English Review – Call Me By Your Name (2017)

3.5

The unspoken love with unmistakable desire is really going on in another Luca Guadagnino’s emphatic love story.

The renowned art-house director Luca Guadagnino which famous for his emphatic love story, gets the most severe attempt in his very ambitious, challenging drama of same-sex romance in Call Me By Your Name. The film started in low profile, then becomes very successful and gained buoyant attention, people love it, and the Oscar nominates it.

The fact that modern audiences tend to open with the LGBT-themed movie may impacting in universal fondness toward Guadagnino’s. But, as a matter of fact also, the LGBT here is actually just a presentation of the true beauty of this film, the idea of the first time, genuine love.

Adapted from a novel with the same name, with James Ivory as the screenwriter, Call Me By Your name set in Italian summertime 1983, in which a 17-year-old boy, Elio (Timothée Chalamet), and his Jewish-Italian parents live. Elio’s father (Michael Stuhlbarg) is an archaeology professor and currently invites his American student named Oliver (Armie Hammer) to come over the summer, offering help with his academic paperwork. A casual internship, you may say.

During his 6-week stay, Oliver can’t be more grateful for the Perlman’s warm welcome. Elio shares his time with Oliver to bring him around the town, taking a break by swimming, bicycle riding somewhere. They get along very well. The relationship they bond is apparent, really close. Yet apparently, both of them may reticent about their gesture at each other.

Call Me By Your Name has developed their two anchoring characters swell. Two is distinctive and has respective self-struggle that accommodates the film’s conflict where two people of rather significant different age are falling in love. And not only age but also physically and emotionally, as Elio is just a thin teenage kid to the adult archetype masculine Oliver.

With Elio, we feel self-finding anxiety as he is numerously frustrated to seek courage or depressingly hoping for Olive attention. With Oliver, it is a feeling he should repress not because he doesn’t feel it nor doesn’t into it, but because he just can’t do that. He shouldn’t. He acknowledged the situation, the desire, but he’s more mature in this case to decide that it’s not right.

Distraction Elio has been seeking only proves that he’s who he is. And Oliver affected with how Elio behave, which make it, as he quoted, difficult for him.

Guadagnino delivers the drama at a slow, melancholy pace. Acted profoundly by Armie Hammer and Timothée Chalamet by the electric, dedicated chemistry. Every pivotal scene must’ve been a challenge since it’s not a ‘straight’ romance, but the two actors just executed flawlessly like it’s not an issue. The fragility Elio has, and the tenderness Olive offers.

The friendship between Elio and Oliver is an exuberant one, although secretive by its own means. And Oliver soon gonna be back to U.S. Present becomes past, and with it comes memories. Stare into the furnace, Elio could’ t hold it back. Dealing it alone, but hopefully, he’s a different person now by remembering how calling each other by own name is a way to overcome insecurities and how letting pain and sorrow will let you feel the joy within.