ash’s review published on Letterboxd:
“We rip out so much of ourselves to be cured of things faster than we should that we go bankrupt by the age of thirty and have less to offer each time we start with someone new. But to make yourself feel nothing so as not to feel anything - what a waste!”
This one means a lot to me, always will. It’s a special, special, truly special film to me. I know, I know, it has its controversies, and problems with certain actors attached, but the film is much more than him, much more than what is commonly attached to it. It’s had a profound impact on my life, and how openly I embrace who I am, what I am or what I do. I couldn’t be more thankful to Guadagnino for adapting this to the big screen and in casting Timothée as Elio, because the amount of things I’ve learnt from Timothée and Luca’s characterisation of Elio has been immensely influential on me. Elio Pearlman is someone I can completely resonate with, in layers upon layers of his personality and emotionality. We all have characters that mean a lot to us, that we resonate with and hold close to our hearts and minds, and for me Elio is one of several of those characters, among many other characters in cinema. Just like his fingers swapping through keys on the piano, fine-tuning his ability through multiple renditions of the same song through the musical basis of several different composers, he’s a character that will continue to resonate and inspire me over the years and with time, as I grow and mature even more, find new ways to understand and perceive his character, and how I resonate with him.
I think in some way, it’s a film everyone can register and resonate with, even if they don’t resonate with its lead character. After all, it’s a simple film about loving, about find yourself and who you are, and about the real pain in heartbreak, especially of first love, when love feels most real, raw, and fragile. I think we can all relate to feeling like there’s nothing ahead for us, that no one else but the person that broke us can love us, that there’s no worse feeling of pain and desolation than the tragedy of heartbreak. Especially after your first love, there’s often an isolating feeling like the world can’t love you, or wouldn’t offer to, and in ways, Mr. Pearlman’s speech near the very end is a rebuttal to that, an antithesis of the feeling of finality heartbreak seems to permeate, because there is love after your first heartbreak, after your second and third, and much more following after all of them. There’s always love and hope in the world, only if you open yourself up to it and the possibility of it. Feel the pain, the sorrow, the solitude, all those harsh, melancholic feelings of despondency and finality, because with it comes contentment, and solace, and joy, and the hopeful possibility of love. Feel it, feel all of it, the good, and the bad, because what a waste to numb it, to not feel what any of it meant to you, what a waste to neglect the truth of our reality that “nature has cunning ways of finding our weakest spots.” It’s okay to feel, it’s only natural, it’s only human to feel, to realise it’s all a part of living.
“How you live your life is your business, just remember, our hearts and our bodies are given to us only once. And before you know it, your heart is worn out, and, as for your body, there comes a point when no one looks at it, much less wants to come near it. Right now, there's sorrow, pain. Don't kill it and with it the joy you've felt.”