(A Review on Hello, Love, Goodbye)
Based on the title, moviegoers may think that this Carmi Raymundo-Cathy Garcia-Molina-Rona Co screenplay is a story about bad romance. Titles at times can be deceiving, thus catching this in a cinema is ideal to understand the conflict between Mary Joy Fabregas and Ethan del Rosario as portrayed by Kathryn Bernardo and Alden Richards.
I must say that a film can stand even if the actors may not have that kind of connection.
Bernardo and Richards can be individually endearing onscreen, but they lack the spark in their tandem, or maybe I’m just into Kathryn acting alongside her real-and-reel partner Daniel Padilla.
Mary Joy is a strong-willed woman who dabbles into being a domestic helper and selling items on Sundays in the central business district of Hong Kong. That’s how she manages to send money to her family in the Philippines. She’s been working for a family in one of the world’s most densely populated and incredibly expensive city.
While Ethan is a happy-go-lucky Filipino bartender and lady-killer who falls in love with Mary Joy as soon as he meets her on the latter’s first night at the bar as a waitress. He pursues her after getting challenged toward the focused nursing graduate, who eventually gives in to his persistent wooing.
In terms of painting some sad realities about overseas Filipino workers in Hong Kong, the film succeeded in doing so. Imagine how contracted domestic helpers get to sacrifice their lives just to provide something for their respective families they left behind and those Filipinos who became residents in the said country; as they tend to look down on their fellow Filipinos.
The film anchors on its well-crafted characterization and it succeeds in telling a more engaging story between two opposites who were attracted toward each other. But for me, the most moving setup is Ethan’s family, particularly the reunion with his two younger brothers and his almost immobile dad.
Inclusion of other actors like those Chinese actors–Mary Joy’s female employer, as well as her mom, and her daughter who is a child with special healthcare needs (CSHCN); the buddies of both lead characters provide not just humor, but as great cheerleaders, too. The one that made me struggle was the pairing of Bernardo and Richards. I just can’t convince myself that there was chemistry at all.
Acting-wise, Alden showed improvement but Kathryn is still stuck with her sing-song delivery of lines. Yes, she can act, but even her being paired with her original partner (Daniel), she failed to show a more broken individual wanting to be whole again and achieve more in life. Notable scenes in the film were that of Lito Pimentel (as Ethan’s father) Maricel Laxa-Pangilinan and William Lorenzo (Mary Joy’s parents).
As a whole, the film has the right mix of entertainment value. It caters to what the fans of both lead stars choose to see. Star Cinema or any local film outfit still resort to the usual resolution. Is the film a case of love came, love gone or no spark at all?
Hello, Love, Goodbye is not as heavy as The Hows of Us. It is still showing in cinemas.