Call Me by Your Name (2017) – Is It Better to Speak or Die?

Luca Guadagnino’s “Call Me by Your Name” is a heartwarming beautiful slice of life tale. You know, about a gay romance story that fills the void in his heart while questioning the ambiguity in his feelings. Interesting enough, especially for me, but how come the atmosphere carried you away? Because, how can two bisexual people went through the story of their forbidden love with a bitter reality yet came back in nothing? Do you cry because of that? There is an incident regarding the two main characters are the beginning of the obstacle and their main enemy, themselves. That’s how the film follows the flow as usual, without conflict at the beginning, but only empty after the title appears on end-credit.

Guadagnino knows what he was doing, not only directs a journey about romantic discovery, this film more than people thought. A quick honest story, when I was 10 years old, I once had a feeling I never understood. However, I just understood what the feeling was. Obviously, there was a feeling just like Timothée Chalamet’s Elio had. When I saw it, just touching his hand a little, my heart was pounding loudly. The feeling also carried away in my dreams. We were dating, talk about each other, and even making out each other.

The feeling was still there even though I have separated with him and tried to forget it. Unfortunately, there was still a feeling of ambiguity I never understood until I was 12 years old. Now, I understand what such a feeling was. Actually, I know what it really is but I’m just afraid to blow it up, get it out because I know my circumstance. There is an honest and raw feeling like Elio, unfortunately, I’m just afraid. On the other hand, Elio waits for his prince while also questioning the feeling of ambiguity in him. What’s that feeling really?

The story begins with Elio taking Armie Hammer’s Oliver to the guest room, next to his bedroom. That’s, Elio had to share the bathroom with the foreign American man. Oliver came to Italy as a research assistant to his father (Michael Stuhlbarg) while working under Elio’s father. Summer was full of busyness, Elio suddenly joined in it. While carrying out the busyness, Elio became very close to Oliver. The closer and closer their relationship, Elio felt something where he never knew.

“Call Me by Your Name” takes care of the deepest feelings, especially the dynamic and chemistry between Chalamet and Hammer. Burning out while calling their own names to each other, Luca Guadagnino brought them both to be one of their best performances. There is something I never understood when I saw this movie in my first viewing. But, as soon as I read a lot of essays about this film, I think I understand why many people love it. The seven-minute shot to Elio’s face completely filled with the void. We feel his pain, feel his feelings, and there are so many stories in Elio’s expression.

This movie is random, like a slice of life literature, there are no many things the main character can do. Sitting on the edge of the pool, playing the piano, playing volleyball, chatting at parties, making out with his girlfriend, chatting at the dinner table, and others. All of the characters do it by their actions and will, no one forces them. They move according to their wishes. Well-captured, we, as an audience, like being in the Elio group. Not only watching the romantic relationship between Elio and Oliver, but we are also part of the film as well.

“Call Me by Your Name” is actually a complex movie, telling random but combining the entire movie into one whole story. As long as you don’t know who Oliver was, there is a lack of information, doesn’t provide enough information to the character arc. Emotions overflow little by little, actually, looking for answers and giving these answers are two different things. The pacing is slow even you feel annoyed with it. You also even know that there are so many flies in this film. Just as you watch this film as well, flies come to you and just leave.

Fly is a metaphor for an event and the entire point of this movie. Like Elio who waited for someone to come to fill the void in his heart, Oliver is the fly. This film is so real it seems as if it’s witnessing the whole event directly. Flies are the point of this movie, even though this isn’t nitpicking, you can’t change the fact that there are lots of flies in this movie. They came and went, summer then changed to the next season, and Elio and Oliver’s farewells so fast. Time is getting narrow for them, but they still find something in each of them.

It’s hard to say this is one of the most beautiful films so far. I talk a lot about this movie with my two friends who also a movie fan. The rest, there are those who don’t want to talk about it and some don’t want to watch it when I give them this movie while telling the simple premise. If you are open-minded enough, you will be able to appreciate imaging and the beauty of ambiguity in a film; let alone a film with a theme like this. “Call Me by Your Name” is a real movie constructed beautifully, showing an ambiguity in a more complex form but still we can accept. And well, I’m still waiting for the sequel for this movie.

4.5 out of 5 stars.

Salman Al Farisi

An Indonesian who loves to watch and read everything. A literary student who likes to write about reviews and essays on Crackdown Review. But, I just wannabe critics who love arthouse than anything.

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