‘Hello, Love, Goodbye’ Movie Review: Kathryn, Alden prove that love team should be a thing of the past


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*Minor Spoilers Ahead*

Yet another unlikely pairing graced the big screen this week with Cathy Garcia Molina’s “Hello, Love, Goodbye.” Headlined by Kathryn Bernardo and Alden Richards, the film tackles the life and love story of Filipinos who work in Hong Kong. Bernardo plays Joy - a no non-sense protagonist who works ridiculously hard in the hopes of moving to Canada with her family. Alden, on other hand, is Ethan - a happy go lucky bartender who was once burned by love.
Kathryn Bernardo as Joy and Alden Richards as Ethan in “Hello, Love, Goodbye”

Kathryn Bernardo as Joy and Alden Richards as Ethan in “Hello, Love, Goodbye”
Kathryn Bernardo as Joy and Alden Richards as Ethan in “Hello, Love, Goodbye”/Star Cinema

Shot entirely in Hong Kong, “Hello, Love, Goodbye” is a tale of romantic love found and eventually lost, but also a subtle look at our culture’s perception of self love and family love.

Alden Richards is Ethan and Kathryn Bernardo as Joy in “Hello, Love, Goodbye”
Alden Richards is Ethan and Kathryn Bernardo as Joy in “Hello, Love, Goodbye”/Star Cinema

An unorthodox couple that proves mixing and matching is the new norm…

From “Sid and Aya” to “ Between Maybes,” the local cinema is trying out new actor pairings to see what can be done outside of the usual love team. And “Hello, Love, Goodbye” is just the latest project to prove that this creative collaboration should be done more often.

This is possibly Bernardo’s best performance to date. Yes, she’s appeared in countless romantic projects in both the big and small screen and Joy’s DNA is not far from her previous roles. But for some reason, she did “Hello, Love Goodbye” with such restraint - an integral element to properly sell the notion that she’s playing a character who operates on auto-pilot, not having any time to dive into her emotions. This is also the reason why it was extra heartbreaking seeing her swallow every tough pill for the sake of her family. Dramatic scenes didn’t necessarily mean bawling, and yet, her frustrations, anger and disappointment were so heartfelt throughout. Her performance in the film showcases her maturity as an actress.

Richards did his role as Ethan well. He complemented Bernardo, though the chemistry wasn’t as strong when they’re with their respective love teams. That being said, Joy and Ethan’s love story was executed well, which says a lot about their abilities as actors. For someone who’s working in an entirely new environment (it’s a Star Cinema production), Ricahrds proved that he’s capable of venturing out of GMA.

A simple tale of star-crossed lovers infused with Filipino culture…

“Hello, Love, Goodbye’s” story isn’t anything new. Filipinos fall in love in a foreign land as they work hard to make ends meet. But Joy and Ethan’s separate stories are a mirror of a lot of OFW tales. Joy, as the breadwinner, works hard to give herself and her family a better life in Canada. She swallows her pride and does menial jobs, but she’s held back by her parents’ complicated set-up. Ethan, on the other hand, is on the road to redemption after letting down his own family. One is burdened by her family while also committed to her dreams, the other tethered to the idea of making amends to the people closest to him, and a new relationship is the last thing they need in their lives.

Despite the complicated situation, “Hello, Love, Goodbye” subtly makes some important key points by having the couple go through the process of falling in love in a fleeting relationship. While the film didn’t have the ideal ending fans are hoping for, it’s the most realistic outcome from the narrative. That’s highly appreciated as it commits to the realism of the story rather than delivering a hollow crowd-pleasing blockbuster.

Kathryn Bernardo as Joy and Alden Richards as Ethan in “Hello, Love, Goodbye”
Kathryn Bernardo as Joy and Alden Richards as Ethan in “Hello, Love, Goodbye”/Star Cinema

At this point, the public has seen a lot of internationally-set romantic local movies, but the way “Hello, Love Goodbye” was shot, coupled with its collective and individual story makes it among the most authentic-feeling OFW-themed projects thus far. And that’s not exclusive to Joy and Ethan’s narrative, the supporting cast were also given meaty roles that made them proper characters than cardboard cutouts.

The story leaves room for a sequel, and who knows if there will ever be a follow-up movie. But for what it’s worth, “Hello, Love, Goodbye” is already a complete narrative on its own.

RATING: 8 out of 10


— ALD, The Summit Express


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