This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
Brayden F’s review published on Letterboxd:
This review may contain spoilers.
A good film is one that makes you rethink your every moment. Often times when I finish watching a particularly great film I’m more aware of my surroundings, who I am as a person, my interactions with people; the basics of life. Call Me By Your Name is a luscious, detailed exploration of pure, intense feelings and the connections people feel between each other.
I’ve never seen a film that so accurately describes what it feels like to love someone, to crave their very essence. Elio wants Oliver and Oliver wants Elio, they need each other, even when they don’t realize it. You can tell from the very moment the two meet, not in a “trying to be subtle” way but in the most genuine, human way possible. The small disappointments Elio wears on his face when Oliver shows disinterest in him. Oliver’s almost comically blunt attempts at repressing his feelings for Elio. The feelings show more and more as the first act of the film advances and eventually it just clicks, in the viewers mind. There’s no “Aha!” moment, it all happens slowly and then all at once (I feel gross for quoting John Green, who’s attempts at capturing teen romance don’t even hold a candle to this film.) Timothee Chalamet and Armie Hammer have almost unbelievably believable chemistry.
Every shot of this film feels like one of those moments that you seem to remember later and overthink again and again and again. They linger on for a while, but not too long, just the right amount of time to really bask in each moment. The usage of vibrant coloring used throughout really does wonders for the film as a whole as well, perfectly conveying the intensity of feelings between characters.
The usage of music and repeating sound effects in the film is genius; the piano, the church bells, the splash of water all of these small sounds add up, increasing in emotional intensity every time they’re used. The lack of a proper soundtrack for what felt like a good portion of the film was a wise decision, allowing the natural ambience to add to that “real” factor.
I would like to end this rather pretentious babbling by saying one thing; This is one of the few films I feel that is perfect for its medium. There’s something wonderful yet sad about cinema as an artform. You become so attached to the characters and the places within, only for it to last about 2 hours before the credits roll and you’re stuck back in reality. I really wanted this film to last forever, however it was just a moment. You can rewatch a movie, much like you can remember a lovely memory, but it will never be quite the same.