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Film review: ‘No’

Gael Garcia Bernal is apparently wiped out from being in so many good movies—like No.

The Details

Four stars
Gael García Bernal, Alfredo Castro, Luis Gnecco
Directed by Pablo Larrain
Rated R. Opens Friday
Official Movie Site
IMDb: No
Rotten Tomatoes: No

If you’ve ever watched Mad Men and wondered if advertising can really be as powerful as Don Draper makes it out to be, then the Oscar-nominated Chilean film No should answer your question. No follows the 1988 advertising campaign to oust Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet, with an advertising wunderkind (Gael García Bernal) using the same tactics he employs in selling soda to sell the Chilean population on freedom and democracy. Director Pablo Larrain deftly mixes social satire and historical drama in his account of a monumental political victory achieved in part via a catchy jingle, a simplistic slogan and a cheesy logo. Larrain shot the movie on the same low-res videotape used in ’80s Chilean TV, which takes some getting used to but also allows him to seamlessly integrate actual footage from the time period. That real footage is often more outrageous than the fictionalized elements, and all of it is consistently fascinating.


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Previous Discussion:

  • A balance of strong humor with serious danger and uncertainty with a cast full of great actors.

  • Remarkably, the film gradually neutralizes its apparent protagonist, adding to a harrowing experience.

  • Ken Jeong has had scene-stealing roles as oddball characters, but a little of his manic energy goes a long way.

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