‘Hanggang Kailan’ review: Finding love in goodbyes

Bona Fajardo puts the chemistry of Xian Lim and Louise delos Reyes
into something unexpected in the feel good film Hanggang Kailan .

Hanggang Kailan opens on the first day trip of Donnie (Xian) and Kath (Louise) in Saga, Japan, the two celebrating their second year anniversary while trying to think of a convenient solution to their forbidden love affair. After one passionate night, their relationship finally starts to crack as Kath is reminded of the impending doom of their relationship. So instead of looking forward to spending more years together, both Donnie and Kath agreed on having this trip as their last, despite having lingering feelings for each other. But before they completely part ways, both of them make a final effort to settle their issues. Needless to say, tears will be flowing and hearts will be breaking for the rest of the film.

Hanggang Kailan redefines the romance genre by showing a feel-good story set in the picturesque Japan, despite having a bittersweet themes on the grim ending of a relationship. At its core, the film is painful and heavy – it’s quite different from all those romantic films that we often patronize because the love of its characters and the difficulty of letting go heavily weighs on you. The film makes the viewer realize that with goodbyes, a person can only hold on to old memories and no longer create new ones. Throughout their four day trip, the film takes us to their process of letting go, with different memories and confessions encountered each day. What strikes the most is their ultimatum goodbye scene that is undeniably a tough pill to swallow for viewers. It leaves the viewers feeling pitiful and hopeful for the two characters who seem to find enough consolation in their agreement should they bump into each other again in the future.

The overall feel of the film is both pleasing and painful to the senses. It has an engaging mix of humor and drama that never loses sight on what it has to say about the tragic relationship portrayed. The casting also helps in making this film feel more watchable. Xian makes a likable screen presence by showing his vulnerability and weakness, most identified with his character’s dramatic breakdowns. Louise, on the other hand, might be your typical pretty go-getter but she’s also able to show her acting prowess from the rollercoaster of emotions that the script demands. Together, their chemistry blossoms in ways that the viewers won’t expect.

More than being a melodramatic love story, ‘Hanggang Kailan‘ takes you to a heartfelt and resonant experience of a couple ending their relationship on such a refreshing and positive note.

4 out of 5 stars

Now showing in cinemas nationwide, Hanggang Kailan is produced by VIVA Films, BluArt Productions and XL8. Directed by Bona Fajardo, and starring Xian Lim and Louise delos Reyes.


‘The Hidden World’ concludes ‘How To Train Your Dragon’ trilogy

As the trilogy based on the world she created comes to an end, no one has deeper feelings about saying goodbye to this chapter of Toothless and Hiccup in How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World than their creator, author Cressida Cowell.

“It sounds very unlikely, but it’s based on my own childhood,” reflects Cowell, “and the Isle of Berk is a real place where I grew up as a child. Stoick the Vast is based on my relationship with my father. Of course, the ending, ‘There were dragons when I was a boy,’ are the opening words of the books that I wrote 20 years ago when I just had a child. I tell the story from the point of view of the boy growing up, looking back to my own childhood, and Hiccup is a father to Toothless. The themes are so enmeshed with my own life that it’s incredibly bittersweet.”

Series architect Dean DeBlois has spread his love of Cowell’s world to anyone he meets. For the writer/director, the most gratifying part of his time with How to Train Your Dragon has been introducing newcomers to this intricate universe, as well as encounters with fans who share how the movies and shows have served as a lifeline.

“These characters and storylines are an escape I never anticipated for people,” he shares. “It’s been an ongoing theme in my interactions that our heroes—especially Hiccup and his square-peg-in-a-round-hole existence—give comfort to people in a world that can reject them. I realize that we have a responsibility to keep them in mind with every decision we make.”

From DreamWorks Animation comes a surprising tale about growing up, finding the courage to face the unknown…and how nothing can ever train you to let go.  What began as an unlikely friendship between an adolescent Viking and a fearsome Night Fury dragon has become an epic adventure spanning their lives.  Welcome to the most astonishing chapter of one of the most beloved animated franchises in film history: How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World.  

Now chief and ruler of Berk alongside Astrid, Hiccup has created a gloriously chaotic dragon utopia.  When the sudden appearance of female Light Fury coincides with the darkest threat their village has ever faced, Hiccup and Toothless must leave the only home they’ve known and journey to a hidden world thought only to exist in myth.  As their true destines are revealed, dragon and rider will fight together—to the very ends of the Earth—to protect everything they’ve grown to treasure.

For How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World, series director Dean DeBlois returns alongside the all-star cast led by Jay Baruchel (This Is the End), America Ferrera (Ugly Betty), Kit Harington (Game of Thrones), Cate Blanchett (The House with a Clock in Its Walls, Thor: Ragnarok), Gerard Butler (Den of Thieves, Geostorm), Kristen Wiig (Ghostbusters), Craig Ferguson (Doc Martin), and F. Murray Abraham (Homeland) as the villain Grimmel.

The film is produced by Brad Lewis (Ratatouille, ANTZ) and How to Train Your Dragon series producer Bonnie Arnold (Toy Story, Tarzan).  

In Philippine cinemas February 20, How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World is distributed in the Philippines by United International Pictures through Columbia Pictures. #HowToTrainYourDragon #HTTYD3