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Call Me By Your Name
Call Me By Your Name is the kind of work that makes you sit during the credits and at the end of the last page with tears in your eyes, with a dry throat and a tightness in the chest. Not because it is sad; or break your heart - in fact, yes, it breaks - or because it is outrageous and manipulative, but for starting something inside you that leaves you in the uncertainty of how to make it stops. It's as if they made a hole in your being, but you don't know how to fill it, even knowing, a little, the source of that emptiness. So all that is left is to deal with this absence. And you deal. And you navigate the emotions. You feel happy; sad; with anger, unsure. And you just deal with it.
Call Me By Your Name is not pretentious and is not appealing when it comes to thrilling and showing the human being in it's most intense state of passion. It is a work about love and infinite love. Without moral judgments; without antagonists, without any of them having to receive a punishment for what they feel. Just love; pure love. Call Me By Your Name is intelligent; sexy; funny; deep, emotional.
Timothée Chalamet has a special sensitivity and empathy. King of acting. He is Elio and Elio is the soul and heart of everything. Everyone falls in love with him. He is sweet and smart; exudes an enviable confidence, but he doesn't realize it. Elio is more than comfortable in his own skin, but he suffers to like himself in the way he demonstrates externally that he likes. Maybe that's why Oliver gets into his life. Both think little about themselves, but much about the universe of each other.
Elio is extremely affectionate, passionate and with that, very impulsive too. That's why he also commits mistakes. For example with Marzia, who I like very much and the french actress Esther Garrel represents beautifully. Even forgiving him because I know he was confused and all the situations are much more complex, I may not forget that he was extremely stupid with her. But that's also why I love Elio. He's more human than almost all humans. He's more human than I am. I envy his honest. He kisses, hugs and wants what he wants, does not hide what he wants and surrenders to his feelings entirely and that's unbelievable admirable.
Elio, however, has difficulty dealing with separation; with the impossibilities of having a person fully with him, and therefore, while trying to avoid the complete surrender to Oliver for knowing from the beginning of the separation that they will have to face, he can't control the immense love; affection and importance that he comes to feed by Oliver. From then on he surrenders and lets himself be consumed by these feelings to the fullest. Elio is fascinating. He will make you want to love and hurt yourself, but get yourself together again without regrets. It is so rare a performance that lives up to the depth of a character in a book, without the written monologues. Timothée Chalamet was able to do this, even with all the obstacles of making it fully, proper to the difference between a novel and a script. That's because Call Me By Your Name's movie achieved something glorious: not being inferior when it relates to the completeness of the book. The film manages to take advantage of digital media to give more openness to the narrative view, in a very delicate way and without many speak dialogues, but with facial expressions. That's why is not a movie for everyone, it requires full attention and sensitive and people who don't have it, will probably dislike it or misunderstand some points.
While in the book we know Elio's psychological depth, but we see the characters through his lens; in the film we have our own vision along with that of Elio; possible thanks to the actors brilliantly developing of the emotional and the personality of each character, even the narrative focus still being Elio. The cast is so amazingly talented. In this sense, it is worth mentioning, of course, Armie Hammer. He is very talented at putting on the screen the humanization of Oliver, which is also something brilliantly portrayed in the book. I was afraid of the script to build a perfect Oliver, because it would take away what the author, André Aciman, illustrates with the relationship of Elio and Oliver. However, screenwriter James Ivory, director Luca Guadagnino and Armie Hammer were exceptional in portraying Oliver as an affectionate; worried; very clever, contradictory person. An Oliver who, like Elio, is completely in love, feels confused and afraid of it and closes himself in his mysterious and confident posture.
Elio and Oliver have a brotherhood and a bond of heart; mind, body. Not just body. Elio, in showing his vision of Oliver, also highlighting the faults and insecurities, which end up generating the fears of Elio himself, shows that he is falling in love with Oliver as a human being. It is not platonic; is a full admiration and a complete connection to what Oliver is. Their relationship makes you long for that degree of intimacy and trust, even if, at some point, it breaks your heart too.
Because this is the apex of the work and it is where it touches the wound of the people and excites. To feel. Surrender. To not run away. Fall in love for two hours and twelve minutes and 248 pages and wonder every time you did not allow yourself to feel because you were afraid of getting hurt. Was it dodging a possible broken heart that you lived intensely? Avoiding potential pain was worth it? To kill what we feel, or even to the contrary, to romanticize pain are not ways of taking the value of the life of a human being? The pure feeling. No more, no less. These reflections were finally contemplated by a piece.
And what a masterpiece. Call Me By Your Name exudes talent in every imaginable arts. Another important component is in music: Sufjan Stevens. The American musician is responsible for the greatest amount of songs on the soundtrack, as which complement key scenes. Mystery of Love is a song that plays with the trailer, a passage that caught my attention in it is the excerpt "Like Hephaestion, who died, Alexander's lover". Hephaestion is always remembered as an extension of Alexander, the Great. As if their relationship was memorable to the point of being resumed until the death of Hephaestion. This context refers to Call Me By Your Name in that there is a division of what Elio and Oliver are before and after they meet. The whole dissolution of both sides of love was also a discovery of what they are and it will always be reminded by each other as more than striking, defining of their own lives. Elio is Oliver's lover. Oliver is Elio's lover.
Visions of Gideon is especially interesting as it also involves the Jewish religion of the characters. Gideon was a prophet and a military leader who defeated a large army with the sending of just a few soldiers. Before the battle, Gideon dreamed that Jehovah assured to him the certain victory and that he would liberate the people of Israel. Thus, besides being a reference to the Jewish faith of Elio and Oliver, Visions of Gideon can symbolize an achievement of Elio and the liberation of his sexuality. Elio showed courage when facing his feelings for Oliver, who are returned, because Oliver also followed his desire for Elio.
I think Futile Devices is a song, among the three of Sufjan's placed on the track, which is more comprehensive on what Elio feels about Oliver and is personally my favorite. People usually cry at the end of the movie. I was already crying in this scene. First, because a set using a nature and a core of technical projects is too beautiful - coming from a lay technical film, who doesn't usually notice these details. Second, Timothée Chalamet acting. Lastly, and especially, this song by Sufjan Stevens. The whole letter of it refers to the dichotomy of love and friendship and questions from which moment is establish the need to differentiate these relationships. Because what is love if not a kind of friendship and vice versa.
We do not have the control of everything, much less in drawing lines between one and another type of feeling. Humans want to make barriers for everything that bothers them, which is something that reflects on themselves and what they feel. The point is that the words we use to describe feelings and differentiate them are futile devices. Like Elio and Oliver, we want to reach a stage of love and friendship in which we simply feel - without rationalizing everything; without thinking. We have heard in our studies with the Illuminists that we should not involve emotion in the field of reason, but we do not listen to the contrary: that too often rationalizing what we feel is synonymous of wasting our lives. In fact, we learn to rationalize things so much that there is a lack of solid relationships at the moment. Apps, like Tinder, choose x or y for us, as in a resolution of a system with two incognitos in which you choose to find x or y first.
I'm feeling the importance of this story in every part of me. Having an author to build such a meaningful narrative with characters who love by the simple act of loving is a gift. Oliver and Elio loved each other just because. A lifetime summed up by six weeks of self-discovery. No rationalization of feelings. Complete friendship. Lasting love. Soul love. Transcendental happiness. Pain and suffering. Everything comes in human moments that were lived as human.