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MOVIE REVIEW: Netflix’s Dito at Doon Is A Mirror Of Today’s Reality Amid The Pandemic

The movie stars JC Santos and Janine Gutierrez, and is directed by JP Habac.

Can the quarantine really foster relationships, and can they actually work?

JP Habac’s movie, “Dito at Doon“, delves into the world of pandemic and quarantine relationships. Finally available on Netflix last September 2, the movie stars JC Santos as Carlo “Caloy” Cabahug and Janine Gutierrez as Arlene “Len” Esguerra. (Read: In The Mood For A Movie? Netflix Has 12 New Titles This August)

The two characters meet online after a (heated) verbal exchange in the comments section of a social media platform, just eight days into the quarantine. And coincidentally, Len’s close friend was actually Caloy’s friend as well. They get formally introduced to each other, which starts off their friendship–despite their prior online argument.

The two enjoy doing quarantine activities together like making the popular Dalgona coffee, e-numan and virtual hangouts, and home gardening. But will this lead to something more?

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Photo from TBA Studios

Reality on screen

Dito at Doon showed us the reality of living in the current pandemic–we engage in various activities to stay busy and productive, try out new hobbies, and hangout virtually with friends and family to avoid isolation. (Read: 5 Quarantine Habits That You Should Keep Even After the Pandemic)

It also navigates through the highs and lows of what is now called “internet love” or “quarantine love”–the virtual meet-cute, online movie dates, arguing and reconciling over on social media, avoiding chat miscommunications, and everything else in between.

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Photo from Netflix Philippines YouTube

And while it showed the more “positive” side of the quarantine–the silver lining, if you will– the film depicted the struggle of many Filipinos whose lives were greatly affected by the pandemic as well. Aileen (Lotlot De Leon), Len’s mom, is a dedicated nurse who still works double shifts despite her coughing fits and old age. It shows just a slice of what our healthcare workers are facing as they combat the coronavirus in the country. (Read: 4 Ways To Celebrate The Season Of Creation Amid The Quarantine)

Dito at Doon also details the frustration we have all been feeling from the very beginning of the pandemic. Frustration with the fact that we can’t go out because of the quarantine, the isolation we’re experiencing, and that many still go out for non-essential activities even while cases are rising.

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Photo from Netflix Philippines YouTube

Another point of view

Apart from the creative way the production crew executed the film, it was like we were watching ourselves on screen. The seamless “video call” setup on screen made it seem like the characters were all just virtually hanging out and talking, but the emotions were all still there.

Plus, Dito at Doon gives us another view on what happens for different people during the quarantine. (Read: A Year Into Quarantine: 6 Filipinos Share Their Best Realizations)

dito-at-doon-netflix
Photo from TBA Studios

It doesn’t simply center in on the love story of Caloy and Len, but also on the different struggles we are experiencing because of COVID-19. While some can work and study from the comfort of their own home, others can’t. Others even lost their jobs and sources of income during the pandemic. While some can spend time with their family amid the quarantine, others don’t even have the chance to go home to theirs.

It allows us to realize that we are not experiencing the pandemic the same way–we are not all in the same boat.

Watch Dito at Doon on Netflix here.

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