- 1 hr 50 min
No is a historical drama film directed by Pablo Larraín and released in 2012. Set in Chile in 1988, the film follows the national referendum campaign regarding whether dictator Augusto Pinochet should extend his rule for another eight years. The film stars Gael García Bernal as René Saavedra, an advertising executive who leads the "No" campaign.
The film opens by introducing René, a charismatic and charming young man working for an advertising agency. Though not overtly political, he begins to take notice of the deep divisions in Chilean society under Pinochet's oppressive regime. When the referendum is announced, both the "Yes" and "No" campaigns approach René to head their advertising. René is inspired by the idea of restoring democracy in Chile and chooses to lead the "No" campaign.
What follows is an uphill battle, as the "Yes" campaign has nearly unlimited resources and backing from the regime. The film explores the innovative and upbeat strategies René and his grassroots team employ, like jingles, joyful gatherings, and upbeat messaging, to counter the regime's pervasive climate of fear and misinformation. A key theme is the power of happiness and positivity as a political tool.
René also grapples with tensions in his personal life, like how his work strains his relationship with his politically apathetic boss and ex-wife. The film gives a glimpse into Chile's politically repressive climate, like when René and his son are violently targeted by regime supporters. However, René remains committed to the cause of hope and democracy.
The historic referendum takes place close to the film's conclusion. In real life, the "No" campaign was victorious, ending Pinochet's authoritarian 15-year rule. The film's ending recreates the Joy and euphoria that gripped the nation as results are announced on TV. René reflects on the extraordinary accomplishments of the grassroots campaign in the face of a ruthless opponent.
No offers a gripping dramatization of a pivotal moment in Chile's history. With elements of drama, suspense, and humor, it explores the power of grassroots activism and nonviolence in toppling a dictator. At its core, it is an inspiring tale ofhope triumphing over fear.
No is a 2012 drama with a runtime of 1 hour and 50 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 7.4 and a MetaScore of 81.