Call Me By Your Name

Call Me By Your Name is a 2017 coming of age romantic drama film directed by Luca Guadagnino. Its screenplay by James Ivory who also co-produced was based on Andre Aciman’s 2007 novel of the same name. The film is the final installment in Guadagnino’s thematic ‘Desire’ trilogy after I Am Love (2009) and Bigger Splash).

Set in Northern Italy in 1983, Call Me By Your Name chronicles a romantic relationship between a 17-year-old, Elio Perlman (played by Timothee Chalamet) and Oliver (played by Armie Hammer), a 24-year-old graduate student assistant to Elio’s father (played by Michael Stuhlbarg), a professor of archaeology. The film also stars the French actress Amira Casar, Esther Garrel, and Victoire Du Bois. (Wikipedia)

Hats down for an incredible performance; the characters really came alive through you.

Characters

First of all, let me just take the time to say that I loved everyone in this movie, from the protagonist down to the old guy with the fish. The setting was so authentic and natural that for a moment I felt like I was peeking in at the private natural lives of an actual family. All the actors were absolutely incredible and there was not a moment that I felt like I was disconnected from Elio and Oliver’s story by reality.

But I have to admit that of all the actors, my favorite was by far was Michael Stuhlbarg. He held such a potent comfortable and open aura in his role as Elio’s father.  His role truly plucked at my heartstrings as a young man and I think every man who watches the film in terms of what we would want; a father that loves and supports you no matter what; so a toast to that stellar performance Michael.

Timothee was definitely in his element in this film and I will be looking out for more of his films. He brought us into his intimate moments and showed off his vulnerability that is very rare for an actor as young as himself. Bravo Timothee!

Armie… what can I say.

In most stories, the love interest turns back at the last moment and confesses their love, letting us savor the picturesque fairytale ending we all know and love. Sadly though, Guadagnino and Aciman did not give us that. Instead, they allowed us to face the reality of a 1983 gay couple in love with each other but unable to actually be together. Yet in the tragic ending of it all, he weaved it in such a way that our love interest did not leave because he wanted to but because he had to.

We see Oliver’s struggle with loving Elio throughout the film and his eventual realization that even though he would want to remain, he has to go back to his reality of an unsupportive father and societal expectations and he too feels the pain of it all. Hence the term in his phone call “I remember it all”

In short, I just loved everyone up in there. Y’all were fantastic.

Storyline

“It’s the summer of 1983 and precarious 17-year-old Elio Perlman is spending the days with his family at their 17th-century villa in Lombardy, Italy. He soon meets Oliver, a handsome doctoral student who’s working as an intern for Elio’s father. Amid the sun-drenched splendor of their surroundings, Elio and Oliver discover the heady beauty of awakening desire over the course of a summer that will alter their lives forever.”

What I loved most about the plot is the fact that you get to see the main characters grow in the short span of the film. Elio starts out spoiled and dismissive, guarded, and sort of rough around the edges, but by the end of the journey, we see the vulnerable, scared, emotional side of him. This is of course thanks to his very very supportive and intuitive parents who aware of their son’s journey of discovery nudge him ever so gently in the right direction.

Pain is a paramount theme in this film and they do not beat around the bush. Instead, we see the characters grow from being broken and shattered to mending and accepting it as a part of life. It is definitely a relief from the often tragic suicidal endings of most LGBTQ-themed films, so thank you Guadagnino and Andre for the change of pace.

Also, even though the film is based on a time when homosexuality was a taboo, it is quite relevant for the present social climate, and let’s face it, it was a heartwarming story.

I think that the intimate scenes were also handled quite tastefully. Normally sex is both raunchy and unfeeling but there was laughter, awkwardness, and even crying; Basically bringing it down to the aspect of just two people sharing an intimate moment together and navigating the intricacies of it on their own, unashamedly.

Critique

From a writer’s point of view I would say that the entire story could definitely not fit into the film without having a 24hour movie, so with that said, kudos on all that was done. However, as a hopeless romantic I insist that Elio should have been rewarded with a little more than a phone call telling him that the love of his life was getting married. But then again, I am reminded that it is in allowing our characters to suffer that a good story comes out, so I say I shall allow it…

This time…

Parting Shot

I’ll definitely be looking out for the book to see whether the film was true to it. I have decided that I will be doing this because more often than not, the book is always better.

No offence guys, it’s just how it is. Well apart from The Chronicles of Narnia. (Sigh)

But if you haven’t watched it, go ahead and watch this film. That’s if I haven’t completely ruined it for you in which case, Sooooooooory… Either which way, watching the film is totally worth it, trust me.

Cover Image By Source, Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=54670536

XOXO,

Eli

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