We never get to know love and its mysterious ways in its entirety. We haul our conscious beings into feeling things that are known to us through our experiences. Anything alien is not receptive, at least not instantly. But then something unprecedented happens. Something unexpected. It catches us off guard. It explores your vulnerabilities and one becomes completely unaware of the set norms and patterns. The cover is blown and what remains is one’s naked self. Something having a similar essence can be found in Luca Guadagnino’s coming of age film, Call Me By Your Name.
Nobody knew the turn of events that were going to take place when Oliver, a brawny and personable young man comes to intern with Professor Pearlman. The ardor is evident as the Professor not only welcomes him in his physical space but emotional space too.
Elio, son of Professor Pearlman is skeptical at first. He desires to achieve parity. He watches Oliver breaking the egg and spilling it all over, illustrating a sort of naivety of youth. He watches him drink his apricot juice, in a manner that could almost be termed as aggressive. Oliver’s vulnerability is concealed under his Greek Goddish Aura. When one possesses such an arresting charm, it becomes impossible to look within. Elio catches hold of him in such an unshielded moment that Oliver becomes impuissant. Elio demands an equilibrium, a sort of poise. And once he attains it, both are inseparable. The entanglement is not only physical. It is as if both are extensions of each other.
It is very important to say here that there is a sense of consensual joy and as Oliver asserts
“I don’t want either of us to pay for this.”
It might seem like a bad idea but never feels sinful. The tacit approval of parents is evidence of that fact.
And then the endless paradoxical loop begins. One hauls the inner self, the core, to not feel anything, in order to escape the pain. Even the picturesque setting of Northern Italy, which felt like a paradise, in the beginning, loses its effervescence.
Mr. Pearlman tries to initiate a conversation with his son, knowing the fact that he is experiencing a sense of loss. What he expresses oozes out a sense of unprejudiced understanding in such a degree that it makes his character look like a figment of the imagination. Too good to exist in real life. Too comforting and ideal. It is hard to find such father-son dynamics. He says
“ We rip out soo much of our self to be cured of things faster, that we go bankrupt by the age of 30”
It stays with you. And you understand that in your quest to kill the sorrow and feel nothing and escape all the harshness, you ultimately stop feeling anything.
Call Me by Your Name directed by Luca Guadagnino is a coming of age romantic drama film released in the year 2017. The film is based on the novel of the same name written by André Aciman published in 2007. Set in Early ’80’s Italy, Call Me By Your Name beautifully portrays the romantic relationship between a 17-year-old, Elio Perlman (Timothée Chalamet), and Oliver (Armie Hammer), a 24-year-old graduate student who visits Elio’s Father (Michael Stuhlbarg), an archaeology professor for an internship.
Call Me by Your Name is streaming on Netflix.
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