Hello, Love, Goodbye: Should I think of you or should I think of myself?
★ ★ ★ ★
This question has always attached itself to me, even today. If one could truly give and take in a relationship or if you had to choose whether to do either at any given moment. I feel that the Filipino romantic drama ‘Hello, Love, Goodbye,’ directed by Cathy Garcia-Molina explored this subject and fleshed it out much more than other romantic dramas have in the past.
The film stars Kathryn Bernardo as Joy who is working in Hong Kong as an overseas Filipino worker. In Hong Kong, she meets Alden Richards as Ethan, who works as the local bartender. Joy is working abroad to provide for her family in the Philippines but at the same time, she wants to grow and be her own individual. However, she’s trapped, desperately working to get by and begging her host Hong Kong family to let her stay. At the same time, Ethan is secure. His responsibilities only lie in doing well as a bartender and taking care of his family in Hong Kong. But he wants to make something out of himself and change his fate. His previous relationship ended in him being left back to square one. So now, he wants to prove something to himself: to start a family and have his own business. He wants all of this to start with Joy. He knows that she can absolve him of all of his bad memories.
The problem is, she wants to be free and isn’t ready yet. Ethan: “If you love me, why won’t you choose me, Joy?” Joy: “If you love me, why are you making me choose?” The scene which includes this dialogue between Joy and Ethan was also important in highlighting the importance of communicating. To speak up about who you are in the relationship, not what you are. That is, an individual and not just a partner to someone. The acting between Bernardo and Richards was particularly subtle but admirable in conveying all these feelings on screen, despite not being together outside of the movie.
My secondary school teacher once told us about how: ‘to be in a relationship, one must never lose themselves to their loved one. Once that loved one is gone, you will be gone.’ It’s true. If you truly love each other, you need to be patient and grow for yourself too. Only that patience will carry you both for a brighter future. ‘Hello, Love, Goodbye,’ explored patience while also giving us a film to remember. ‘Joy, I want you to live your dreams. I will not hold you back.’
Raphael Balatzer – Film Writer