I am not going to lie: going into the film, I had pretty high expectations. The buzz for the film has been crazy, and that is what ultimately made me decide to pick up the book and try to understand what the frenzy is all about. Also, I love gay romance in movies and literature, so I made sure to find the time to read this.
And Call Me By Your Name (the book) did live up to the hype. It was, for me, well-written, nuanced, and characteristic of the flood of emotions and confusion encountered by young guys trying to reconcile their gender preferences. I should know, I went through that phase--and the book captured the emotions just so well. I am a sucker for good endings, and I'd like to believe the ambiguous ending in the book meant that Oliver and Elio somehow found their happy ending. Okay, I suppose this is not that much of a spoiler. I struggle to think of at least three gay movies/stories that had a "happy" ending.
As I mentioned, I was looking forward to watching the film, considering all the hype. It had all but two screenings here in the Philippines, as far as I know, and I managed to reserve two tickets for me and my boyfriend in the far mall of the north, Trinoma.
Photo taken from https://www.tynesidecinema.co.uk/
Before anything else, I have to say: the crowd was crazy! Haha. If I didn't know any better, I'd think the crowd (who lined up for the film, stretching out for meters on end). There were familiar faces in the crowd, mostly gay guys I'd seen partying in either O Bar and Unit 27.
Okay. At this point I'm exhausted to even write about the film. But just to lay out the points there:
- I think the film did a disservice to the book by not including what for me is a major plot point.
- Timothée Chalamet did justice to the role of Elio. Armie Hammer, who played Oliver, was missing something... Which is a shame 'cos I found Oliver attractive in the book.
- Overall, a good film. Although I'll be one of those pricks who think the book is much better than movie.