Nature has cunning ways of finding our weakest spot

Nature has cunning ways of finding our weakest spot

 

With time, it gets more and more difficult to knock us off our feet. We learn to watch our step, keep a keener eye out for what might make us slip. We know how hard that ground is when we land, and we don’t want to let ourselves bruise that deep again.

While it may seem like we are the better for lessening the pain, what we forget is that there’s a cost to so much certainty. We forget, for instance, that there’s only the slightest difference between the feeling of falling and the feeling of flying.

CALL ME BY YOUR NAME is a new movie that wants us to know that the pain of the fall might very well be worth the joy of the flight

In 1983, an American goes to Italy. A Jewish grad student named Oliver (Armie Hammer) spends a summer with a professor (Michael Stuhlhabrg), his wife (Amira Casar), and their seventeen-year-old son, Elio (Timothée chalamet).

Almost immediately, Elio takes a curiosity in the all-American gent. Sometimes he pushes aside that fascination and retreats into the arms of his crush, Marzia (Esther Garral). Sometimes, his fascination consumes him and all he can do is pout while trying to act like it’s all “no big deal”

His curiosity is reciprocated though, with Oliver truly intrigued by the lad’s intelligence, beauty, sophistication, and desire. Looks lead to gestures; gestures lead to more. Elio sometimes seems overcome by the fluidity of his sexual preferences, and Oliver seems conflicted about just how many lines he wants to cross. Before the summer is over though, the two are fully infatuated with one-another.

An affair is in full bloom, and there will be a lot of self-discovery for both men before the summer is over.

 

Call Me By Your Name

 

CALL ME BY YOUR NAME is about looking at the world through new eyes. It dares us to listen to songs we normally skip past, and talk to the stranger we might otherwise shy away from. It uses the metaphor of “An American in Italy” to make all of us feel as out-of-place as we once did in the face of that which was new and nerve-wracking. It wants us to embrace that which is beautiful, no matter our preconceptions.

Watching the relationship between Elio and Oliver reminds us just how blurred the lines of an affair can be. We can start in relating to someone in a friendly, familial, courteous, or even contemptuous way, and before long they are all we can think about. It’s not quite like getting “hit by the thunderbolt”; it’s more like slowly wading into the tides and not realizing that wading eventually gave way to drowning.

Signals are given and signals are received, but neither man seems quite certain what to do from moment to moment. There’s no questioning desire – even when they seem at-odds – but it’s all muddled by manipulation, petulance, propriety, and nerves. Every fire of infatuation uses these traits as kindling, and CALL ME BY YOUR NAME is no exception. Does that diminish what they want, or what they get? Not in the least.

Time is wasted and chances aren’t taken, but so it goes in love. The point of it all is to cherish the time taken and chances played.

For a very small amount of time we can dance with true abandon. We can the feel the music in the very marrow of our matter, and make our beautiful bodies move in such splendid ways. In this moment, we are in tune with the melody of the music and the rhythm of the dance. We draw the eye of every watcher and wallflower surrounding the dance floor. Some of them want to dance with us, some want to fuck us. Some want to dance with us then fuck us.

The time is short though – after that, we are the loopy old person trying to keep up with the beat while the kids giggle and whisper.

We are never truly told just how fleeting beauty and vigour can be. We have hard work, maturity, planning, comprehension, and respect drilled into us from the time we are old enough to speak…but we are never fully taught the importance of living life while it can be lived to its very fullest. We aren’t made to understand that “our prime” refers to what we can offer the world and what the world wants to offer us. Perhaps we aren’t made to understand this because those who can teach us are sad that their time has already passed; perhaps because they know that if we learn the value of youth, we’ll never want to leave it.

We have to leave it though, No one can possibly burn that brightly for so long. No one remain so hyper-sensitive.

CALL ME BY YOUR NAME ends with a shot fixated on one character’s face. As seconds stretch to minutes, we see a wide range of emotions pass. Desire, sorrow, frustration, regret, amusement, anger. Stars are colliding within a singular soul, and the person is doing their damndest not to burst.

The shot is tragic and beautiful – much like young love itself. It’s a reminder that as we age, few things in life will ever affect us quite as deeply, and that we are lesser for it.

 

Matineescore: ★ ★ ★ ★ out of ★ ★ ★ ★
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