Call Me by Your Name

Call Me by Your Name

After months of me begging my parents to finally watch this film that I hold so dear to not only my heart but also to my identity in terms of my perception, they finally gave in and suffice to say, they were far from disappointed. My mom is still giddy about it to this day; how in love Elio was with Oliver and one of the main reasons being his intellectual capacity and his gentleness as a man. My dad on the other hand, being a middle-aged asian man who grew up in the Philippines surrounded by strict traditions, isn't someone who indulges in discussions involving sexuality. Not even love, and I'd like to think it has something to do with the fact that I'm his youngest daughter, and he's not comfortable with the reality that I'm growing up. To an extent it saddens me that his masculinity has this certain fragility; I wish he were more comfortable with talking about things like that, especially to me. I think it'd mean a whole lot coming from my dad. Granted, I've seen him subtly give advice to my older sisters only when it was absolutely necessary, perhaps "my time" will come. Michael Stuhlbarg's monologue resonated with me in levels I can't even begin to demonstrate, and in the same way, it made me envious. Elio is so extremely lucky. God, so lucky. Looking at Mr. Perlman and looking at my dad, I can only use them two as examples of how I want to be when I have children. My dad may not be as sensitive or as involved in my life as Mr. Perlman is with Elio, but I know he's a good man, and he loves me with all that he has. He's so intelligent and it upsets me that he was robbed of numerous opportunities in order for his intellect to be exercised, but he has taught me countless things about life, and that makes him the smartest man I know and the number one man in my life. 

this is not, cannot, had better not be a dream, because the words that came to me, as i pressed my eyes shut, were, This is like coming home, like coming home after years away among Trojans and Lestrygonians, like coming home to a place where everyone is like you, where people know, they just know—coming home as when everything falls into place and you suddenly realize that for seventeen years all you'd been doing was fiddling with the wrong combination.

I think one of the main reasons why I love this film/book so much is because the character of Elio is — to be put in the simplest of ways — a complete reflection of me. Or at least how I perceive myself, and the world in front of me. I think it's so vital that the audience is able to connect with characters, whether it's on screen or in the words between pages. I've always craved insightfulness and eloquence, to know myself wholly. To possess a prowess that allows me to be immersive with my thoughts, and to be able to transform those thoughts into words is a dream to me, and I think it always will be. I'm not just talking about being poetic or having an extensive vocabulary, it's so much more than that. Because having that capacity, to me, ultimately means you have just enough familiarity within yourself to be content. Elio has so many great opinions, thoughts, and feelings; all of which I would have never been able to articulate myself if I hadn't read the novel. As I read about his ideas, hopes, and aspirations, I couldn't help but feel like I was reading an open book of myself. As I got to know Elio, I got to know myself. I've always heard people say that there's a satisfaction that lies within nostalgia. Because within nostalgia, there's familiarity. And to be familiar with yourself and to eventually know yourself, is satisfying, almost otherworldly.

From this moment on, I thought, from this moment on — I had, as I'd never before in my life, the distinct feeling of arriving somewhere very dear, of wanting this forever, of being me, me, me, me, and no one else, just me, of finding each shiver that ran down my arms something totally alien and yet by no means unfamiliar, as if all this has been part of me all of my life and I'd misplaced it and he had helped me find it.

Call Me By Your Name helped me find that piece within myself, the one piece I needed all my life that I seemed to have misplaced: that sense of familiarity, and ultimately, contentment. From now on, it's my lifelong dream to know myself, and to know how to express myself.

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