Review: Dito at Doon: Love in the New Normal

The Pandemic has affected each and everyone of us in a different way. Some were forced to work from home or have a career change, worse they could have lost their jobs. Others were separated from family due to restrictions and most of us haven’t seen family and friends for more than a year. Still, there are modern day heroes, our frontliners who risk their lives everyday to battle the virus, heal our sick, and those who go out everyday doing their part to keep our health care system and our economy from collapsing.

Of course, being more than a year in (continuously changing restrictions) of quarantine have had their trivial and oftentimes amusing trends, from dalgona coffee, to taking care of plants, to learning how to cook a new dish (fair warning, you may get some cravings for sinigang and fish balls) hey we got to keep ourselves entertained and sane right?

TBA Studio’s ‘Dito At Doon’ looks at all of these aspects of what our life has been like in the past year and tells the story of two different people, caught between the restrictions and challenges of quarantine.

Image Courtesy of TBA Studios

Len (Janine Gutierrez) is a stubborn only child, taking up her master’s in political science (online) while being in quarantine at home. Her mom is a nurse and part of Len’s routine is to make sure her mom has all that she needs when she gets home, alcohol, disinfectant, a change of clothes, a basin with disinfectant, you know, the works. Also, part of her daily routine is to worry about her mom and virtually hang out with her best friends.

Caloy (JC Santos) is a working student who was caught in the lockdown and was unable to go home to his family in Cebu. He is currently working part time as a delivery rider. The two first meet online when they butt heads and argue on social media, with everyone on the edge because of the challenges of quarantine, it’s pretty common to find yourself deep in an online argument with a complete stranger.

Image Courtesy of TBA Studios

After apologies are exchanged and things are civil again. Len and Caloy find themselves spending more and more time online together. One of the best things about the movie is the seamless transitions when characters talk to each other online, it becomes a more intimate because phones/laptops disappear and both characters are then in the same space. The transitions are smooth, the color grading is consistent of the two venues which make it aesthetically and technically pleasing.

Of course, the film also works because of the chemistry between Janine and JC, Janine’s big expressive brown eyes easily convey the oftentimes conflicting emotions she’s feeling, while JC is a real charmer with his boy-next-door smile.

The film also serves as a social commentary for the country’s response to the pandemic but it does so it such a way that it’s not too preachy or overwhelming. We all know how the response has been.

With the pressures and responsibilities from their families and being in quarantine bearing down on them, will their love go beyond a phone or a zoom call?

Watch the trailer here!

You can stream ‘Dito at Doon’ now on its extended run!

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