Call Me By Your Name is sweet, tender and juicy like a fresh (not used) apricot. I have to get this off my chest immediately, “call me by your name and I’ll call you by mine” is easily the best line of dialogue of 2017. Now that’s out of the way, dramas that showcase rich developed characters whilst conveying an emotionally beautiful story are rare. Yet here we are with one of the most engrossing dramatic journeys of the year.
A young boy undergoes a transformational traversal of self-discovery as he rapidly falls in love with an American man who is residing in his family’s Italian abode. Coming hot off ‘Moonlight’, it tackles homosexuality from the perspective of a young impressionable boy who struggles with dealing with these unknown feelings. The inner conflict that rages within him starts to manifest and take control, where he is soon plunged into a forbidden love. And what a beautiful film this is.
Guadagnino captures the natural beauty of rural Italy, with mint green colours glistening in the sunshine, and the tantalising romance between Oliver and Elio. His usage of long takes and landscape shots allows both the actors and environment to be at the forefront of this drama. An understated style that still elevates the cinematic quality.
Chalamet was magnificent at portraying innocence, fragility and humanity. He held the whole film on his shoulders, not an easy feat given some of the scenes involved. His onscreen chemistry with Hammer was outstanding and the sole selling point for watching this. However, it’s Elio’s parents that add that extra slice of humanity as they are undoubtedly the nicest parents ever. The monologue from Stuhlbarg proves he is the best “chameleon actor” working today. I clung onto every word during that scene.
Aside from the heartbreaking conclusion, there wasn’t a massive amount of emotional impact for me. It’s a nuanced story which carries emotion throughout, I just wanted some more power in certain scenes. However, an incredibly mesmerising journey that is both beautiful and sorrowful.