30th Oct2017

Call Me By Your Name (Film)

by timbaros


There is a gay-themed film that has just been released that is getting rave and five star reviews. And while it is very good, it’s also a bit creepy.

‘Call Me By Your Name’ tells the story about an adult who has an affair with a younger man. The adult in question is the actor Armie Hammer (who in real life happens to be 31, but looks older, and in this film he is playing a 24-year old – not very believable) is Oliver. The young man in question is Elio, played by Timothée Chalamet (who happens to 21 in real life but plays a 17-year old in the film but looks a lot younger, like 14). The story, based on the 2007 book of the same name by André Aciman, is about a very sexual relationship between Oliver and Elio. Oliver, you see, has been hired by Elio’s parents, wealthy couple the Perlmans (Michael Stuhlbarg and Amira Casar), to help Mr. Perlman with his archeological work, but what happens is that the closed Elio (who is wooed by the local girls who vie for his attention), becomes enamoured with, and by, Oliver. Oliver, who is a man’s man, with a chest full of hair, very confident who can practically have anyone he wants, enters into a relationship with Elio. It’s really hard to believe that a man like Oliver could be sexually attracted to Elio. While Elio is a goodlooking boy (I use the word boy here because Elio looks like a boy), his body has no visible body hair, he’s very trim and smooth, and he’s pasty while, and obviously not fully developed as a man. So to me it’s a bit inappropriate for a man like Oliver to be sexually attracted, and to sexually satisfy Elio, in various locations, including having interludes in the Perlman family home where they conveniently have adjoining rooms which allow for lots of loving glances, and sometimes leaning towards Kevin Spacey-like pervert behaviour. But it becomes all very icky when Elio’s parents turn a blind eye to the relationship. This makes ‘Call Me By Your Name’ more than a bit icky in it’s theme of man-boy love (remember the organisation called NAMBLA – The North American Man/Boy Love Association? Well, ‘Call Me By Your Name’ could be a two hour advertisement for this illegal, and disgusting, organization).

But ‘Call Me By Your Name’ is a beautiful and lush film, directed with care by Italian director Luca Guadagnino. It lovingly highlights the Italian countryside and the small cityscapes of Lombardy; the film has beautiful camerawork and acting by all involved is top notch. Chalamet is a real find – his Elio commands the screen. Chalamet looks very very comfortable in front of the camera, clothes on or off (there is absolutely no full frontal nudity in this film – which is a good thing, though some of the sex scenes look all too inappropriately real). Hammer is also very good in this role – a role that is not a typical role for him to play. But from the outset it’s just an inappropriate relationship, whether make believe or not. And there is scene, which you must have heard about by now, about a peach. Yes, a peach, involving Elio and to a larger degree Oliver, that was a bit, for me, uncomfortable to watch. But it’s the scene where the credits roll up at the end of the film where you can’t leave your seat or avert your eyes – it’s these few minutes where Chamalet as Elio will mesmerize, and seduce you. So it’s at this point that you think that perhaps you can’t blame Oliver for falling for him because you will do the same as well.