Chilean director Nicholas López’s new film Sin Filtro (No Filter) is a lighthearted comedy that offers audiences a laugh or a bit of reflection, depending on the way one interprets the film’s message.
The film follows Pia, a 37-year-old woman who seems to “have it all”, yet still suffers from stress-induced panic attacks. She has a well-paid job, a husband, a good home and friends, yet her psychiatrist continues to prescribe her increased doses of antidepressants. “¿Qué me pasa, Dios mío?” she wonders aloud as she questions her unhappiness.
To the audience it’s clear. Pia, as it turns out, does not have it all. Her co-workers in an advertising agency see her as the grandmother of the office; her husband is an unemployed artist looking for inspiration while he and his son live comfortably off her earnings; her friends consist of a social media addict, her 10-year ex and her cat-loving sister, all of whom seem to place Pia in second place among their priorities. Does it therefore come as a surprise when she seeks alternative medical treatment at a possibly unlicensed Chinese doctor’s storage room?
Once summited to a more than dodgy acupuncture, Pia lets loose. True to the film’s title, she begins living life with No Filter, telling everyone exactly what she thinks of them. If the beginning wasn’t comic enough, this part will certainly entertain audiences, especially women who have been accused of going through “that time of the month” when speaking their mind in a brutally honest manner.
López in this section takes advantage of the comic element to poke fun at a generation obsessed with the projection of a certain image through social media. His frustration is most palpable as Pia snaps her colleague’s selfie-stick in two as well as dunking her friend’s phone in orange juice, explaining that she is simply “saving” her friend from her own “mental illness”. It is no coincidence that Pia works in an advertising agency that is increasingly hiring model-esque employees that are perfectly capable of filling out their bras but seem to struggle with administrative forms.
Her office becomes a symbol of the shallow value placed nowadays on an image rather than on substance, especially an image which will eventually be posted or uploaded on YouTube. We all know that one person (in some cases more than one) that is continuously worried about their Facebook profile or their Instagram account. This is why it comes as a relief when Pia tells the cable man exactly where he can stick up the cables which give her access to her Wi-Fi and her social media. As a viewer, you can’t help but feel a small bout of joy as the router, which at this point has been thrown at the cable man, hits the wall with a triumphant crash.
As stated before, Sin Filtro is a light-hearted comedy with a message that the viewer can take or leave. Each character is presented as the hyperbolic version of themselves which makes this film as unrelatable as it does relatable. There is no character which will fully remind one of oneself, or friends and family, but there are certain characteristics in each one that make us laugh as we recognise them in the people we know. After all, don’t we all have our small manias and obsessions that make us all just that little bit crazy?