It's been almost fifteen years since this South Korean romantic drama was released, and yet, even now, it has lost none of its poignancy. In 1979, So-Eun (Kim Ha-Neul), a university student, by chance, stumbles upon a ham radio whilst attempting to capture the attention of Dong-Hee (Park Yong-Woo), a fellow student she strongly admires. In order to convince Dong-Hee that her appreciation for the ham radio is legitimate, she begins to converse with a young man on the other end, Ji-In (Yoo Ji-Tae), a fellow student attending the same university, however, 21 years into the future, in the year 2000.
Although neither of them is capable of initially believing that they happen to inhabit different periods of time, they begin to have a profound affect over each other, and in so doing, shape their characters and lives. So-Eun's sweet friend Seon-Mi (Kim Min-Joo) and Ji-In's occasionally inebriated, yet charmingly caring friend Seo Hyun-Ji (Ha Ji-Won), equally believe the distance in time to be nonsense, but as events begin to slowly become even more realistic, the question of whether the changes that commence are actually for the better, begin to plague the leads.
The characterization is certainly impressive, distinct impressions being made that help the audience clearly identify each character as they subtly grow, maturing into the individuals they shall later become. The focus on the leads however means that many of the secondary characters, from friends to familial members, are provided limited screen time or depth.
The directional style moreover, clearly emphasizes the impact each character has over the other, and how their lives begin to intersect, even despite the massive difference in time. Initially, So-Eun and Ji-In are continuously shown in separate scenes, skipping from one to another. Later, both appear, side by side, like a comic strip, before we eventually see them, in their own times, walking in the same locations, So-Eun fading out as Ji-In is superimposed over her, following in her footsteps.
From the sweeping melody of the piano, to the use of stringed instruments, the audience is frequently being serenaded by beautiful music. Although this initially sets the scene for what gradually is to come, the music for the most part mainly serves as a beautiful companion for the story, until later, when it begins to solidify and cement the emotions that really impact the viewer.
The use of color, especially at the beginning, where a vast amount of bright pinks and reds occupy the screen, thus evident of the romantic themed plot, is incredibly flattering on the senses, which are capable of being later contrasted with the beautiful lily white snow. These changes are additionally evident in the plot, the elements of humor, social awkwardness and friendship, being overtaken in the film's later stages with a greater focus on melodrama.
Though the feature's conclusion is neither forced or peculiar, offering viewer's an ending that effectively fits with the narrative and characters, one cannot potentially feel as though they are been deprived of something deeper, which only adds to the intensity of the emotions the ending reveals. Ditto is one of those rare great films that are incredibly difficult to find, but if by luck, you, dear reader, manage to procure a copy, you shall not be disappointed.
Review by Derek Childs from the Internet Movie Database.