You are here:  Ronen Recommends

Ronen's Rating System:

***** A must watch
**** Worth seeing
*** If you must watch a movie and there is nothing else out there
** Don’t bother
* It’s so bad its almost good... not... These are films I walked out on, or just fell asleep
(K: stars) Rating by my children. As they are easy to please, would typically be higher than mine...

Entries

No (Chile, 2012) ****

No (Chile, 2012) ****

There is something unsettling in the storytelling of No, a Chilean film, written and directed by Pablo Larraín to an unpublished play titled El Plebiscito by Antonio Skármeta. No covers about a month in 1988, during which Chile, under Pinochet, was subjected to an intense political advertising campaign. Atypical of a dictatorship, Pinochet, under international pressure, allowed the campaign to take place in preparation for a public vote, held to determine if he is to remain in power. Chilean citizens were to say Yes and see eight more years of Pinochet, or No, to remove him. It may be difficult for us, a democracy, to conceive why voting Yes would even be an option, but the film does a decent job showing that the call was not that simple. Despite his horrible acts during his presidency, Pinochet made Chile, at least for a while, a shining economy. Also, at the time, some Chileans felt the vote will anyhow be rigged, so getting people to come out and cast their choice was not that simple. 

What makes No, the film, special, is its unique perspective. It follows a young promising advertising executive who guides the No campaign; a campaign organized by a coalition of the opposition parties. The plot further thrusts this character, René, played by the mesmerizing Mexican actor Gael García Bernal, against various opposing powers, including his own agency's boss, his ex-wife, members of his own campaign and, of course, the Pinochet administration of terror. Aside of its political aspects, No is also fascinating as an exercise in the art of advertising and the psychology behind it. Watching No, one may be reminded somewhat of the successful American TV series Mad Men. Director Larraín uses a very rough style of filmmaking, which does not only make the events feel more authentic, but also allows combing real footage from the time in a completely integrated manner. The style includes handheld camera, washed-out colors, usage of low definition 3/4 inch magnetic videotape, used by television news in Chile at the time, and quick cuts, increasing the nervousness of the plot. Despite its seriousness No includes several brief yet well-timed moments of comic relief. 

It should be noted that this Academy Award nominated film was received to mixed reviews in Chile. Genaro Arriagada Herrera, who directed the real No campaign, felt the film ignored the grassroots movement of the time, and made it seem like the TV ads were all it took to make Chile rid of Pinochet. To its defense, the filmmaker claimed that this film is not a documentary but a work of art, focusing on specific aspects he wished to explore. If you are interested in good intense drama, based on historical events, say Yes to No.

TrackbackPrintPermalink
Currently rated 0.0 by 0 people

Comments

Got something to say? Join the discussion »

Leave a Reply

 [Quick Submit with Ctrl+Enter]

Remember my details
Notify me of followup comments via e-mail

Search

Archive

Bookmark and Share

Subscription

Get the latest film recommendations by email! (we NEVER share or sell emails to marketers)

Featured Entries

Game Night (2018) ****

Directed by John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein, to a screenplay by Mark Perez, Game Night is a comedy-action thriller, that delivers jokes while...

The Last Jedi (2017) ****

If I had to sum-up the experience of watching this film in one word, it would be: impressive. Although, not without hiccups. The Last Jedi counts as ...

Professor Marston and the Wonder Women (2017) ***

A bio-drama, Professor Marston and the Wonder Women tells the story of psychologist William Moulton Marston, and the two women in his life. Martson, a...

American Made (2017) ****

Life is stranger than fiction; this paraphrase of a Mark Twain’s famous quote may come in mind, when watching American Made. It is a film based on true...

Far Western (2016, Japan, USA) ****

Who would have guessed that in Japan, especially post-WWII, American country music, including Bluegrass, will have not just fans, but actual talented ...

Blade Runner 2049 (2017) ****

Blade Runner 2049, or BR 2049 for short,  is a 2017 neo-noir sci-fi film, directed by Denis Villeneuve to a screenplay by Hampton Fancher and Michael ...

Maudie (2016) ****

An indie bio-drama, Maudie follows the life of Nova Scotia painter Maud Lewis. The film, a Canadian-Irish production, shot to a small budget of $5.6mm...

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017) ****

The Guardians Vol. 2's storyline is as thin and infantile as a young twig, yet it serves one purpose – delivering perfect punchlines. And yes, the special...

Frantz (2016, France-Germany) ****

Franz tells the story of a German woman named Anna, beautifully portrayed by Paula Beer, who, in post-WWI Germany of 1919, while grieving Franz, her fianc...

Logan (2017) ***

Directed by James Mangold, who co-wrote the screenplay with Scott Frank and Michael Green, Logan is based on a story by Mangold. Logan introduces us to...

Authors

Latest Comments

    Re: Logan (2017) ***

    I agree about the relationship with Logan and Charles - added a lot of depth, especially with the next...

    -- ed

    Re: Eye in the Sky (2015, UK) *****

    Great Review Ronen!

    -- Scott

    Re: Top Five (2014) ***

    wonderfully expressed review and very accurately describing the movie...

    -- Zoes mom

    Re: Begin Again (2014) ***

    such great performers - would have expected more of.... very disappointing to hear....

    -- mother of four

    Re: Waltz with Bashir (2008) *****

    Stunned. Speechless. This is a powerful movie. Its objectivity and lack of judgment IS its power, and...

    -- Monroe Movie Lover

    Re: Inception (2010) ***

    Special effects are more than ever present even in drama movies, its almost normal that an action thriller...

    -- Alvaro

    Re: The Real Dirt On Farmer John (2005) ***

    Interesting though i was expecting more of the film.

    -- rondnor

    Re: Midnight Run (1988) *****

    great movie indeed

    -- rondnor

    Re: The Bounty Hunter (2010) *

    wont bother then

    -- superair

    Re: Stardust (2007) *****

    LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this movie :-)watching Robert De Niro in a dress what could be better.Enjoy

    -- YRD

© 2019 RonenRecommends.com, All Rights Reserved. Site Developed and Maintained by Progressive Element, Inc.