Call Me By Your Name Review


Taken from "Call me by Your Name"

Elio and Oliver sit in a cafe on one of their first outings.

Call Me by Your Name is a 2017 coming of age indie film made by the Italian director Luca Guadagnino. This film tells the story of 17-year-old Elio Perlman who is spending the summer with his family at their home in Italy in 1983. Every summer Elio and his family hosts a doctoral student who’s working as an intern for Elio’s father for the summer, this year it is the handsome and charming Oliver. A friendship, soon to be infatuation is born between Oliver and Elio, forever changing their lives and bringing Elio into adulthood.

To put it bluntly, I love this film. The attention to detail and cinematography alone is enough to put it at the top of my must watch list.

Call Me by your Name approaches the idea of adulthood differently than any other coming of age movie in our generation. It allows Elio to find himself through another person. The reason why this movie is mistaken often as a love story movie is because Elio is falling in love with himself through his love for Oliver. They mirror each other’s emotions and movements, showing that they see themselves through each other. Most of the time when a movie or story is about the main character finding themselves the plot involves them being by themselves or having to fully be alone to find who they really are. Call Me by Your Name challenges this idea by showing that Oliver and Elio were only able to truly discover themselves and accept themselves with help and acceptance from the other party.

My favorite thing about this film and the thing that can be enjoyed within the first watch without looking for the more complex meaning in it is how pretty the film is. The framework creates a picture in every scene and the long scene full of nothing but silence in this dares the viewer to look deeper into the seductive beauty of every scene. The camera work gives the same amount of attention to a single blade of grass as to the main characters themselves, making the film seem to move as one. The life these characters are living and the emotions they are experiencing lives and breaths within their environment as well. The director Luca Guadagnino makes the viewer watch four minute scenes with nothing but the cool rushing water of a small river Elio and Oliver often go to when the sun is too hot. This is a daring choice, because of the disregard to the impatiences of a modern audience, forcing them to pay attention to details. The intensity and importance given to such “throw away” aspects to a scene that they create unforgettable imagery making the audience look into every nuance and see the deeper meaning of how the tree shown for a minute could represent Elio leaving the viewer begging for more.

Call Me by Your Name is my favorite film of the decade and my favorite coming of age film period. It is daring and new while still being calming and slow like real life. It is a must see for all teenagers you want to see a film about another teenager finding themselves on the brink of adulthood and exploring their own identity. When asking the 9th grader Dakota Adams what this movie meant to her she said, “It just gets better every time you watch it. The inception and slow build up has me biting my nails the entire time. It is a must see” .