I really must admit that it's been quite some time since I last read a book. I would always make excuses like I don't have enough time, I'd rather spend my time doing other things, or I'd start a book and never finish. Well, I'm happy to report that the streak is over and I’ve finally committed to reading a book and finished it!
After hearing lots of buzz during TIFF about the premiere of “Call Me by Your Name”, I looked into the film and it instantly caught my eye, from the narrative of the story to the trailer! I didn’t get the opportunity to see it at the festival, so I figured I’d see it when it came out in theatres. Little did I know that the film was an adaptation of a book by the same name. I started seeing friends and many others both online and in person telling me about this book and to start reading it. Keeping my little secret that I haven’t read in forever. Well, on boxing day, in the dead of the cold I rushed over to Indigo and purchased it. I remember frantically driving home because I was so excited to start reading the book.
Starting the book is something I severely regret, as after 2 weeks, I finished the book and it all came to an end. I was left wanting more and more to read, while wishing and hoping the story continued. I could not put this book down at all. The story is narrated by and follows a 17 year old teenager, Elio, who lives with his family in a villa in Italy – already sounds like a dream life to me. Each summer his family takes in a scholar to live with them. This is where Elio first meets Oliver and the story unfolds telling a beautiful story of falling in love and discovering yourself.
I can’t say it enough but the book did such an outstanding job at taking you through every emotion, thought, and feeling of falling in love. This story couldn’t have been more relatable to the first time I fell in love and came to discover myself. I think this is why the book struck such connection to me because of everything you experience Elio going through from love, sadness, jealousy, anger, confidence, and more, I too felt and went through. Not only bringing up personal memories, but the emotions that they carried with them. This book is truly relatable to anyone who has experienced love, passion, and desire for another. I found myself an absolute wreck reading though the final chapter of the book, I was totally crying my eyes out, feeling as Elio felt, while my only feelings and thoughts surfaced. Writing this I’m sighing in remembering the final thoughts spoken in the book and feeling both swooned and saddened.
Our first love is one we'll never forget for the rest of our lives - it plays such a pivotal role in shaping how we love as it's where it began. First loves do hurt sometimes, but it's through pain that we are able to grow, develop, and be ready for what the universe brings us next. You can't move forward in life unless you know where you've been.
With the ending of the book, I’m so thankful for the movie that I have something more to re-live this story. The film stars Armie Hammer (Oliver) and Timothée Chalamet (Elio). To be quite honest, the film was a bit disappointing in comparison to the narrative of the book. I was expecting more, or perhaps I just really wanted to experience what the book portrayed. The film was beautifully shot, from the location, actors, set, everything seemed quite true to what I expected. I think the adaptation of the screenplay is where the disconnect was. The book relies so heavily on expressing Elio's thoughts and feelings throughout the entire story so perhaps that is what was missing the most, the inner dialogue that wasn't translated in film. I also felt at times the scenes felt choppy or that the story was transitioning too quickly. One thing I really liked about the movie was the on screen chemistry of Elio with his family, and more importantly with Oliver. After watching the film my initial thoughts were 1) I need to move to Italy, and 2) I wish I got to stay with their family for the summer in that beautiful small town. What the film perfectly depicted which words cannot is the the desire and look of affection that brewed over that summer with them both. You get to witness the looks, the faces, and physical emotions that are coming alive on screen.
Also... can we talk about the peach scene!? Haha!
The film's ending of Elio by the fire is a moment we've all once experienced so well. No words, just emotions.
I am definitely going to give the film another shot and watch it with the mindset of it solely being a film. With raving reviews and so much Oscar buzz, I’m very excited for what’s to come and will be cheering them on regardless!
Have you seen the film or read the book? Let me know what you thought!
Watch the trailer below:
Until next time... "Later!"
- Rob [@RobLosch]