I am obsessed with Call Me By Your Name. It is so enticing, that all I want to do now is spend my summer at a beautiful Italian villa eating fresh fruit, having long lunches full of wine and cigarettes and spend my days swimming and reading in the sunshine. This film is a gorgeous treat for the eyes and the soul.
It is a romantic film. Here we have 17 year old Elio, played so incredibly by Timothee Chalamet, experiencing the most heart breaking and exciting of all romances, a summer romance. Elio falls in love with his father’s intern Oliver, slightly older than him, and played so attractively by Armie Hammer, you can see how Elio is drawn to him he is charming, intelligent and does everything with great passion and enthusiasm.
There are no cheesy love scenes, no passionate declarations of love, this is a slow burning film and we watch as Elio gradually falls for Oliver and slowly makes sense of his feelings. Eventually the two men give in to their desires and they come together with such a passion, we see the electricity crackle between them in every exchange, every touch. This is not a light youthful romance but a deep and passionate one that will shape Elio and Oliver for the rest of their lives.
Although it is a film where two men fall in love the only obstacle they have to face is the battle within themselves, they have no disapproving parents to overcome, no judging community. Eventually their relationship ends because the summer ends, not because they’re gay, but because that is what happens in a summer romance when you are 17 years old, inevitable heartbreak.
‘Call Me By Your Name’ truly shows us the power and enduring effect of first love. The most poignant moment of the film is the raw and emotional speech Elio’s father (Michael Stuhlbarg) gives him after Oliver leaves, where he tells Elio to never take love for granted, to not give up on it despite the pain. It is speech that will resonate with anyone who has loved and lost, to anyone who has suffered. It is a beautiful and lasting message to never close yourself off, because “to feel nothing so as not to feel anything – what a waste.”
This is a story of young love, set against a beautiful backdrop, it is utterly spellbinding and I will watch this again and again and soak up every wonderful second of it.