmosphere in 1980s Chile — rife with unquenchable thirst for liberty and change, yet pensive and scarred by a violent past.

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