Tuesday, July 2, 2013

No (2012)

Director: Pablo Larraín. Cast: Gael García Bernal, Alfredo Castro, Luis Gnecco. 118 min. Rated R. Chile/USA/France/Mexico. Drama/History.

A dictator holds a referendum. Do you participate and risk validating the system with your "No" vote, or not participate and risk your voice never being heard again? This happened in the 1980s Chile during Pinochet's ruthless dictatorship, when international pressure forced him to hold a referendum, and this movie tells the story. I won't tell the end result (you can look it up on Wikipedia), but found the ending anti-climactic and formulaic, and not as strong as it opens. The final scene of the hero skateboarding alone in the streets, skeptical of what just happened, is a lasting image.

PS: No was nominated this year for a Best Foreign-Language Oscar.

Mo says:

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