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‘Dito at Doon’ Review: Love, hope, politics and fears during pandemic

DITO AT DOON (2021) Review
Directed by JP Habac

It’s hard to not connect to a story that you’ve experienced and still experiencing now. Dito at Doon puts me in a situation where I not only see myself as its lead character Len, but also helps me to release some of my frustrations today. But does its social relevance hold up along with its story?

Watching a “pandemic romance story” is kind of weird. Not just because of the setup but also because we’re accustomed to conversations and interactions the traditional way. But the dialogues in Dito at Doon are clever. It builds its story like we’re getting to know Len and Caloy’s characters on a deeper level.

So, life during pandemic and romace brewing through online communication. But Dito at Doon also tackles politics – Len being a bit more comfortable in life, expressing her exhaustion to people who want to go out during pandemic and the incompetent response of our government. But there’s a layer to that, Len’s mother is a frontliner. A nurse who risks her life every day and her daughter who constatly gets news from her phone about frontliners losing their lives. It’s that excruciating feeling of worrying for someone you love Janine Gutierrez and Lotlot de Leon presented in the film that’s heartwarming.

And to contrast Len’s one-sided, reckless bursts on our current situation, JC Santos’ Caloy is the voice of those who sympathize with people who has less options in a pandemic.

I was literally crying at 12AM watching Dito at Doon. The fear of losing someone and the joy of losing that fear of losing someone slap hard. The reality were in now: the anxiety, the uncertainties, and maybe finding hope from someone unexpected. Janine Gutierrez and JC Santos with JP Habac’s direction drove this pandemic romance drama with the right talking points, right treatment and flawless performances.

But that ending. I have a lot of questions with how the film ended. I mean yes, with the uncertainties and unique situation we are in right now, emotionally, I don’t know which journey or what story had at least an answer. Is it why Len has no boyfriend since birth? I’m not sure. I’m really not sure.

I may have issues with how the film ended, but there’s a lot to like about Dito at Doon. And some moments really stayed with me. It’s a really special film, with all the circumstances and the messages it want to present, Dito at Doon manages to make us feel giddy, to make us feel the normal things friends and would-be lovers do, how important is the connection we make with the people we love and the friends we make even virtually.

3.5 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS

‘Dito at Doon’ is now streaming on Cinema ’76 @ Home, KTX, iWantTFC, Ticket2Me and Upstream from TBA Studios and WASD Films. Directed by JP Habac.

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