Call me by your name – Gorgeous, sensual, and emotionally-triggering work of art about coming-of-age love story


Call me by your name is a movie hits me hard and even harder when it comes to write a review because it’s one of Hollywood masterpieces that hardly to put into words.

Gay or coming-of-age love story is not a brand new topic but Call me by your name still a new phenomenon in film history. Since the plot may sound familiar but how it was told, was directed, and was adapted from the book was a totally different story.

Rarely do we have a film that is perfect from the acting, the imagery, the setting, the dialogue, and even the soundtrack, but Call me by your name, not to overstate, is one of a few movies which is perfect on any level.  

True love always comes when you least expect

Set in tranquil Northern Italy, in the mid-eighties in summer, Luca Guadagnino director pictures a love story of an Italian bright teenager who gets thunderstruck by his dad’s guest student – Oliver, a charismatic and dashing man from America.

Two attractive men got shot by cupid’s arrow at the first meet, but they are too afraid to step forward. Because neither of them is sure the other feels the same way. Elio pretends not to care whilst Elio seems too busy with local female beauties. And days by days in a tranquil and beautiful Italian town, gentle gestures and elegant glances are exchanged but the distance between them remains unchanged.

However, true love has its own way for them to find each other. They can lie to themselves, they can pretend there is nothing happens but they can’t resist their feelings. “It’s better to speak or to die?”, facing that question, Elio finally chooses to speak his heart, and eventually, through a series of those unnamed moments, the romance between Oliver and Elio blossoms resplendently as if it will never come twice.

The most romantic kind of love is the unfinished kind

Even though how beautiful and amazing things happen, at some point, it has to end. Elio and Oliver’s story come to an end when Oliver goes back to America. Luca Guadagnino describes the love between Elio and Oliver as so beautiful and full-hearted that it hurts to see them apart at the end.

Accepting to love someone and knowing it leads nowhere is a risk. But Oliver and Elio accept to take that risk because it’s worth being who you truly are and being with someone you truly love than hiding and avoiding it. Elio knows for sure Oliver will leave one day but what can he expect? At now, he has Oliver right by his side, all he can do is enjoy the time they have together.

The monologue between Elio and his dad toward the end is super powerful and heartbreaking. It’s also one of the highlights of the movie where Elio’s dad gives his son a calm and emotional talk, providing his acceptance of Elio’s story.  

But the highest emotional peak actually comes at the end with the haunting image of Elio silently crying and smiling at the same time after hearing Oliver’s news. That ending hit me so hard because that when you know they never stop loving each other, they just learn to live without another.

“The most romantic kind of love is the unfinished kind”, they said. Elio and Oliver’s cliffhanger ending, though sad and heart-wrenching, somehow makes their story unforgettable and heartfelt. “I remember everything”, said Oliver. Maybe that’s the only consolation could warm our heart at the end.

Call me by your name is a masterclass of film-making

There is not even a single-sex scene but Call me by your name nails it at making the audience feel the intensely sensual atmosphere through the movie. To me, the only director who can skillfully describe love without talking frankly about it is Wong Kar Wai but genius Luca Guadagnino definitely makes me think twice. The way he integrates Italian landscapes, colors, and music is unbelievable. The love between Elio and Oliver is told not through those cheesy moments or sex scenes but it is everywhere, it literally is in the air. Love can come from the sunshine, the smallest sounds, and even the unspoken silence between the two main characters.

There is no “I love you” or “I miss you”. Those phrases are so luxurious for them but there’s “see you at midnight” in those pieces of paper, there are sneaky kisses, eye-to-eye glances and there’s “call me by your name and I call you by mine”.

But the most unpredictable move Luca Guadagnino has made in this movie is the peach scene, that when Elio’s desire is put to the climax. It’s so intensive, fierce yet subtle and profound at the same time. Sex scene at its finest!  

In this movie, Timothee Chalamet (plays Elio) and Armie Hammer (plays Oliver) have a chance to prove their hidden talents. Timothee undoubtedly is one of the best young actors of modern time, he plays his role so well and fits perfectly with the character. Even though he lost his 2018 Oscar Leading Actor to superb Gary Oldman, we all know with his acting talent, he will be back soon on the battle. Armie Hammer, after many unnoticed roles, finally has one which allows him to shine. These two actors contribute a lot to the echo that the movie has made.

Call me by your name surely is a movie that I hardly can forget. It’s one of the movies that left me hanging. Hope to see more of Luca Guadagnino’s films and more movies like this in cinema history.

All photos by: mintmovi3


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