Call Me by Your Name – 4.5/5 – Movie Reviews by Ry!

Call Me by Your Name – 4.5/5 –  The medium of film is something that draws in many people.  What draws me to the big screen is not the glitz/bombastic appeal, it is the storytelling.  From the fantastical to the sincere, the thought of living through another character is what catches my eye.  Every now and then, there is a unique draw that captures something that represents that thought of living.  Call Me by Your Name is a story of two people that find something special in one another.  The detail isn’t in anything unbelievable, it is in the story of living the moment.  From the acting, storytelling and overall emotional core, Call Me by Your Name is a fantastical film that inspires us to witness what it means to love.

Premise: In Northern Italy in 1983, Elio begins a relationship with visiting Oliver.

The heart of the film are two actors:

Armie Hammer as Oliver

Timothee Chalamet as Elio

These two do a fantastic job capturing two individuals whom have a unique touch of personality, grace and motivations.  Both layer their performances with the oddities of serene rapturing, pushing forward the ideals, persistence and curiosity that comes with friendship.  There is a sense of an impressment of emotions; ones that gives a reflection to the other.  Seeing that flowing complexion moves you to see it as relevant and pure. Chalamet’s Elio is a young man who is enticed by the summer, warmth and his music.  You see his artist mentality and nonchalant attitude towards others.  The humanistic overtures in his performance reflects an innocence against certain passions.  His allure to Hammer’s Oliver is enticing, but it gives you an honest look at his foddering approach.  Complimenting Elio, Hammer’s Oliver is an American College student that comes to spend the summer as an intern for his father.  Oliver is a person that is strong, blunt but charismatic.  From his physical presence to his stoic persona, you feel the assurance of a person that is layered with thought and welcomeness.  His subtle/aggressive approach to the budding relationship shows a romantic touch that is obvious but incomplete.  As much as Elio welcomes the unknown, Oliver embraces it with subtle ease.  There is an acceptance of realities, but it is also a conviction of one’s self.  You see great chemistry between Hammer and Chalamet, one that shows a purity that reflects life.  That art is in the realistic approach, allowing the audience to live a summer romance.  The rest of the cast is a mixture of known names and newcomers.  For the most part, the secondary cast do enough to create a believable world around the Oliver and Elio.

The delicate way that this story comes together is through the unpredictability of life.  You have a film that allows the characters to dictate flow.  In this approach, it is guided through aspects of dialogue, characterization and emotional impressions.  We are set in the summer of 1983 in Northern Italy where a young man (Elio) is living with his parents at their villa.  Like every summer, the student intern (Oliver) comes to stay with them for a few weeks.  Once the setting is introduced, the rest is left to the main characters (Oliver and Elio).  You watch as they go along their business while the paralleling of their intrigue, admiration and slowly building relationship develops.  The film doesn’t build off back stories or cliché plot points/devices.  What you have are two human beings that interact, have conversations and slowly come closer because of certain things the see in each other.  In that, you watch as the ideals of first love, desire and moments come into play.  This allows you to ‘live’ with them, seeing as if you are one or the other falling in love.  The emotional tones are strong and adhering, bringing across a strength of sensual and transcending themes.  The allure is not in what may become, but in the journey to one’s revelations.  The poignant touch comes in the relationship unfolding in an unpredictable fashion.  This gives the audience a window into the rawest forms of human devotions.  There isn’t anything that comes about to ‘move the plot along’, everything is just as is if you’re living through another summer romance.  The moments are awe inspiring, bringing about a sensation of believability and realism.  Seeing the budding friendship draws you in, levels the intuitions and breathes out the art of living.  As the film brings everything to a close, it reflects in an epilogue that is heartfelt.  Knowing that things are momentary, there is an embrace to understand that memories will never go away.

The visuals are very simplistic, but still amazing.  With the film moving with the characters, the backdrop of Italy and its panorama or towns, mountains and beaches helps you live and breathe the world.  The score is scarcely used, but it does strike gold at certain points in the film.

Call Me by Your Name is a film that does much more then repeat romantic tropes.  You have a film that embraces the art of living, moving through two character that learn truths from each other.  If you’re a fan of good filmmaking, this is one for you.  If you’re able to see it in theaters, this is worth the full price of admission.

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