Hey Zengarmy,

Okay, seriously, I'm just gonna throw this DISCLAIMER out here real quick :


 Also, this review contains MAJOR 
 SPOILER, like majooooorrrrrrrrrr.

Am I like clear enough?
If somebody leave a hate
comment I SWEAR TO GOD.

I first stumbled upon this trailer on YouTube a month ago when it popped up in my
recommendation page, and my heart quickly sank — almost stopping — upon sensing
the gayness oozing from the thumbnail. It's calling my name! *pun intended soz not soz*
I thought to myself as I clicked on the video, and I was not disappointed at the slightest.
A movie celebrating equality in love, bringing homosexuality another step closer to the
surface of societal normalization — which, in another way, means it's never ever going
to be shown in Malaysia 😭😭😭 I immediately did some research and sadly realized that
the movie is only exclusive to selected cinemas in the UK and US. I made a quick mental
note to watch this movie when it's available online. About a month later (which is now)
I finally watched the movie (somewhere online shhhhhhh... what the fuck can I do when
it's banned in my country) & read the entire novel in 4 days (actually not read, I listened
to the audiobook hehehe) — and POOF! Here are some of my thoughts after watching the
movie & reading the novel! *Ps: I'm totally not professional, pls just read this for fun*

Let's start off with the movie review.

If I'm only allowed to use a single word to describe this movie, it would be "delicate".
Adapted from the same-titled novel by André Aciman (more on the book review ltr)
Call Me By Your Name is, BY NO MEANS, anything close to mainstream popcorn love
stories. Instead, it is a breath of fresh air for the viewers — sensual, erotic, peculiar,
brutally honest and delicate. Yes, delicate. Almost too delicate for me to watch, as if
I'm having a guilty peep into somebody else's private space  Elio's life. The movie starts
off with a seemingly relaxing but condensed pace. There's no third-party narration added
in any of the scenes so the entire movie is a testament to the cast's acting skill — and it is
extraordinary. The acting came so naturally that for a moment I actually forgot the actors
are merely actors who act out a scripted story. It feels as if I'm reading someone's diary,
more so, hijacking someone's memory & experiencing bittersweet alongside the owner.

Crazy, I know.

Somewhere in northen Italy, 1983. The opening message of the movie is clear & crisp:
This isn't an era where LGBT community is openly accepted. In 1983, homosexuality is
associated with shame, guilt, disgrace & taboo — which revolve around a love story that
will be slowly unfolded in the movie. The beginning scenes took swift transitions from
one to another, with consistently sophisticated piano playing in the background, infusing
the movie with enchanting touches. The time setting for the movie is a seemingly short
6-weeks-long summer. Not long enough, as it turns out. You can pack a whole lifetime
into six weeks. Call Me By Your Name let the viewers experience butterflies in stomach,
boyish uncertainties, jealousies, and gut-wrenching melodrama — all at the same time.

▲ Uuuuuuuu hELLooooooo 😜 😜 😜

However, (*unpopular opinions alert*) the scene-to-scene transition in the first quarter
of the movie is, unfortunately, abit too abrupt to my preference. I brought this up to my
friend (who is utterly obsessed with this movie) & learned that the first cut of the movie
was actually 4 hours long, compared to the final cut of 2 hours 12 minutes. I would totally
watch the 4-hours version, I told my friend. I wish some of the scenes in the movie could
have stayed on longer for just 5 more seconds. It appears to me that some of the scenes
were just put in to keep the story rolling, depriving me the chance to fully savor every
minute details of interaction between the actors. Not really a big deal, but I am a very
greedy viewer who wants it all. The first quarter of the movie failed to satisfy my need.
After being overfed by the media with how amazing this movie is, I should have known
better not to overcast my unrealistically high expectations. The same goes to you guys!

*Note*  CMBYN will be used as abbreviation for "Call Me By Your Name" from now on. 

After bearing through the first quarter of the movie, the rest of the movie is a smooth
sailing for me. I began to gradually (& uncontrollably) immerse myself in the universe
of Call Me By Your Name — centering around the 17-year-old Elio (played by Timothée
Chalamet) & 24-year-old Oliver (played by Armie Hammer). I was surprised (in a good
way) that this movie is not merely about homosexuality. It actually goes way beyond
homosexuality, covering elements of transgenderism (only in the novel) & bisexuality.
Call Me By Your Name is undoubtedly one of the most powerful successor of Moonlight
(which won Best Picture in 2016's Oscar) in shedding the public more light on the LGBT
community's story. As a homosexual male myself, I couldn't help but notice the eerie
resemblance between the emotions portrayed by Elio and the ones that I experienced
myself. CMBYN's honesty in portraying first love (and first sex, lol) is truly impeccable.

Ps.: First sex is ALWAYS the worst. I tried it.

▲ "Call me by your name, and I'll call you by mine."

There are only a couple of gay sex scenes in CMBYN, but they are more than enough.
Even though there wasn't a single scene showing full-fledged penises (however there're
scenes showing female breasts and male asses, tho), CMBYN is still undeniably erotic
(though not as sexually provoking as the "Fifty Shades of Grey" series). I'm glad it's not
as overwhelming as Fifty Shades of Grey, otherwise it's going to be ruined. CMBYN kept
all the sex scenes in an authentic and delicate way — no fake moaning or whatsoever
just two people in love making love, which is THE WAY IT SHOULD BE. Approaching sex
in such an open-minded way, CMBYN is a movie that I strongly encourage every parent
to watch AND show it to their early adolescent children. It captures most teenagers'
uncertainty in sexual orientation very well. "Oh no it might turn my child gay," some
parents might think. But it's not. CMBYN normalizes gay sex as if it's no different than
straight sex, and vice versa. In the movie, Elio actually made love with a girl (Marzia,
played by Esther Garrel) before Oliver to make him jealous — and Elio actually loves
making love with Marzia as much as when he made love with Oliver! CMBYN expanded
the embrace of humanity and lust by constantly throwing questions at the audiences:

How is being gay a sin?
How is being gay a sin?
How is being gay a sin?
How is being gay a sin?
How is being gay a sin?
How is being gay a sin?

Yes, I wonder. How is being gay a sin?

Just because two same-sex beings who are biologically denied to procreate fall in love
it's considered a sin? No, the answer is so much more, way beyond anyone's explanation.
CMBYN portrayed the lesser told story of two males falling in love with each other and
forced to keep their distance from each other because they love each other too much &
fear that being too close with each other will ruin each other's life. For those who had
already watched CMBYN and are confused by the ending as in why did Oliver leave Elio,

It's because they love each other too much.

The last few one-take scenes of the movie are totally brutal killers to me.
The scene where Elio stood still & watched as the train moved further away.
The scene where Elio sat in the car back from the train station to his home.
The final scene where Elio cried by the fireplace after hearing the news.
Game over for me. I watched the movie twice & my heart still wrenches.

Moving on to the book review,
( lol I think half of the people who clicked on this post has left )

It should be of no surprise that books always cover more details than adapted movies.
And, indeed, it is of no difference in this case. However, for CMBYN, I noticed that the
director Luca Guadagnino did an excellent job in picking up important pieces from the
novel to be put into the movie. I read the novel after watching the movie, and realized
that the movie did not follow exactly what has happened in the novel, and I'm not mad
about it. Instead, I was very impressed with how Timothée Chalamet compensated the
time constraint of the movie by adding rich details using his acting skills. There's a lot of
inner thoughts in the novel that could not be possibly included in the movie due to the
director's decision of not using third-person narrator, yet the integrity of the plot is still
intact. Having said that, certain scenes from the novel are recreated exactly the same
as in the movie, which made me swoon over and over again. Identical words are being
spoken during the first kiss scene, first sex scene and a couple more of scenes — which
made the movie a precious summary of the love story between Elio & Oliver. Upon
reading the novel, I was provided with a sudden burst of information on every single
reason behind every word spoken and action taken by Elio. And I found myself giggling
non-stop as I find out how deeply in love Elio is with Oliver the first time he saw him.

I knew it, because I've been there.

The novel is narrated from the point of view of older Elio who reminisces about
that summer when he first met Oliver. There is a total of 5 parts / chapters in
the novel (if I'm not mistaken, I finished the audiobook just yesterday heheh),
& I loved every chapter except from Part 3 (it's VERY boring to me I fell asleep).
If you do decide to read the novel after watching the movie, you can kindly skip
Part 3 of the novel because none of it was included in the movie 😂 Nonetheless,
I was totally smitten with Part 1 & 2 of the novel, as well as Part 4 & 5. The novel
actually expanded the story as far as to 20 years after Elio and Oliver separated.
It is VERY comprehensive & richly detailed — if the movie is a dessert, the novel is
a main course with 50 dishes spread out like a buffet. While watching some parts
of the movie, I was occasionally bombarded with the thoughts of "wow, so... that is
it? Really? That's IT?". Not disappointed, but slightly dissatisfied. The novel, however,
is a feast for hungry audiences like me. The word choice in the novel is articulate &
brimming with foreign cultures like French & Italian. It is not catered to readers like
me who are used to reading young adult novels, but I enjoyed reading it (or listening
to it hahah) just as much. Here are some of the quotes from the novel that touched
and haunted me days after reading the story, which I'd like to share with you guys:

“Every time I go back to Rome, I go back to
that one spot. It is still alive for me, still
resounds with something totally present,
as though a heart stolen from a tale by
Poe still throbbed under the ancient slate
pavement to remind me that, here, I had
finally encountered the life that was right
for me but had failed to have.” 

To me, calling CMBYN a masterpiece is quite an overstatement.
It is an indie production & never intended to be a "masterpiece",
BUT I wouldn't hesitate for a second to call it a historical movement
for the LGBT community. CMBYN is, and will always be my go-to story
to tell to anyone who wishes to know more about the LGBT community.
It doesn't SCREAM in your face to accept the LGBT community for who
they are — instead, it is delicate, subtle yet powerful, leaving you with the
realization that "hey, maybe being gay is not as different as being straight".

9 / 10  for CMBYN movie,
9.5 / 10  for CMBYN novel.

Have you watched Call Me By Your Name?
What do you think about it? Let me know
your thoughts in the comments section
below I can't wait to hear all of them!

Ps.: Try to leave the comment on your computer NOT mobile device
because something went wrong with my comment section on mobile
but if you leave the comment on your computer & laptop I should be
able to reply to them very easily! Sorry for the trouble & thanks for
your cooperation in advance! I spent 2.5 days creating this post so if
you've read EVERYTHING (wow) in this post comment "apricot" below
so that you can confuse the others & I can know who is DA REAL FAM!
I have another post called "2017, it's a wrap!" that is supposed to go
up today but shit happened & I couldn't find the time to finish writing
it (sorry!) so please bear with me. I shall post that in a few days time!

Happy new year in advance!


1 comment :

  1. Today, I went to the beach front with my children. I found a sea shell and
    gave it to my 4 year old daughter and said "You can hear the ocean if you put this to your ear." She put the shell to her ear
    and screamed. There was a hermit crab inside and it pinched her ear.

    She never wants to go back! LoL I know this is completely off topic but I had to tell someone!


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