No (2012)

I’m glad I found time to squeeze in two hours at the cinema this week to see No (2012). In 1988, under international pressure to legitimise his regime, General Augusto Pinochet allowed a referendum to determine if he would remain in power. The Chilean people who supported the regime were to vote yes, those who didn’t were to vote no. Director Pablo Larraín’s history-driven film has Gael García Bernal in an admiring performance in the role of the maverick advertising man, René Saavedra, who was instrumental in the winning campaign.

Smart, simple, direct and heartfelt, I loved the movie for telling things as they are (including some far-reaching political truths) and for its darkly-funny view on modern democracy and human nature. The filming style is distinct. I think it was shot in a sort of television style of the times, evoking the era and allowing for archival footage to be easily integrated in the movie, which, although maybe a little disturbing at first, in my opinion contributed to its authenticity. If you like intelligent films, you should see it.

Wishing you a wonderful weekend!

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