Admittedly, I actively avoided reading the book before watching the film because I wanted to experience it without any preconceptions in my mind and honestly; it was the best decision I’ve made to date. I walked into the theatre knowing very little about the film and as the story unraveled I found the scenes in front of me slowly creeping into the darkest parts of my heart. It could have been the pace of the film, it could have been the romance within the dialogue or it could have been Timothee Chalamet giving an extraordinary performance; but I found myself completely fascinated the entire time.
I wouldn’t dare give away any spoilers because this film deserves to be experienced first-hand but give me a moment while I gush about the butterflies in my heart that were felt the entire time. This film beautifully captured the act of falling in love; the magic was within the small nuances and we have Timothee Chalamet to thank for all of it. The story of Oliver and Elio is a complicated one and within every moment of hesitation for the relationship is a breath where all you want is for them to get the “happily ever after”.Though Armie Hammer (Oliver) as a supportive character complimented Timothee (Elio) in a beautiful way, I often found myself fixated on the moments within the scenes where Timothee stole the show (which were most of them). It was in a hidden smile, it was in the nervous way he played with his necklace, it was in the hesitation to get too close yet eventually giving in to the feeling, it was in the way he perfectly portrayed the thrill that is falling in love for the first time. Timothee’s magical portrayal brings nostalgia and teenage-memories at the forefront of your mind once you exit the theatre.
(I may have lied about the spoilers, ahead are mini-spoilers. Read at your own risk) Though this story is about a romantic relationship between two men, the film shouldn’t be strictly defined as a LGBTQ movie. Though it’s definitely a win in terms of LGBTQ representation in the motion picture industry, if I had my say, I would categorize this film as the family film that was absolutely needed in 2017. While fully aware that not everyone will agree with my categorization, hear me out; Elio exists within the environment of a loving and healthy relationship with his parents. Not only are supportive parents repeatedly missing in coming-of-age films, you’ll find that supportive parents are often lacking in most LGBTQ films. I would consider this a giant leap forward for the community and found myself emotional in the middle of the film just thinking of all the young teens that would sit in theaters and watch this film. The supportive parents added a whole other level of magic within the film.
Call Me By Your Name took a hold of my heart and has yet to give it back to me. Though the entire experience was noteworthy, it was towards the end of the film that my heart expanded at least three sizes and it was at this point that the need for tissues would have been considered an emergency. It was in a scene with Elio and Mr. Perlman (his father, played by Michael Stuhlbard), it was within Stuhlbard’s monologue that I truly realized how magical this film is. Here’s an excerpt:
“We rip out so much of ourselves to be cured of things faster than we should that we go bankrupt by the age of thirty and have less to offer each time we start with someone new. But to feel nothing so as not to feel anything—what a waste!”
Not to be dramatic but I want these words tattooed on my body so that I never forget them and suddenly I fear that this review has gone too far into a fangirl’s tale so I’ll wrap up my thoughts.
Call Me By Your Name, has found it’s way into my heart and I may just let it stay there forever. This film is the kind of magic that you fear may never come around again and if you have a chance to see it in the theater, I strongly urge you to do so. The tears on my face may have dried off but my heart is still healing from the emotional rollercoaster it went on.