Director Luca Guadagnino repeatedly taps into this rich vein of empathy for the characters in the film, a blood-soaked romance that juxtaposes the yearning for touch with the craving for flesh.
Guadagnino fills his road trip story with empty houses and deserted streets, abandoned people and the weight of secrets, letting a tender romance between two outcasts emerge from the sprawling loneliness of the country they’re travelling through.
Maren and Lee drive through the sprawling country trying to figure out where to go next. Their choices are bleak – suicide, a lifetime of eating other people, or solitary confinement.
The latest instance of her bloodlust is what causes her father to finally abandon her. He leaves behind her mother’s birth certificate and a tape explaining what little he knows of her condition.
Traveling across the American Midwest in search of her mother, Maren meets Lee (Timothee Chalamet), another eater, and the two embark on a road trip together.