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Call Me By Your Name

Call Me By Your Name is one of 2017's highly praised and hyped films. It is about the romance between Elio, the son of a professor, and Oliver, his father's research assistant, as Oliver spends six weeks with Elio's family somewhere in Northern Italy. Of all the films circulating the awards circle, this is the one I am excited yet nervous to watch. With all its high praise, my expectations have been escalating and finally watching the film gave me an anxiety, hoping that it doesn't disappoint.

There are two things that I picked up while watching the film. First is that I am terrible at picking out cues. Aside from the obvious ones (the scribble, and the shoulder rub), I was at loss as to how it went from Elio merely observing Oliver from afar to the two admitting their mutual attraction to each other. The second is that this film is to be viewed in a personal level, to view it as part of the narrative and in the shoes of someone close to Elio. It hit me  during Elio's conversation with his mother, about Oliver liking him more than he thought. If the film was viewed in the eyes of someone who see the two of them, and knows Elio, they will pick up on the attraction based on Elio's behavior.

It made sense for me because this is mostly Elio's story. We are always getting his feelings, his reactions, his observations during the six weeks he was with Oliver. The film seemed to be written as a personal ode for Elio, and his whole experience of that summer. What I liked about their relationship is that there wasn't this big drama hanging above them. There's no conversations on what others will think, or what will happen to them after the summer ends, or any fighting sequence between the two that will bring the movie to another dramatic tide. They simply enjoyed each other's company, and spent their moments together, living. Even if the heartbreak was going to be there. Granted, there were a few things left unsaid. This was mostly unearthed through the last moments of the film, and we watch Elio go through the pain.

Timothee Chalamet and Armie Hammer gave brilliant performances. Chalamet was the star of the piece, and he was able to bring a depth to his character. He's confused, aroused, in love, in pain, and Chalamet brought all that to life. He couldn't have done all that without Hammer giving a performance that fits the role. It also helps that the setting and the soundtrack fit the narrative.

It does take some time to appreciate the film as it goes on a slow start. Still, it's a wonderful film worth of its praise.

Note: I have read the book after writing this, and decided not to revise anything. The book and film are two different things, but the film has embodied the essence of the novel in the adaptation.

Comments

  1. I loved everything about this aside from Hammer. Chalamet was really something else. It's a shame Oldman is getting a career Oscar this year when he (and Kaluuya for that matter) gave the better performance)

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  2. Super! I really loved the film - saw it at the LFF and then twice upon release. I didn't expect the attachment to the film, but I was fullu absorbed into Elio and Oliver's feelings said and unsaid. Great review!!

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  3. I liked this movie a lot, and I never thought of that perspective for watching the film but it makes sense, I guess I took it a way. I emphasised with Elio though not exactly as being in his shoes but rather... recognising the shoes as real 🧐😂

    I must rewatch it, and read the book! Did you like the book though?

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  4. You are so spot on about this film not having some melodramatic arc hanging over it like a cloud. That was one of the reasons I enjoyed it so much - no bickering, no fighting, it was just young, confusing love.

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