No ★★★★½

Probably the best film yet when it comes to the advertising nature of a political campaign.

A wonderful mix of Mad Men, one of the more intriguing plebiscites in recent history, and period appropriate, low-definition presentation (which achieves a beautiful cinematic verisimilitude when mixed with television footage).

As someone that prefers for political campaigns to educate their polity on the issues and to discuss constructive principles, the No campaign is a little flighty and a sad turning point for political campaigning. That said, the film is not a historical depiction, it is not a documentary. Rather, it is a separate and universalist piece of art. No is politically inspiring as a bloodless overthrow of a dictatorship (with the aid of foreign disapproval pressure), but ultimately it is more about advertising than about politics. The No campaign isnt just a political campaign advocating change for change sake, it also functions as a communication of human rights violations and political illegitimacy. So whilst the creative campaign advertising isnt the sole influence behind political change, it is a great way to tell such a story.

Gael Garcia Bernal also gives one of his best performances to date. His character provides an interesting discussion point in the film, as his purely pragmatic and results-based approach to advertising the campaign clashes heads with those who are unable to let this opportunity slip by as a chance to air their grievances over Pinochet. It was a great theme that was explored beautifully, depicting the fierce ideological tensions and different approaches within the NO campaign.

A distinct triumph, and one of 2012's best films.

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