Dolev Amitai’s review published on Letterboxd:
That poster is both misleading and quite faithful to the film itself.
The poster truly shows what the film is about, with Gael García Bernal as René Saavedra, who is tasked with running the T.V campaign in Chile, working for the No faction in the upcoming election.
Not only, the film basically gives us the information about the campaign René is running, a colorful and against norms political campaign.
Yet, from that colorful poster I expected a lavish and colorful film, which in a way it is not.
The thing is, No's director Pablo Larraín decided to shoot the film using the ¾ inch Sony U-matic magnetic tape.
This not only gives the film a low-res DV video aesthetics, it also makes almost every source of light that enters the shot to completely illuminate it.
The reason for the shooting style is that the style was widely used by television news in Chile in the 80s.
This also allows the T.V segments to blend in with the film with ease.
The problem for me, is that I never found filming a film in order to fit with the era really added anything, at least to me (i.e The Aviator).
It also forces the screen size to be really small, in a way forcing us to look at only what the director wanted to show, but it also distracts from the viewing pleasure.
Like most VD shot films, it does manage to lessen its effect as time moves on, and at the end you don't really notice it. But for a while it does get in my pleasure of the film.
Back to the film, No shows how creativity can beat even the most extreme odds, and how thinking out side of the box can really change everything.
The T.V segments are especially great, using smarly written humor and sketches to get the point across.
Overall, No is a really good political/artistic film that sadly for me was only held back because of the way it was shot.