This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
shehzadi’s review published on Letterboxd:
This review may contain spoilers.
It’s a good film but honestly I think the main reason people love it is because it’s aesthetically pleasing. It didn’t really live up to my expectations. Films about love are supposed to evoke emotion and make you feel things. But this movie made me feel kind of empty.
You can call me “uncultured” or whatever but I like movies with plot, and I like movies with emotion.
Here comes the nitty gritty,
I’m not one of those people who thinks Elio and Oliver’s relationship is equivalent to pedophelia (17 years old is not pre-pubescent) but they really should have hired an actual 24 year-old to play Oliver because Armie Hammer (who looks 10 years older than his actual age) and Timothee Chamalet (who could pass off as 15) together, made the age gap seem worse than it actually is imo.
Do I think this film is good LGBT rep? not really, I think it’s better described as a coming of age film with LGBT rep. You may think my interpretation is complete bullshit but here’s how I see it:
This film is not about the “true love” between Elio and Oliver. It’s about Elio, soon to be a “full” adult, exploring his sexuality and trying to find out what he loves and who he is. In the beginning of this film he is a virgin, indifferent about love, more concerned with everyday hobbies like reading and transcribing music. But as the film goes on he experiments with his sexuality in various ways (even including fruits). He struggles with his intense feelings for Oliver and struggles with his less intense but more “appropriate” feelings for Marzia. Oliver (who is older, more mature yet similar to Elio, almost like someone Elio wants to be in the future) signifies Elio’s growth into adulthood by the end of this film. It’s clear throughout the movie that he cares more for their relationship than Oliver does. By the end of the movie, Elio is content about his summer relationship with Oliver and we see him somewhat distraught by the fact that Oliver is getting married to someone else, yet he also accepts it. This shows his newfound maturity and understanding of himself. It’s rather cynical, which explains why many are either uncomfortable with this movie or confused by it. But I still think it’s an interesting message, yet a coming of age movie is not really what i expected and isn’t particularly ground-breaking tbh.
Anyway maybe I need to rewatch it to see what all the hype is about but for now I think it’s good, but not particularly special.