[Credit: Sony Pictures Classics]
Luca Guadignino’s adaptation of Andre Aciman’s highly acclaimed novel starring Timothée Chalamet and Armie Hammer is a uniquely portrayed love story that leaves you feeling more than expected. The film is set “somewhere in Northern Italy” in the summer of 1983. Oliver, a handsome doctoral student, spends the summer as an intern for Elio’s father in their 17th century villa. The precocious 17-year-old Elio too devotes his days to the sun-kissed Italian town, writing transcripts, playing piano and reading novels nearby several water spots. It is amidst this enchanting and fairytale-like environment that Guadignino invites the audience to detach from themselves and become truly immersed in Elio and Oliver’s growing affection and connection. There is something unique about ‘Call Me by Your Name’ whereby it does not restrict its marketed audience to the LGBT community but delivers an authentic and heartbreaking love story that appeals to open audiences.
In comparison to other films made within the Romance/Drama genre, ‘Call Me by Your Name’ explores passionate desire without obstacles. The film allows the audience to indulge and savour every minute of their growing relationship without unnecessary tension and disagreement from other characters. Guadignino is not afraid of shooting long takes that flesh out the lust and tension between the two men, subsequently giving the film a sense of realism that is engaging and at times breathtaking. Although the two-hour and twelve-minute film may seem slow paced in certain scenes, it is not done in a pretentious manner. Instead, it achieves a measured and charming exploration of the love that ensues on screen. There are moments of laugher, compassion and empathy that speak volumes about the human connection and the touching and magical way in which film can interact with its audience. The sensual and transcendental film seduces, overwhelms and grips the viewer with wisdom concerning “the things that matter,” that being love; love in its many forms. “I love this Oliver” “What?” “Everything.”