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Ditto
  |     review    |     notes     |     awards     |     availability     |



Notes:

Ditto was remade by both the Chinese and the Japanese
. The Chinese version is called Sky of Love, and stars Gigi Leung and F4's Ken Zhu. The Japanese version is called Scent of Love.

Awards:

21st Chongryong Film Festival
• Winner - Best Supporting Actress (Ha Ji-Won)


Availability:


DVD (Hong Kong)
Region 0 NTSC
Mei Ah Entertainment
Widescreen
Korean Language Track
Dolby Digital 2.0
Removable English and Chinese Subtitles
Trailers and Extras

DVD (Korea)
Region 3 NTSC
Spectrum DVD
16x9 Anamorphic Widescreen
Korean Language Track
Dolby Digital 5.1
Removable English and Korean Subtitles

 
Year: 2003
Director: Kim Jong-Kwon
Writer: Jang Jin, Kim Jong-Kwon
Cast: Kim Ha-Neul, Yoo Ji-Tae, Ha Ji-Won, Park Young-Woo
The Skinny: A sleeper hit about two college students - one living in 1979, the other living in the year 2000 - who begin talking to each other via a HAM radio. This sci-fi melodrama is at its best when both Kim Ha-Neul and Yoo Ji-Tae are onscreen together, but fizzles considerably when forced to center on their characters' individual, interminably dull storylines. If you're intrigued by the premise, you'd probably be better off renting Frequency instead.
  Review by Calvin McMillin:

     In Ditto, actress Kim Ha-Neul (My Tutor Friend) plays a pretty college girl named So-Eun, who has a major crush on her classmate Dong-Hee (Park Young-Woo), a slightly older guy who's just returned to the university after serving in the military. She's extremely shy around Dong-Hee, but luckily for her, there does seem to be some budding chemistry happening between the two. After a slow build up, the plot kicks in when So-Eun finds herself stuck with a HAM radio due to a mix-up at school and ends up taking the device home.
     On the night of a lunar eclipse, she is contacted by a young man who identifies himself as Ji-In (Yoo Ji-Tae). After some initial hesitancy, the two start up a conversation and are surprised to learn that they both attend the same college. Eager to learn more about ham radios to impress Dong-Hee, she agrees to meet up with Ji-In the following day so he can loan her his instruction manual. Both end up waiting outside the university at the clock tower, yet they never meet each other. Why, you might ask? So-Eun lives in the year 1979 while Ji-In is broadcasting his message from the year 2000. Talk about a long-distance call.
     Furious at each other for being "snubbed," the two end up talking once again and the truth comes out, although neither quite believes it at first. But eventually, the two get all the proof they need and decide to capitalize on this extraordinary event by confiding in one another about their invidividual lives. So-Eun and Ji-In become fast friends, but a twist that neither of them could forsee ends up having an effect on both their lives. Cue the crying.
     Ditto is at its best when Kim Ha-Neul and Yoo Ji-Tae are communicating via the HAM radio. In these split-screen moments, both give very likeable performances, and the heart of the film lies in their developing friendship and curiosity about each other's time period. Sadly, when the film is forced to focus on their individual storylines, Ditto falters considerably. Framed against the backdrop of South Korean history, full of assassinations and student protests, the "romance" of So-Eun and Dong-Hee is remarkably trivial, sappy, and horribly, horribly dull. The twist of the film is intriguing to be sure, but exactly why snuffing out a purely "puppy love" crush in college could be so terribly traumatic and life-altering borders on the ridiculous. Sadly, Yoo Ji-Tae's storyline meanders as well, as his character spends most of his free time inexplicably neglecting his ballsy girlfriend (Ha Ji-Won) - to what end is never really explained. Granted, each couple gets some genuine moments of romance, but for the most part, the narrative just keeps spinning its wheels, whether it's taking place in 1979 or the year 2000.
     One of the more disappointing scenes occurs when Ji-In seeks out the still-alive So-Eun in the present day. Although credit should go to the filmmakers for not going with something expected, the way in which the two interact is remarkably lame, especially considering the major league paranormal event the two have just stumbled upon. Exactly why two people who have experienced a once in a lifetime sci-fi miracle would interact in such a way borders on the inane. And boy, even twenty-one years later, So-Eun still looks remarkably well-preserved!
     The premise of Ditto is identical to that of the American film Frequency, albeit the latter involves a father and son communicating across the boundary of time rather than two college students. It's probably unfair to compare the two movies, but somehow it's probably inevitable. Whereas Frequency is a little gem of a film that delivers on most every count - characters, plot, drama, and intrigue - Ditto just feels like a great idea squandered. It wants to be a tearjerker, but somewhere along the way the filmmakers forgot that it was important to earn our sympathy first. When the waterworks finally commenced, this reviewer was decidedly unmoved. Your mileage may vary. (Calvin McMillin, 2005)

 
   
 
 
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