Movie Review: No
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Director: Pablo Larraín
Screenwriter: Pedro Peirano
Cast: Gael García Bernal, Alfredo Castro, Luis Gnecco, Antonia Zegers
Sony Pictures Classics
Rated PG-13 | 118 Minutes
Release Date: April 19, 2013

Based on the unpublished play El Plebiscito by Antonio Skármeta, No stars Gael García Bernal as René Saavedra, a young advertising executive working in Chile in the late 1980s.

After fifteen years of brutal military dictatorship, the people of Chile are asked to vote in the national plebiscite of 1988 on whether General Augusto Pinochet should stay in power for another eight years (YES) or if there should be an open democratic presidential election the next year (NO).

René is approached by the “No” campaign committee to consult on their proposed advertising for the upcoming vote. Behind the back of his politically conservative boss, Lucho (Alfredo Castro), René agrees to head the committee’s advertising department only to find the “No” campaign’s strategy consists of a dourly unappealing litany of the regime’s abuses.

Compelled by his own loathing of Pinochet’s tyranny, René proposes they take a lighthearted, upbeat approach. By using strategies forged in the world of commercial advertising and marketing, the new advertisements will stress abstract concepts like “happiness,” creating upbeat films and promotional material, in the hope it will encourage the Chilean public to vote ‘No.’

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