GIRTHLORD’s review published on Letterboxd:
Homophobia doesn't make sense. It's literally HATING someone for the way they LOVE
I grew up in a poor part of West London listening to Hip Hop, surrounded by drug dealers, gangsters, and hustlers all mixed together in a deadly concoction of toxic masculinity. I'm still a 'Hip Hop head' and no matter how much I would try to deny it - the genre has always been filled with misogyny and homophobia, as a young impressionable man this had a huge effect on me.
As a loud, spotty, hormonal teen I would have avoided and disregarded this film, like we did Brokeback Mountain 'Err bro that's a faggot movie' or 'You know being gay is a sin and harram!' My friends older brother would say as he smoked a joint and sipped on some rum before going to the Mosque! :eyeroll:
As I got older I realised how ridiculous and ignorant this way of thinking was. Unfortunately some of my friends from my home town haven't changed and would still relentlessly mock this film and me for watching it. Toxic masculinity can sometimes get deep in the root and leave a stain on your heart that you can't refute! (sorry I'm listening to Voodoo whilst writing this lol)
Homophobia doesn't make sense. It's literally HATING someone for the way they LOVE. It's idiotic, paradoxical, and heartbreaking. Being a Pakistani Muslim who, as an adult has only lived in a post 9/11 world I know all too well how it feels to be discriminated against, to be hated for something that you can't help. I wish my brown boys back home would understand this notion. What's the difference between a racially motivated crime and a hate crime? Some people will yell 'you fucking Paki' some will yell 'you fucking faggot'. Same ignorance. Same hate.
I know this isn't a 'LGBT' film that tackles issues and prejudices but I think therein lies the genius of this piece of art. It normalises and naturalises the most natural, normal thing known to man - love! But this film isn't just about love, it's about the most powerful, memorable, painful love of all - the first love.
'Call Me By Your Name' is a timeless love story, beautifully shot with an unforgettable soundtrack. The performances were just as believable as the idyllic world the characters inhabit. The pacing was tender, considered, and slow - but slow in the best possible way, like a leg of lamb slow cooked for seven hours, the story fell off the bone - the texture, rich and delicious. The whole film was shot only using a 35mm lens and every frame was a painting.
Timothée Hal Chalamet as Elio was a revelation. I'm a heterosexual man who's never been to Italy, can barely speak one language, and have concentration problems when trying to read books but I related and empathised with him - I felt every emotion he felt. These feelings are universal, shared by anyone who's been emotionally held hostage by the dreaded 'first love'. The madness. The betrayal. The lust. The pure euphoria and of course, the beautiful pain.
Armie Hammer was perfectly cast. He reminded me of Don Draper - on tour. So slick, so cool, and extremely likeable! Michael Stuhlbarg as Mr Perlman was BRILLIANT. His final 'talk' with Elio was one of the most tender scenes in film history. How different would this world be if we all had parents like Elio had? This scene is the antedote to the toxic masculinity that is poisoning young men around the world! The tolerance and understanding shown by Mr Perlman here choked me up - he understood the most simple rule in parenthood: HAPPINESS OVER EVERYTHING!
I have an addictive personality, I'm the guy who is sad when the night is coming to an end. I want to party, laugh, dance, love forever, but forever isn't real, and if it was - it would be shit. My friend once told me that 'Anything that's half good must come to an end' I asked her why? She replied 'How else would you know if it was any good?'. With perspective we look back on special moments in our life, it must end and that's when we step back and appreciate them.
Elio needed his summer of love to end. Oliver was therapeutic, we all need an Oliver.
The most romantic thing in this world is unfulfilled love. The 'what ifs' keep us up at night but they also feed our yearn to never stop loving. Maybe we're trying to recapture that feeling, that love, that pain. 'Call Me By Your Name' has captured the essence of first love on celluloid! I'm going to take one of my boys from West London and try and break some prejudices because this movie deserves it! Masterpiece!