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REVIEW: ‘Hanggang Kailan’ is a story about one long bittersweet goodbye

Xian Lim and Louise Delos Reyes’s romantic drama is set in one of Japan’s most beautiful prefectures.

BY RHEA MANILA SANTOS

Twitter: @allaboutmanila

FRESH SCOOPS

2/5/2019 10:29 AM
REVIEW: ‘Hanggang Kailan’ is a story about one long bittersweet goodbye


Would you willingly go into a romance that was doomed from the start? This is the question lovers Donnie and Kath continually try to find the answer to as they try to celebrate the second anniversary of their secret relationship abroad. The movie starts on the first day of their trip in the scenic Saga prefecture in Japan, where they act like typical lovebirds.

But their relationship’s cracks start to show when after a night of passion, Kath is reminded of why she will never have a happy ending with Donnie. Halfway through their trip, she decides they must end everything and the second half of the film is filled with flashbacks to their happier moments and a brief explanation of how they ended up in a secret relationship.

Xian as Donnie can easily be labeled as a two-timer, a man who refuses to choose between two women, and a cheater who has been deceiving his longtime girlfriend of almost ten years. But Xian also shows Donnie’s vulnerable side and self-awareness of all his weaknesses, which includes falling for Kath. Louise’s portrayal as the painfully conflicted Kath was a rollercoaster of emotions as she was constantly switching from happy in love to devastated and brokenhearted.

Hanggang Kailan is the story of a couple who have come to terms with the fact that they must end their relationship for good, for reasons not totally justified in the film. This makes saying goodbye an even tougher pill to swallow. And even if the film is peppered with happy romantic scenes at the start, it can leave viewers feeling pity for the two protagonists who seem to find enough consolation in talking about what they would do if they see each other again in the future. Filmed mostly in Japan, the scenery of Saga gave Hanggang Kailan the much-needed backdrop it needs to make it stand out from the standard romantic movies