Watch No For Free
In 1988, Chilean military dictator Augusto Pinochet, due to international pressure, is forced to call a plebiscite on his presidency. The country will vote ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ to Pinochet extending his rule for another eight years. Opposition leaders for the ‘No’ vote persuade a brash young advertising executive, Rene Saavedra, to spearhead their campaign. Against all odds, with scant resources and while under scrutiny by the despot’s minions, Saavedra and his team devise an audacious plan to win the election and set Chile free.
You are watching: No
Also starring Gael García Bernal
Also starring Alfredo Castro
Also starring Néstor Cantillana
Interesting and informative movie about the events that started the transition in Chile from the dictatorship to the democracy.
political idealism in a mass media era---This movie is brilliant and it is relevant today as never before. I don't think it praises or prioritizes political marketing over political idealism or grassroots activism. It is a very realistic depiction of politics in mass media era -a bit cynic maybe- (Surely, the yes vote became possible in Chile not just because of a single ad. But this is a movie=dramatization). A viewer can and should watch a movie critically. She has to learn to evaluate and fill the absences herself; see the underlying points and judge whether it ultimately tries to destroy the reality, mislead us or not.For me, this is quite an intelligent, thought-provoking, self-reflexive product. And, it is especially relevant for us, living in Turkey, at this very moment, before a referendum in which our leader wants to establish a one-man rule through one.
It's a Yes from me---This is a well-made, stylistically heavy, slightly whimsical view of the the 1988 plebiscite to unseat Pinochet as Chile's autocratic military ruler. The first thing to say is that as a period piece, the late 80's are rendered in all their grainy, blotchy glory using what I can only assume is technology from that time, and while at times this can be a bit off-putting (the wobbly camera work is reminiscent of "found footage" type movies) eventually it becomes just part of the furniture.It is also a satirical look at the advertising industry, not just in Chile, but in general. One of the leading lights of the industry in Chile is Gael Garcia Bernal's character who is approached to run the No campaign. He applies all of his cynical abilities in selling "No" as a product to the undecided or the non-voters, much to the disgust of those who have suffered brutally at the hands of Pinochet's regime. He is also pitched against the owner of the advertising agency he works for who decides to work for the Yes campaign.We get a very narrow view of the plebiscite here. There's no real look at how all of the political parties (12 or so) that are against Pinochet all managed to unite for the single cause. The focus is very much on the campaign itself and the pressure put on the campaigners by the Government and the Yes side. The scenes of the protests and riots are brilliantly shot, mixing old newsreel with staged shots.There are plenty of funny moments too, particularly when they are first trying to decide on a theme for the No campaign and the ideas they are coming up with are laughable.Well worth a look.
Although I found the subject matter exciting, the film was a disappointment.---"No" is a film that was nominated for the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film. Perhaps I am wrong, but I wonder if most of this nomination is because of the subject matter, as the peaceful ouster of Pinochet was a wonderful things--and few would disagree with this. However, as for the movie itself, I was shocked how uninteresting it was, as the film lacked energy and, more importantly, emotion. This is really surprising because you'd expect a lot of tears and a lot of anger, as the Pinochet regime was responsible for many atrocities and human rights violations--and you'd THINK this would come through in the film. Instead, much of the film, especially the first half, was plodding and bereft of feeling. Where is the anger?!?! Fortunately, the film did get better in the second half when agents of Pinochet tried to intimidate the opposition...but still I expected so much more.Overall, this film is mildly interesting but should have been a lot better. For a better look at the Pinochet administration, try watching the three "Battle of Chile" films. Additionally, for a better film that is critical of repression in South America, try the Oscar-winning "The Official Story"--a film that has heart, emotion and is much harder-hitting in the way it addresses the fall of the Argentinian regime.
Not horrible, but nothing exciting either.---I had not even heard of this movie prior to being invited to a screening of it tonight. Therefore, I watched this film expecting nothing but a decent night out at the cinema. This film certainly was not horrible. At no point did I feel like walking out, but I did not feel all that engaged either. I am sure this is a great film for people who live in Chile and are familiar with what was going on and are nostalgic for this event, but to me it was just a very dry, very bland, basic film which was shot in a way which made it feel like a documentary you watch in grade school. You're happy that you're seeing a film instead of doing schoolwork, but it's really nothing exciting. There were a few moments where I let out a chuckle or two, but this was mainly during the subplots which really didn't ever connect to the story. Why focus so much on his marketing experience? Why focus so much on his (lack of a) love life? I never felt interested in his job, never felt it was important, and never could understand what was going on in that relationship. The actress that played his (ex?)-wife changed her attitude and emotional level to him constantly. I'm not sure if this was a result of bad acting, or bad writing. "Don't get any ideas." two seconds later, she's trying to make out with him. Would I recommend this movie? No. If you've been dying to see it I won't stop you from doing so, but if you've just randomly heard of it as I had, I wouldn't suggest it.
Excellent Political Drama---People can say the Academy is worthless but at the end of the day it is still useful to point me in the direction of a movie I could easily have overlooked. If No hadn't been nominated for an Oscar I probably wouldn't have heard of it, watched. It probably wouldn't even have come out in Portugal. I'm glad it did because it's an excellent political drama about the twilight of Pinochet's regime in Chile.Gael García Bernal plays René Saveedra, an ad executive who helps a coalition of parties to organize a campaign to vote Pinochet out of power in a referendum. Although Pinochet had ruled Chile for over a decade when, international pressure forced him to take measures to legitimize his regime, hence a referendum to vote YES or NO to his staying in power. This gives a coalition of parties (mainly left-wing, from what I understood) temporary freedom to pass TV spots against his regime. This unusual premise results in a fine movie.Although García Bernal isn't one of my favourite actors, I have to applaud him for almost carrying the movie alone. He gives a fine, subdued performance, nothing two showy, but efficient. His character is more interested in marketing techniques than politics, and the irony is that he joins the campaign not because of beliefs but because he thinks they're doing a horrible job and he can do better. He takes marketing very seriously. All the other actors are mysteries to me, I've never seen them before, but they do a fine job too. I have to single out Alfredo Castro, who plays Lucho Guzmán, René's boss in the marketing agency. Lucho is an oily, two-faced, cowardly Pinochet sympathizer working in the YES campaign. They're always at each other's throats because René is working for the NO, and their discussions constitute many memorable scenes.Prior to this movie I had never heard of Pablo Larraín before, but I liked the way he shot this movie. He used a video support from the '80s to make it look like a homemade movie from the era, which is an interesting choice because when the film footage is mixed with the life ad footage of the time, there's almost a complete harmony. As for the screenplay, Pedro Peirano does a good job too. I was amused to learn this was based on a play by Antonio Skármeta, famous for a novel about Pablo Neruda. I though the novel was horrible but at least resulted in a great Italian movie called The Postman.I'm a huge fan of political movies, whether they be thrillers like Z, satires like In The Loop, or war like The Battle of Algiers, and I think No is a strong addition to this subgenre of cinema. It has drama, it has humour, the dialogue is intelligent, and the discussions about the power of marketing to influence people remain timeless. In fact I liked the fact that movie spent a lot of time going over about marketing techniques - it could only have paid lip service to it and focused only on the characters, but no, this movie shows the decisions ad executives take and what goes in their mind when they're coming up with ads to convince people to buy, do or think something. This view of the profession alone is worth watching the movie.
Yes Go See No---¨Adios, Mr. Pinochet¨No is one of those films which I wasn't looking forward to seeing because I just wasn't interested in the subject matter. I'm not into historical political movies, but this film was much more than that. No works more as a media satire than an actual political movie. The satire works really well and it reminds us of how important the media can be in our society. No should be required viewing for all advertising students in schools around the globe. The film works in great part thanks to Gael Garcia Bernal's performance as the ad executive who comes up with the campaign for No in the referendum. Bernal has proved in the past that he's a very reliable actor, and one of the best in Latin America. The film also has great direction from Pablo Larraín, who decided to shoot the film using U-matic video tape to give it a more 80's vibe since that was the type of video which was used then. That brought a sense of realism to the movie, and at times it felt like a documentary. This was a well crafted film, and a decent contender for best foreign film of the year. It lost to Amour in the Oscars, but received a lot of love in the Cannes Festival last year. The screenplay was very well adapted by Pedro Peirano (who also wrote the screenplay for 2009's The Maid, a well received Chilean film) from Antonio Skarmeta's (famous for his novel Il Postino) play. This is one art house film you won't regret watching.It's the end of the 80's and Chilean dictator, Augusto Pinochet, has called for a national referendum after being pressured by international organisms. After 15 years of dictatorship, Pinochet is allowing the country to vote Yes or No to him extending his rule for 8 more years in the country. Everyone is convinced that this is all a farce and just a means for Pinochet to legalize his authority. Pinochet is also convinced he will win the elections considering that he has brought economic stability to the country. For 27 days both parties will be allowed to have a 15 minute spot of uninterrupted television air time in which they can campaign. This is where the young ad executive known as Rene Saavedra (Gael Garcia Bernal) comes to play. The No coalition decides to hire him to lead their campaign, but what they don't realize is that he will bring a unique approach to the campaign. Since Pinochet's dictatorship was known for its brutal intimidation and censorship, everyone in the No coalition expects to make their voice heard and focus on the violence and brutality of his government, but Saavedra has a different view: He wants to make a joyful, colorful, and upbeat campaign where the primary message is that ¨Chile: happiness is coming.¨ Everyone in the campaign is upset about this, including Saavedra's ex wife, Veronika (Antonia Zegers), who thinks all this is just a waste of time. However, the campaign begins resonating with voters, and Pinochet's people decide to hire Saavedra's boss, Lucho Guzman (Alfredo Castro), to counteract the comedic and joyful campaign. Things won't be easy for the No coalition because the government begins intimidating and pressuring them through violence, but Saavedra knows that his campaign can change the course of the country for the better. Advertising is a powerful weapon in today's world, and more than ever we see governments trying to control and censor the media. The reason being that they know that it can shift elections and bring down tyrannical leaders. That is why more than ever, we must fight to keep governments from trying to control or censor the media. What a lot of politics have done is use advertising wisely to get elected. The film is a great case study on politics and media and how they are correlated. No is a film everyone involved in media and politics should see because it shows the advantages and disadvantages that this medium has. Pablo Larrain has directed a powerful film which teaches us how the media can influence public opinion so easily. If only we could have more uplifting and joyful political campaigns like this I would be much more interested in voting. I vote yes: go see this movie. http://estebueno10.blogspot.com/
Mesmerising Story Destroyed by Cheap Look---"No" suffers from trying to be, and succeeding at, being far too realistic.As preposterous as this criticism sounds, a promising political drama based on true events surrounding a 1988 election campaign in Chile abandons all the fundamentals of modern movie making. There's no soundtrack. There's no witty dialog. There are no special effects. The performances aren't particularly memorable. As a result, a potentially riveting political thriller drags badly in this poorly-scripted, abysmally-shot re-enactment which debuted last year in Chile. It's now finally making rounds in American movie theaters, its longevity based on being nominated earlier this year for an Oscar in the Best Foreign-Language film category."No" has the sophomoric look and feel of a film school project shot with a couple of Beta cams. That's because director Pablo Larrain curiously decided to shoot his entire movie with the same outdated videotape stock used by actual television news crews during the 1980's, when this film takes place. He presumably did this to add the look of realism. Borrowing a visual device that worked masterfully when Steven Spielberg employed World War II-era Bell and Howell movie cameras to film the famous Normandy Beach scenes in Saving Private Ryan (1998), the same technique might have proved a powerful cinematic accompaniment had it been used selectively. Instead, the entire movie is shot in a grainy film texture which not only becomes annoying, but quite distracting after the first few scenes when we realize this is the way the entire will be. It becomes like trying to watch a movie through a dirty window pane.This is unfortunate because "No" had great potential. The movie is all about the 1988 political referendum on the brutal dictatorship of Chilean strongman Augusto Pinochet. One of the most despised political leaders in Latin American history, Pinochet ruled the South American nation of Chile with an iron fist between 1973 and 1988. However, his dictatorship faced growing international pressure to hold free elections, and so a national referendum was called in 1988 to vote on the question if Pinochet should be allowed to stay in power.The premise sounds rather simple. But after the military junta's 15 years of disappearances, torture, intimidation, and media control, those Chileans brave enough to work on the "No" campaign took enormous risks, both professionally and personally. What if they worked against Pinochet and then lost the election? What would then be their fate? Would they ever work again? Would they eventually be arrested? Could they end up as political prisoners? "No," which gets its name from the actual anti-Pinochet campaign, recounts the atmosphere of fear those brave enough to oppose the dictator had to endure during the 27-day campaign. Given the overwhelming odds stacked against them, no one -- not even the movement's most committed followers -- gave the "No" campaign a chance.But if that was the case, we wouldn't be watching a movie about these events some 25 years later.That's where the star of "No" comes in. Mexican actor Gael Garcia Bernal plays a young hotshot advertising wizard hired by the anti-Pinochet ("No") movement to orchestrate its media campaign. The very real issue of how to run a national campaign amidst this culture of fear gets compounded by a deep divide within the camp between those who want to use this rare opportunity to showcase Pinochet's horrific human rights abuses versus the younger pragmatists who view the selling of a candidate about the same as marketing beer or tires.Given the extraordinary circumstances of this unique moment in history and all the subplots of running an underdog campaign fraught with danger, one can immediately see similarities to some of movie history's best political thrillers -- including The Candidate (1972), All the President's Men (1976), Primary Colors (1998), and most recently -- Argo (2012). Had "No" employed a top-notch screenwriter and shot the movie in a more conventional manor (on standard film, for starters), it might have taken its place among the pantheon of great political dramas. Instead, a fascinating story gets lost in the abyss of a poorly contrived and under-budgeted mess.One final note: Without revealing any spoilers, "No" is probably a must see for political junkies if for no other reason than to watch this unlikely campaign unfold, and at times completely unravel before ultimately becoming a serious challenge to one of the most notorious political and military regimes in Latin American history. This is a fabulous story with some truly mesmerizing moments of triumph. However, the film fails to convey these remarkable real-life events in a manner worthy of those brave heroes who actually set out to achieve the impossible.
A good vintage style film but lacks character development---As soon as the opening credits started, I knew I would love this film. Even before that, the idea of learning more about the TV communication war between the two parties seemed very much interesting. The director had the brilliant idea to edit the movie in a vintage, 80's look which helped mixing archive clips with the actual film more easily. Also I guess his intention was to take us on a journey to that period, and I must say that it worked quite well. I truly enjoyed the time travel machine experience.Gael Garcia is an amazing actor and I believed in his acting. So did I for the rest of the cast. Being able to enter the process of this huge advertising and political war was jubilant, as it felt like we had access to a whole secret world where no one was able to step in before.Now the main thing I regret on this film is the lack of an actual story. As fun as following these advertising nerds can be, it is disappointing to not know more about them, especially the lead character René. Yes, he has a son and is separated, struggles with a few ego issues... but that is it. We are only given a very few insights of his personality. Nothing else happens really.You can tell that the director did some research and heard this and that about him or her, so he's put it in the film. Then we just watch the YES and NO TV commercials one after the other, sometimes accompanied with a few images of people's reactions.What I mean by that is that it was difficult even frustrating at times, to swing between a proper documentary and a regular movie. Finding the good balance is the main difficulty with such films.Overall I truly liked this film because it taught me things.
Betamax Is Alive!---A well crafted and acted movie about a little known episode in history. It is an extraordinary tale about the exceptional individuals who rose to the occasion and managed to purge Chile and the rest of the world of the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet without spilling blood, inciting violence or seeking vengeance and reprisals! They did it with a song, steadfast belief in their cause and a lot of hope and faith! "NO" covers the end of the Pinochet dictatorship and the transition of power from the military junta rule through democracy and elections to a civilian government. It is the conclusion of an ugly cycle of violence, tyranny and oppression which started when the democratically elected government of Chilean president Salvador Allende was overthrown in a violent military coup on September 11, 1973 (quite ironic...the date!). It culminated in the ascent to power of general Augusto Pinochet, the head of the military junta.By the late 1980's, external pressures mainly from the US and Western Europe(as it was at the time) where being put on Pinochet and the junta to take steps towards the democratization of Chile and a relaxation of what was basically governance by military decree.The pressure coming from the US was quite ironic given the fact that the military coup which deposed Allende was largely the brainchild of Henry Kissinger (who many rightly consider a war criminal) and the CIA. By 1989 the want and need for change was being made even more urgent for the world powers, because the presence of Pinochet no longer fit the global narrative at the time, given the fact that the Berlin Wall was about to come down, Communism was collapsing all over Eastern Europe and the USSR was taking its last gasping breaths of existence. Pinochet was a badly-drawn, nasty caricature of a tin-pot dictator masquerading as a "anti-Communist" fighter and a bulwark against the expansion of Socialism throughout Latin America. By 1989 the jig was up so the US and co. could no longer maintain the farce that was Pinochet. As a result he was pretty much forced to hold a plebiscite...or a referendum,in order to legitimize the continuation of his presidency for another 8 years. That or give up power. This movie covers that campaign, the people involved on both sides "SI" and "NO" (i.e. the title of the movie) and the events that followed.The movie was shot in such a way that it recreates the Betamax visual style, it was not shot to accommodate a wide-screen frame (at least it wasn't in the movie theatre I went to). It was shot on purpose to recreate the look and texture of the late 80's, a time I am very familiar with since I recall a lot of the events portrayed in the movie.Gael Garcia Bernal is his usual talented self as is the rest of the cast. The direction and script are competent and do their duty to tell the tale.This is a good movie but not a great one. Given the events and times portrayed, it lacks a certain gravitas and sense of urgency. Those were heady days, dynamic, electrifying, full of an anxious optimism for the future and the possibilities it entailed. The movie fails to capture that fervour and kinetic energy which made that transition so memorable and vital.Still given the rubbish which passes for movies these days, I would recommend it, if nothing else as some type of entertaining history lesson of sorts.