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.