Sunday, March 3, 2013

"NO" - Movie Review


“No” is a 2012 film (released in the USA in 2013) by Chilean film director Pablo Larraín and was nominated for the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar at the recent 85th Academy Awards.

In 1988 and 15 years after his coup, Chilean military dictator Augusto Pinochet succumbs to international pressure and is forced to call a “plebiscite” (a direct vote) on his presidency. The country will either vote “YES” or “NO” to Pinochet extending his rule for another eight years.

Opposition leaders for the “NO” persuade a brash young advertising executive, Rene Saavedra (Gael Garcia Bernal), to spearhead their campaign. Against all odds, with scant resources and under scrutiny by the despot's minions and secret enforcers, Saavedra and his team devise an audacious plan to win the election and set Chile free.

NO” is a by the book, exacting, challenging and educational film not only about this unique period in Chilean recent history, it is also about the basic human nature to be free. Specifically, the film highlights the necessary physical and emotional commitment to having courage by an obscure and coincidental collection of men and women to having their own brand of revolution. A revolution not forged by the power of having the most guns or use of threats of violence, but rather through the power of their own  intelligence to market their beliefs though advertising and television. And what was their achieved result? A peaceful coup towards freedom; freedom achieved through that uniquely individual power of standing in line, casting one vote and quietly putting that vote in the ballot box.

3 - 3/4 Stars

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