Peach Coloured Lens


Posted By Vandana Likhmania

“How you live your life is your business. Just remember our hearts and our bodies are given to us only once…”

Call Me By Your Name is a peach-coloured portrait, beautifully crafted by Luca Guadagnino. It is based on a novel by the same name, but chooses to omit  the retrospective narration of an older Elio in favour of presenting the events chronologically. Set in the 80s, this coming-of-age film tells the story of two young men falling in love over the course of a long Italian summer. The young grad student, Oliver (Armie Hammer) and Elio (Timothée Chalamet), the 17-year-old son of his professor-host, while away their short time together discussing art and politics, going for long bike rides, taking dips in the nearby lake, and dining outdoors under the peach trees; all of which, Guadagnino has managed to treat with sensuality.

Despite being a part of the same queer canon, it is in contrast to films such as Moonlight. Here, even though the gay protagonists are not being crushed by the straight agendas of society and unjust laws or suffer from a terminal illness, they are real and human.. The immediate acceptance they gain e upon coming out is not a sign of backwardness of the film. To the contrary, it signifies a very subtle break from the clichés that gay love otherwise has to face in movies. Elio has intuitive and emotionally supportive parents. His father, aware of his relationship with Oliver, talks to him about the loss of love which is the perfect heartbreak therapy.

The only time an encounter with the new Elio takes place is at the climax as the ending credits roll. This invitation to indulge in his melancholy of loss is further extended by the soundtracks of the film. The three special compositions by Sufjan Stevens are compelling and brilliant, while the vintage hit Love My Way by the Psychedelic Furs proves that it still hasn’t lost its groove. This un-judged same-sex relationship is not the depiction of life in a bubble but is an unusual representation of acceptance of feelings, by oneself and others. It does not aim at defying taboos like the LGBT+ films of the past but instead upholds what they have already established in a simple love story.

Every actor has managed to carry out their roles articulately. Chalamet was nominated for the Oscars in the category of  ‘Best actor’. He also recently announced that he would be donating his entire paycheck from the upcoming Woody Allen film “A Rainy Day” to the charities Time’s Up, the LGBT Community Center in New York, and Rainn- the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network.


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