Books Made Into Movie Review Part 1: Calling “Call Me By Your Name” Like It Is

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  I had heard film enthusiasts rave about the film Call Me By Your Name ever since the movie’s release during my freshman year of high school. It was praised as a beautiful LGBT film whose love stretched beyond it centering around a gay storyline and instead showed the throes of a summer love that ended too soon. Essentially, a romantic storyline that anyone can fall in love with. 

  Despite the reviews and Oscar nominations, I was hesitant to watch the film. My expectations had been built so high by the true movie connoisseurs that I feared watching it and not understanding it in its entirety, or even worse, that I wouldn’t like it. 

 

The main critique I had heard was the age gap between the lovers, a seventeen-year-old, and twenty-four-year-old. I was disgusted at first and then mildly amused when I realized that I am in fact seventeen years old whose celebrity crush is twenty-four, it’s much easier to process when it is said like that… But I digress.

 

The Movie 4/5

  The movie centers around Elio Perlman whose father is a professor that invites students to stay in his home in Italy for six weeks to work on their manuscript. In the summer of 1983, Elio meets Oliver who initially comes across as an arrogant American but soon becomes the interest of Elio. 

  Despite being two hours long the relationship happens all too fast and as soon as you begin rooting for the characters, they go their separate ways which is what I think is the intention. The movie just like the relationship between the two characters ends all too soon as if there wasn’t enough time.

 

  “Somewhere in Northern Italy in 1983.”

 

  Almost immediately I began to adore the movie. There was something about it that truly pulls the watcher into that summer, where suddenly you are no longer just a person watching a screen but instead a bystander that has accidentally wandered into an intimate conversation. 

  I could watch the movie on mute and still feel something because of the beauty captured in the film. Beautiful apricot orchards, the city Crema, the vibrant greenery, and the sun. The setting became a character of its own. Watching Call Me By Your Name had me scrambling for my laptop to Google ticket prices for Italy. 

 

  The music was another piece of the movie that took on a life of its own. Sufjan Stevens truly added layers to the movie. We all cried to “Visions of Gideon” felt a fleeting summer-love to “Futile Devices” and fell in love to “Mystery of Love.” 

  There was something about the way every song matched the vibe of whatever scene was happening so perfectly was truly amazing. I am someone who when I listen to music I close my eyes and create the music video in my head and for every song on the soundtrack, I can feel the exact scene it is apart of.

 

  I began writing this review with the intention of giving it five stars. However, I must say this. I loved the movie so much that I was inspired to get out of my “reading rut” and download a copy of the book. I ended up loving the book more than I loved the movie and because of that, I can’t give the movie that fifth star because that would feel as though the book and the movie are equal.

  Timothée Chalamet and Armie Hammer portrayed Elio and Oliver perfectly, their chemistry was absolutely immaculate but the book offers a deeper connection to the characters.

 

The Book 5/5

  The book is from the point of view of Elio Perlman which is probably the reason I adored it so much. I found myself relating to another teenager who is constantly playing this internal game of  “Oh did he see me?” “Is he going to look my way?” “Is he playing games too?” André Aciman perfectly captured the lovesick-teenage essence in the way Elio becomes invested and intrigued by Oliver. Although seen in the movie the book allows the reader to understand the thought process that Elio goes through instead of just seeing the actions he takes.

 

  The movie offers beautiful shots and scenes but the book offers unforgettable moments of vulnerability from a teenage boy which isn’t often seen. The movie defies limits but was still made for a larger audience while the book caters to those who may be more willing to take the time to understand the beauty of vulnerability.

  The book is unafraid to explore Elio’s feelings and his co-dependency that he ends up with. It offers amazing lines that resonated more than the scenes could do by no fault of the writer or the director of the movie. 

  Elio’s emotions and thoughts are a caricature of what it is like falling in love and the words André Aciman wrote can not be brought to the screen.

  “Did I want him to act? Or would I prefer a lifetime of longing provided we both kept this little Ping-Pong game going: not knowing, not-not-knowing, not-not-not-knowing? Just be quiet, say nothing, and if you can’t say “yes,” don’t say “no,” say “later.” Is this why people say “maybe” when they mean “yes,” but hope you’ll think it’s “no” when all they really mean is, Please, just ask me once more, and once more after that?”

  Timothée Chalamet can furrow his brows and stare off in contemplation but the expression can not catch the struggle Elio is written to have.

  The movie allows the watcher to see the story unfold while the book makes the reader think, Elio and Oliver are both ponderers and questioners and with each thought they have or idea they share it made me sit back and assess whether I believed the same things they do or why I felt differently.

  “Wanting to test desire is nothing more than a ruse to get what we want without admitting that we want it.” This was a line in the book I had to take a deep breath and contemplate, in the movie I contemplated nothing, I simply watch all wide-eyed.

 

  It goes without saying that this summer I will be reading the sequel “Find Me,” and crying over the fact that the production of the sequel will not begin until 2025 when I am twenty-three years old.