We all meet “the one” at some point in our life, someone we want to spend the rest of our lives with. But you don’t always end up being with each other as fate will have a different story set for you. What matters in the end is how you accept it and the choices you make to move forward.
Call Me by Your Name (2017), directed by Luca Guadagnino, is a beautiful film set in northern Italy about first love. The film received the Academy Award for Best Writing (Adapted Screenplay) in 2018. It is based on a screenplay written by James Ivory and is based on Andre Aciman’s 2007 novel under the same name.
Set in 1983, an unexpected yet life-changing romance grows between two young men. Elio (Timothee Chalamet), who is 17, and returning to his family’s summer home with his parents. Despite that fact that he is a teenager, he is way more matured than his age. His father (Michael Stuhlbarg), is a famous professor of Greco-Roman culture, and his mother (Amira Casar), a hostess.
Oliver (Armie Hammer), a 24-year-old American doctorate student, arrives for Elio’s father’s annual internship. Elio had to sacrifice his room for the new intern and he was not happy with it. The encounter between the two is not that we expected as Oliver shows no sign of initiating a friendship.
As days pass by, Elio realises that he is physically attracted to Oliver but kept it to himself as he was not sure how Oliver would take it. Gradually, they bond with each other and that is when things get more intense. Elio confesses about the feeling he develops for Oliver. Both of them were not sure of what was happening and kept themselves away from each other.
As the story progress, Elio and Oliver share a beautiful bond of love. Elio wanted to keep the affair as a secret from his parents but they are aware of it. The duo spends quality time with each other. At times Elio feels disgusted and confused about being intimate with Oliver and at the same time he realises how much he is in love with Oliver.
Things take a toll as it is time for Oliver to leave Italy. Both are broken but the societal standards would not let them be together. Thousands of unspoken words of helplessness and love are seen in their final hug before Oliver leaves.
When Elio returns home after saying his goodbyes, he discovers that all traces of Oliver have been removed from his house. Elio speaks with his father, who admits that he was aware of his son’s relationship with Oliver. He expresses appreciation for Elio’s ability to develop such a strong male bond, implying his own sadness that he was never able to do so.
Years later, Elio gets a call from Oliver. Taking the phone, Elio calls his own name; “Elio. Elio. Elio. Elio. Elio…” to which Oliver responds “I remember everything.”
Tears came rolling down my cheeks watching Elio in this particular scene. One will definitely feels sorry for him for what he is going through.
The use of classic music, the beauty of the city in each frame, artistic use of camera, the locations, and so on all contribute to the story’s overall value.
In the closing scene, Elio gazes into the fireplace and thinks about Oliver. We see him emotionally breaking into million pieces. Elio’s face glows with light from the fireplace, as though the memories of Oliver, however terrible, are bringing him back to life. That is exactly what Call Me by Your Name is about.
You see love isn’t always about being together, it exists as a result of emotional intimacy and transcends beyond physical closeness.
Image Source IMDb