Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Call Me By Your Name Review


'Call me by your name and I'll call you by mine'

A coming of age story different than most, Luca Guadagnino's Call Me By Your Name sees seventeen-year-old Elio (Timothée Chalamet) explore his emerging sexuality with his father's research assistant Oliver (Armie Hammer).

Set in 1983, Call Me By Your Name retains a timelessness that comes with the seclusion of small-town life. The conviviality of lazy summer days gives off a nostalgia that stirs a longing for the outstretched sun-dappled lakes of the Italian Riviera, or the orchards where Elio's family pick apricots and pomegranate from worn, low-hanging branches. A number of side characters float in and out of scenes, part of the colourful backdrop and noise that fills Elio's vividly sensory world.

From the tactile strumming of guitar strings and the touch of ivory piano keys to the gentle trickle of a water feature and the crunching tread of bicycle tyres on uneven country roads. Guadagnino creates a truly seductive sensory experience. Beautifully curated shots of humble Italian countryside and the small, quiet town Elio and his family reside in create an earnest yet inviting setting for romance to unfold. 

Call Me By Your Name is fluid throughout, keeping its focus hidden for a while before revealing itself. When it does bare all, the romance is tastefully done. It develops naturally, swells from a palpable chemistry between its two main characters which exudes sensuality and tenderness. 

Like the fading summer sun, their relationship is bittersweet in its transience. Meanwhile, as voyeurs to their playful courtship, it's difficult not to want to know more about them. Struck by a need to know where Oliver and Elio will go next with their lives, such is the investment these characters inspire. It's sad when their stories inevitably end, so easy it is to get wrapped up in their romantic folly. Love works in mysterious ways to cast us under its charm. Call Me By Your Name may just win you over with its own.