CallMe By Your Name is a 2017romantic coming-of-age drama film directed by Luca Guadagnino.
The film stars ThimothéeChalamet and Armie Hammer as Elio Perlman and Oliver respectively. The story isbased on the 2007 novel by André Aciman and set in northern Italy in 1983. It tellsthe story of the romance between Elio, a 17-year-old boy and his father’sassistant, Oliver. Elio lives with his parents in the Italian countryside andmeets Oliver who lives with his family over the summer of 1983. Over time, Elioand Oliver spend a lot of time together discussing mutual interests and later developromantic feelings.
CallMe By Your Name is astory of first love that explores the dynamic between Elio and Oliver whichgrows into a romantic relationship. Same-sex relationships were far more tabooback in the 80s. Overall the film has a very sensual feel that perfectlycaptures the 80s nostalgia. The very carefully selected score supports thisatmosphere.
Guadagnino personally selected the music and ‘wanted to find an emotional,not too heavy feeling’, he explained in an interview with IndyWire. Thedirector wanted the music to connect to Elio. The splendid cinematography andthe score created the summery feeling that the movie embodies all throughout.The film’s costumes and production design really nail the look of the 80s.Chalamet really brings the character of Elio to life.Elio is someone who experiences a lot of things for the first time and oftencannot describe these.
Chamalet’s face and body language made his charactervery relatable and easy to understand. The chemistry between Chalamet andHammer is strong and show the emotions between the characters. The couple’sphysical chemistry adds to the overall sensual feel of the movie.Even though the atmosphere is nearly perfect in themovie, the representation of the physical compatibility is not.
The romanticrelationship between the two main characters does not include any explicit lovescenes and remains very discreet. In the context of today’s perspective onsame-sex relationships, it is something that was rather odd to leave out of anotherwise remarkable movie. Guadagnino revealed in an interview with theHollywood Reporter that ‘in order for queer stories to be marketable, they mustbe presented in a way that will not alienate straight audiences.’ The tone andthe direction of the movie were about the emotional journey of first love,rather than a queer narrative, he explained. This is to help the film gain awider audience beyond the LGBTQ community, but it feels a bit too restrained inlater parts of the movie.CallMe By Your Name is anearly perfect romantic drama film and captures the emotions of the two maincharacters very well.
However, in order to have done the story justice, the filmshould have presented a more honest and unfiltered narrative that did not limititself to comforting and appeasing mainstream audiences.