No Movie Reviews
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I will recommend this movie to any and all who are interested in great movies, as long as they are of a certain age. I took my kids to see it who are in their early teens and while I'm glad that they learned a lot about the relationship between Chile and the United States in the 1980s when I was their age, I have to say that some scenes were too graphic and disturbing. This movie is really ugly in some respects - not just visually but also psychologically. It shows what some evil people will do when they want to gain and then maintain power. If you are comfortable with your kids watching movies like Schindler's List which are based on real life atrocities and which show unflinchingly the violence of such situations, then your kids will be able to handle this one. If not, you might want to ease them into it because it's definitely not for the faint of heart or the squeamish.
Even though this movie is only opening this week in New York and Los Angeles, everyone in the country should be clamoring to see it. This is the kind of movie that reminds us why movies are so great. First of all, it's based on a true story. I'm not sure why many people don't know or want to know about South American dictators like Pinochet who were given power by American governments, but this movie shows why we should all care as much as we can. Also, the story is presented without all the grandeur of a biopic that you would expect from a major motion picture. It's actually quite ugly with very little fanfare or grand moments. This is a story about the little guy doing big things in small steps. It's a true David and Goliath story and everyone will love this who loves the story of an underdog. The cast is top notch, especially Gael Garcia Bernal who should be nominated for every award under the sun.
Up for Best Picture in the Foreign Language category, "No" stars Gael Garcia Bernal as a young advertising whiz named Saavedra who launches a campaign based on the word "No!" to show that the Chilean president was not democratically elected and that his claims to legitimacy are absurd. I know I sound all serious, but the truth is that I saw this movie only because I have a MAJOR crush on Gael and think he's the most gorgeous thing since the sun. Seriously, can he be any cuter? But the movie made me respect him and the filmmakers for taking such a bold stance on something most people outside of South America probably know very little about. I learned a little bit about this chapter in Chilean history in social studies class, but the gravity of the situation didn't hit me until I saw this dramatized version of it. A great movie that should rake in the awards.
As someone whose family grew up under the dictatorships of post WWII Italian regimes, I can say that this movie really hit home hard for me. Mind you, I wasn't alive when Mussolini fell, but my relatives often told me about the kinds of injustices they had to bear because of "The Great War" which was anything but "great". This movie called "No" shows how average and ordinary citizens can stand up to the most powerful nation on earth and prove them wrong for doing things that are patently against their human rights. Conservatives and Reagan worshippers won't love this movie (or even like it) since it implicates their hero as having done the unthinkable and installed an evil dictator where a democratically elected leader should have been, but it is a fact of history and deserves to be witnessed without white washing. This movie is up for Best Foreign Language Film and I hope it wins. It is sublime.
This is simply an astonishing movie. Really, truly breathtaking in the best sense of the word. This is a movie that really gets you to think about what it means to be a citizen of a country living under dictatorial rule and what it also means to be a citizen of a country like America that puts dictators in charge of other countries and then tries to sell their installment into power as a democracy. That is what happened when the Reagan administration backed Pinochet's rise to power in Chile in the 80s and it may have looked good to Americans but it was deeply troubling for Chileans who were oppressed, massacred, and subjugated in the decade that followed. I think that Gael Gacia Bernal turns in an Oscar worthy performance and he is easily the most talented young actor from Latin America. Is Hollywood has any brains at all, it will make dozens of movies every year with this great actor.
You might think that “No” is an odd name for a movie, and it would be for any other movie where the negative wasn’t so central to the idea of the movie about the positive. This isn’t about rejecting an idea – it’s about a movement that was borne upon the idea that revolution begins with “NO!”
Set in the 1980s during the Chilean dictatorial rule under General Augosto Pinochet, the movie is about the advertising campaign launched against the U.S.-backed dictator by Rene Saavedra (Gael Garcia Bernal) who works for one of the nation’s leading advertising agencies. Saavedra is a young liberal who craves freedom from the oppressive regime that Pinochet claims is a democratically elected administration. Reagan never got the memo, apparently.
This is, of course, a flat out lie, and the battle to take down one of South America’s most tyrannical despots is fought between the Saavedra and his agency colleague Lucho Guzman (Alfredo Castro) who happens to be a member of Pincohet’s advisory council. Guzman thinks he can use the simple “Yes” campaign to legitimize the Pinochet regime in the eyes of the world and a Chilean populace eager for democracy. Saavedra counters him with a simple “No” campaign.
This is not your usual political drama; it is about ideals but it’s also about the lengths two men will go to to make their ideals bear out into reality. One of the best movies to emerge from the international stable in a long, long time.