Monday, December 16, 2013

(spoilers ensue) 
In 1988, facing calls far and wide to remove Augusto Pinochet from office, the Chilean government held a country wide referendum with a yes or no option as to whether the nefarious dictator should remain in office. With both sides given campaign funds, a flashy ad exec (Gael Gabriel Bernal) is tapped by the "No" camp to head their publicity lobby and decides he is up to the task in the heavily handicapped contest. No, an Academy Award nominee for Best Foreign Film last year, is a fascinating look at the inner workings of its historical campaign. It does lack a dramatic thrust and when the victorious anticlimactic moment arrives, the protagonist looks around the room and asks, "Is that it?" which is pretty much the same thing the audience ponders at the film's conclusion. Still, Bernal is quite good and it is both surprising and engrossing how entrenched the film is in its onerous battle.