Staff Picks: Experiencing New Love In Italy

Call Me By Your Name takes an honest and intimate look into the romance between two young men

Photo from Elena Ringo via Wikimedia Commons.

Photo from Elena Ringo via Wikimedia Commons.

It is not often that love stories portrayed through movies ended in a heartbreak. More importantly, it is rare for a love story of two men to be portrayed through film, in a manner filled with no boundaries.

Typically, male homosexual relationships in media have a downside, there is always something that has to be given up and kept in mind while their love grows. Often they give up a woman they are committed to, a religion or their relationship with their parents. I believe that is the first reason why I found “Call Me By Your Name” beautiful. We see two men who love each other, who are encouraged to show their love, who only fail to do so right away because of miscommunication.

The location, camera lenses and the emotions they express without words are also to credit for this cinematic masterpiece. Their story takes place in Lombardy, Italy. The tall and short colorful buildings, people traveling by bike, and the tight knit community gives a sense of comfort to the viewer, as if they themself have lived in Lombardy and get to appreciate the nature and joy of Italy.

Luca Guadagnino continues to portray this emotion with the use of only a 35mm lens, allowing us to get a close look at whatever is being shot, adding to the tension, intimacy and rawness of the characters. This technique allows the audience to understand what the characters, Elio and Oliver, are feeling, even if they do not say it out loud.

Their silence and rambling bleeds onto the viewer and makes us feel equally as nervous, flustered or hurt. As their love story comes to an end, we are equally heartbroken as Elio, since we experienced a love so strong and unconcealed simply by seeing their characters up close.

After going through a heartbreak of my own, the first thing my parents told me was that they did not want to see me crying over a boy. Granted, it is valid advice, since the boy who hurt me was not worth it.

Yet, the speech given to Elio by his dad shed light on some important details regarding heartbreak and the cluster of emotions that come with it, that made my love for this movie even stronger. Mr. Perlam encourages his son to cry, to mourn the loss of his lover, and to be sad for as long as possible.

He wants him to hurt and to remember the greatness that came with Oliver. He does not want him to “be strong” and shy away from his feelings, because as he feels doing so will only leave him with less to give to his next significant other.
Mr. Perlman sums up the movie best:

“We rip out so much of ourselves to be cured of things faster than we should that we go bankrupt by the age of thirty and have less to offer each time we start with someone “