Quick-Thoughts: Luca Guadagnino’s Call Me by Your Name (2017)

Screened at Regal • 2nd Viewing

Whether it be the occasional awkward scene transition or a rare, blatant dialogue impediment moment from one of the two lovely parents — thank you mommy for reading me a bedtime tale to gain some courage to depart after Oliver and thank you daddy for your patent speech that’s used to slothfully recap the themes of the movie which I will, however to its defense, openly admit is probably one of the wisest lectures I’ve ever heard in my entire life — it’s self-evident that these minor dilemmas are drowned out FEROCIOUSLY by Sayombhu Mukdeeprom’s elegant camera maneuvering, the film’s tear-worthy musical personality, the constructive undertones of human reminiscence/experience, and a glowing setting of archeological ruins exposed in a summery 1980s Italy, all synthesized to produce the finest of a story that fits snuggly under the saying, “gentleness is key.” And if this can’t do it for you, I’m sure the latter of being swept off the floor by Armie + Timmy’s A-triple-plus chemistry will work miracles to your liking — if I were these two’s acting coach, there’s no doubt that I’d be immediately promoted to head boss of whatever company I labor for for ALL of eternity. 

Erecting unexplainable jealousy while in the company of a specific individual is often a fundamental sign that you are in love with this character. In the moment you believe it to be repulsing, but unconsciously you are blithely soaking it in. It’s interesting how once we have departed from a lover that we seek to step through those innocent resentments again, internally rewinding a playful unification that you couldn’t obtain for second rounds. You may not get to love this name in person after you’ve spoken it one last time to him, but you won’t let the memory end just yet. Suddenly, the pain of deprivation becomes the experience worth forever cherishing rather than the physical romance itself. Love and loss is all of the same, valuable voyage, and it seems nature always intended it to be that way. 

In terms of the Portrait of a Lady on Fire vs. Call Me By Your Name argument, one thing is for certain: Portrait definitely has the upperhand in visuals. Call Me goes for the more natural, “flat” look but… gosh, does almost every frame in Portrait look like a hue-consuming painting. Plus, Portrait’s finale sequence is an absolute KO — duh. I do have suspicions though that Portrait wouldn’t even be what it is today without Call Me, so there’s definitely a friendly exchange going on between the two fine films. It’s a close call anyhow! 

Verdict: A-

“Call Me By Your Name” is now screening at select theaters.

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