Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Actors: Ji-tae Yu, Ha-Neul Kim, Ji-won Ha, Seung-min Lee, Yong-woo Park
Director: Jeong-kwon Kim
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama, Science Fiction & Fantasy
History and Love intertwine!
Jenny J.J.I. | That Lives in Carolinas | 01/25/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I heard of this movie year's back but never had the opportunity to watch it until last night. Into the first half hour of the movie or so I thought it was okay but the more it progress the better it became. The story revolves around the relationship that develops between two college students, So-eun (Kim Ha-neul) and In (Yoo Ji-tae of "Attack the Gas Station!"), who connect via a ham radio one night. However, when they decide to meet on campus and miss each other, it is revealed that they are separated by 21 years, with So-eun in 1979 and In living in the present day, 2000. Eventually, they become comfortable with the supernatural phenomenon that has brought them together, as well as their correspondence. She relates her camaraderie with her best friend Seon-mi (Kim Min-ju) and her pining for fellow student Dong-heui (Park Yong-woo); while he talks about the unwanted attention he receives from fellow co-ed (Ha Ji-weon). However, as the on-air relationship deepens, it is revealed that their ties go far deeper than ever imagined.
True, the plot of "Ditto" is eerily similar to a Hollywood production released that same year, "Frequency", in which a young man is able to communicate with his late firefighter father through a ham radio. However, there is a difference between the two films with respect to intent. Whereas "Frequency" was more-or-less a sci-fi suspense-thriller, "Ditto" ends up being a bittersweet drama that offers up some interesting perspectives on the national psyche of South Korea.
To appreciate the significance of the two timelines in "Ditto", 1979 and 2000, one needs to be familiar with the history of South Korea, a relatively young democracy with a turbulent past. The South Korean people made the painful transition from one political extreme to the other in the span of a single generation; it is not surprising that the country's filmmakers have been influenced by such upheaval. Underlying the 'love across time' genre is the dichotomy between the lessons of the past and the understanding of the present, not unlike the themes addressed in the films of Wong Kar-wai ("In the Mood for Love"). All the characters in the genre's films struggle with trying to make sense of events in their past, often catastrophic, and using that knowledge to better understand themselves and their current circumstances.
Melancholy and humor were balanced out with the innocence of the female characters; it never got overly heavy with sadness. "Ditto", along with the other films of the Korean 'love across time' genre, is a thoughtful reflection of the national psyche of South Korea, a country that has matured into a functioning democracy in a relatively short time, yet still bears the scars of that long and difficult struggle. Recommend for viewing.
A Sweet Drama
Susie Kang | Southern California | 02/07/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Summary: This movie is a gentle love story that accurately portrays S. Korea in the 1970s and the present. Amazingly, a ham radio is the catalyst of the relationships and the cornerstone of the plot.
Acting: Yoo Ji-tae and Kim Ha-neul are fairly young actors, so there's room for improvement. Kim Ha-neul relies on her cuteness a lot, but she's getting better.
Historical Background: The symbolism in the movie might not make sense if you don't know anything about S. Korea's history.
This movie alternates between the present (2000) and 1979, a watershed year for Korean politics as the S. Korean president was assasinated. The '70s are fondly remembered by the older generation as a simpler time (albeit under military rule).
Korean male/female relationships: According to my native Korean friends, college guys and girls who like each other often flirt in a "mean" way. That's another cultural difference that Americans might not understand.
Anyways, all my girl friends have enjoyed this movie; I'm not sure whether guys would like it."
A bittersweet travel into the past and future
watersplash | 04/30/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I just happened to watch this film in Arirang... and wow, I don't know what opportunity I would have missed if I had changed the channel!
The story revolves around So-eun and In, two people who only knew each other through a ham radio. As they become friends, they find out that they are separated by 21 years, as So-eun lives in 1979, and In lives in 2000. But they are not only connected by their ham radio talks... soon they find out that they are actually linked to each other by a web of human connections which makes you think that the world is really small.
Watch it and it would make you realize the other possibilities that could have happened in your life. Yes, the thought of this could make you cry, because it could make you regret... but at the same time, it could make you laugh at yourself for making the wrong choices. This sometimes slow, sometimes funny, thought-provoking, poignant, and unique tale about the mysteries of time and the people within its dimensions surely deserves 5 stars."
The deep thought quality of what-if's in Asian romances
M. R. Estante | North America | 04/26/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"If you loved Il Mare - you will love this too. Love reaches once again across time. Alternating between 2000 South Korea and the country in the 70's, two people fall in love across the divide. This will have you wishing there was such a thing as a time machine."