25th Far East Film Festival: “Ditto” Review

Ditto, a 2022 South Korean film directed and written by Seo Eun-young and starring Yeo Jin-goo, Cho Yi-hyun, Kim Hye-yoon, and Na In-woo is, according to media, a remake of the 2000 film of the same name, starring Yoo Ji-tae and Ha Ji-won. Although the producers bought the rights to the remake, the 2022 version shares only a few mutual points with its predecessor, including the concept of time and the exploration of human relationships.

Ditto’s story revolves around two young people who attend the same University, Kim Yong (Jin-goo), a mechanical engineering student, and Kim Mu-nee (Yi-hyun), a student of sociology. Not only do they attend the same educational facility, they both live in the same dormitory but in different time periods. Yong lives in the year 1999, while Mu-nee lives in the year 2021. One day, during the total lunar eclipse, the students “magically” connect through a Ham Radio. It doesn’t take long for them to get on well and Yong even suggests they meet up on the university campus but eventually they realise they’re years apart. Even so, the excitement grows between them, and with each conversation their unusual friendship develops into a platonic love. However, what would happen when the transmission ends? Will their friendship stand the test of time?

Ditto is an extremely cheesy film that misses a lot from its original source. However, Seo Eun-young does a good job of portraying the emotional bond between the two protagonists despite the significant time gap. Jin-goo and Yi-hyun both give decent performances, and so too do Kim Hye-yoon and Na In-woo, who play the side characters of Kim Eun-seong and Oh Young-ji respectively. Sadly, what the film lacks is the portrayal of the different social and cultural contexts between the two periods that was present in the 2000 version of Ditto. Jeong Gi-wook’s cinematography, in some ways, elevates the overall cinematic experience, and luckily it contributes to the storytelling. The different lighting split between the two periods also sets the tone and mood of many scenes well, and the steadicam shots create a sense of realism in the film as well. 

Ditto, although filled with all the possible cliches a film could have, manages to depict its story about love, friendship and letting go in a satisfactory way. However, there is not much else to say about it, and perhaps that says everything you need to know.


Rating: 3 out of 5.

Written by Maggie Gogler

View of the Arts is a British online publication that chiefly deals with films, music, and art, with an emphasis on the Asian entertainment industry. We are hoping our audience will grow with us as we begin to explore new platforms such as K-pop / K-music, and Asian music in general, and continue to dive into the talented and ever-growing scene of film, music, and arts, worldwide.

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