J’s review published on Letterboxd:
"in your place, if there is pain, nurse it, and if there is a flame, don't snuff it out, don't be brutal with it. withdrawal can be a terrible thing when it keeps us awake at night, and watching others forget us sooner than we'd want to be forgotten is no better. 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 feel nothing so as not to feel anything—what a waste!"
I was torn between rating this 3.5 and 4.0 but since I've been looping Stevens' Mystery of Love (I cried more listening to this song than watching the film so screw me) since last night it only makes sense that I give this a 4-star.
my expectations were probably too high and it seemed to me reading the book beforehand has ruined my experience. it also didn't help that the screening I went to have people laughing at almost every scene and it made me uneasy that I can't concentrate well on what I was feeling. I felt mocked. the emotional depth I wanted to experience in the cinema was incomparable with what I had experienced with the book and, stupidly, my brain cannot stop comparing these two and the latter has more depth to me personally (it's a me, not you situation). this made the last act of the film hastily done in my eyes but to dismiss this as not compelling would be me living a lie because I did shed a number (I speak as if they can be quantified) of tears (particularly at the parts where Elio's father was talking about numbing ourselves and offering less to someone new after we've been hurt and as Elio stares at the fireplace with tears streaming down his face: heartbroken and lost). I wanted to be wrecked more. perhaps, admittedly, the chemistry between Hammer and Chalamet didn't work for me as much as I'd like it to be because of the points I have also written above.
but to say Call Me by Your Name is completely about lust is appalling. I did hear someone say this as the credits roll. why do we all pretend that loving someone doesn't include desiring their body? and why do we ever pretend that a coming-of-age story should not include exploration of one's own body? it does. and this further proves the fact that love, in its most cunning and idiotic ways, also defines itself not with one definition alone but in multiples; good and bad—perversion, avoidance, attraction, adoration, and volatility. love is not one feeling, it is a thousand more and a little of everything.
lastly, beautiful soundtrack and how do I send in my adoption papers to Elio's parents?