Wonderful nostalgia, a sweet coming of age slice of life, sincere friendships; that’s what Ditto (동감) is all about. The 2022 Korean film, a remake of a 2000 film of the same name, captures the many conflicting emotions that come with college life through a magical premise that helps to enhance the film’s relatable and engaging story.
Ditto tells the story of Kim Yong (Yeo Jin Goo), a college junior living in the year 1999 and Mu Nee (Cho Yi Hyun), a sophomore of the same university living in the year 2022. Through old ham radios, the two are suddenly able to communicate with each other across time. And during their nightly conversations, they share their thoughts, worries and advice on each other’s loves and friendships.
In 1999, Kim Yong has fallen in love at first sight with Seo Han Sol (Kim Hye Yoon) and struggles with how to express his feelings for her. His best friend Kim Eun Seong (Bae In Hyuk) isn’t much help, so he turns to Mu Nee for advice.
Meanwhile in 2022, Mu Nee comes across a ham radio while looking through her parents’ old belongings. She is especially amused after figuring out that Yong is not living in the same time period as her. But with the help of her friend Young Ji (Na In Woo), she is able to put the pieces together to reveal a stunning secret about her and Yong’s lives.
Ditto is really a wonderfully nostalgic film. It is sentimental in all the best ways possible. An emotional and heartfelt story of growing up with the familiar, yet contrasting perspectives of youths 23 years apart.
Time itself is a character in the film. And helps to support our two leads and the important people around them.
Ditto is a fast-paced film. Maybe a bit too fast at points. In that sense, a longer format such as a short miniseries might have allowed for even more welcome depth and larger scope. This time in any youth’s life is certainly ripe for drama and comedy and everything in between. And Ditto can only capture so much.
If there is one criticism of the film, it’s that it could have itself gone a bit deeper, especially with the characters. It feels like the film only scratches the surface of what they could offer.
But on the other hand, that limited picture the film is able to contain enhances the story’s slice of life aura. And in turn, highlights the film’s dreamy nostalgia.
The cast is charming and perfectly endearing. Yeo Jin Goo leads a young, talented cast through many familiar trappings in the lives of college students. He shares a great chemistry with Cho Yi Hyun, even if their characters only ever communicate via ham radio.
In the end, Ditto does what it sets out to do. At just under two hours, the film delivers a sincerely heartfelt and nostalgic portrait of the lives of these two college students in different time periods. While a deeper exploration into their stories would be awesome to see, Ditto is ultimately an enjoyable and engaging film.