Call Me By Your NameDir - Luca Guadagnino
Despite liking the premise and the beautiful location this film takes place, I was bored halfway the first time I’ve tried it. I’ve recently made another attempt, while I did sit through the entirety of it, I got bored again midway. The serene, sun kissed roads of semi-urban Italy, the meadows, the brick ponds and small and shallow water body that glitters like pearl under direct sunlight could only do so much. Yet I was enjoying the film. I asked myself, how is that I was amused and bored by it simultaneously and my answer would be miscast in case of the character ‘Oliver’ and spending too much time developing a functional relationship.
However, there is a caveat here, firstly, I must admit when I say miscast, I mean the on-screen connection between Elio and Oliver felt unlikely and secondly, perhaps this is a wrong point of view to assume as I am unable to see things from a gay perspective, hence this is highly subjective. Although in my defense, I want to emphasize that I am able to care for homosexual relationships on-screen (also off if you’re wondering, meh) and I can feel the emotion in most iterations of it. But this one wasn’t working for me. I could say that, like many portrayals of heterosexual relationships feel wrong to me as well, the actors do not go well together, and this too will ring in the same tempo.
The film entertains a laid back lifestyle with lush countryside, fresh food, warmth and jovial relationships. If it was to stick to that idea and did not explore the central story, if the film was about nothing but the life itself, I don’t think the runtime would bother me at all, I would crave for more. Amarcord by Federico Fellini can be a case in point. The multicultural and multilingual conversations were also something I found worth watching.
The problem is the story kept going back to the deuteragonists and tried to build their relationship that had little spark and often times it felt it was dragging on. I guess the filmmaker/screenwriter wanted to show it as a confusing and tremendously courageous leap towards such a relationship in that period of time, and wanted to capture the tumultuous journey of it-- off and on, merry-go-round. Sadly, it didn’t work for me. I suppose, there should have been some sort of barriers to their relationship, that could work as a contrasting key point. Events that were laid out in the film progressed without many confrontations.
Although the reason was expressed at the end of the film through the dialogue between son and father. And that monologue from the father was actually quite beautiful and heart touching. That’s the only emotional moment from the film from me and I could feel the solidarity to some degree with people all over the world, who are barred from loving the people they want to, the way they want to.
I would still recommend this film to people any day, as my personal take might differ from a potential viewer. And this film was a major success in 2017. Let me know if you’ve already seen it and how you’ve liked it.
The photos are screenshots from the film.
You can read more of my film and literature related articles on my hive blog page.