Netflix’s 2023 film, Hello Ghost, chronicles the story of a down-on-his-luck man who had given up on life and could not see any reason to live or breathe anymore. Chen-wei was all alone and never had anyone to lean on. He used to work as a factory worker, but the factory was seized by the government, putting him out of his job. Moreover, he got conned by a swindler and lost all his savings. Thus, with no other option left, he attempted suicide, but his luck failed him there as well. Even after trying everything, from popping sleeping pills to tying a rope around his neck, he couldn’t die. His life takes an interesting turn following his last attempt at suicide. Chen-Wei is taken to the hospital after failing another attempt and encounters four harmless but bothersome ghosts who tend to use his body in whatever way they please.
What Did The Ghosts Want From Chen-Wei?
The four ghosts were practically harmless; they weren’t looking to harm Chen-wei in any way. The group of ghosts included a middle-aged obese woman who seemed to cry a lot, a chain smoker who smoked 100 cigarettes a day, a kid who stole sweets, and an old woman. They seemed to follow his every move, and when Chen-wei asked an old lady for help, he was told to do whatever they asked. It’s the only way to get rid of them, said Shaman. Maybe there were dreams and wants they couldn’t achieve; that’s why their spirits were running amok. In addition, these ghosts were terrified to meet other ghosts. The oldest of the bunch wanted to revisit her sister and punish her for stealing her client list. For context, the old woman turned ghost was a dating expert. However, what the woman wanted most was to receive her overdue lottery prize so her grandson could find and marry a beautiful wife.
The kid had a rather innocent wish and wanted to visit an amusement park. As for the chain smoker ghost, what he really wanted was to enjoy a puff inside a specific car, deserted in an impound lot. The situation escalated, and the ghosts and Chen-wei ended up stealing the car. As for the final ghost, and the sweetest of all, she wanted to relive what used to be her daily routine when she was alive. She was a baker and hoped people could taste the fresh bread she had baked before going to their usual work. In the afternoon, she prepared cakes and desserts, followed by dinner at night.
What Happened Between Hsio-Yin And Chen-Wei?
Yu-Hsio-yin was a paramedic, the same one who saved Chen-wei’s life when he tried to kill himself. After his ghastly troubles began, they kept running into each other, be it at a speed-dating event or the amusement park, like fate wanted them to be together. Just after meeting Yu-Hsio-yin once, Chen-wei fell for her. Yu-Hsio-yin, too, reciprocated his feelings and adored his kind and loving nature. However, she couldn’t help but notice that sometimes Chen-wei was not himself, like something or someone had entered his body. Like Chen-wei, Yu-Hsio-yin’s life, too, wasn’t all rainbows and sunshine.
She had a brother, Ching-tien, who kept dabbling in risky investment opportunities and, after losing big time, pawned his dead mother’s belongings to pay back the loan sharks. However, the man always stated that, one day, the same risky schemes would make him a millionaire. Despite this, Yu-Hsio-yin loved her brother with all her heart, and why wouldn’t she? Ching-tien was the only remaining family Yu-Hsio-yin had. Even though he wasn’t an ideal man, he cared for Yu-Hsio-yin and often pushed her to meet someone and get married. Yu-Hsio-yin, too, was often targeted by loan sharks whenever Yu Ching-Tien wasn’t able to pay them. Unfortunately, Ching-tien was killed by loan sharks while he was returning from his sister’s workplace.
Why Did The Ghosts Help Chen-Wei?
Toward the end of Hello Ghost, Yu-Hsio-yin and Chen-wei drifted apart when the latter pretended to be possessed by her brother so she could have closure. This didn’t sit well with Yu-Hsio-yin, and she stormed out of his house. She was furious, so much so that Yu-Hsio-yin even told him to text her the day he chose to kill himself again. Yu-Hsio-yin would take a day off so she wouldn’t mistakenly save him again. This left him heartbroken, and he lashed out at the ghosts and asked them to leave, not knowing that their wishes had been fulfilled. He tried to kill himself again, but halfway through, Chen-wei changed his mind and now wanted to try living again. Chen-wei met Yu-Hsio-yin, who had now forgiven him for what he had done earlier. They shared a dessert together, and this was where Chen-wei was revisited by his old memories.
We learn that these ghosts weren’t random people; they were actually Chen-wei’s old family. The little boy was his brother; the old lady was his grandmother; the smoker was his father; and the baker lady was his mother. They all died in a car accident, and Chen-wei, due to his injuries, lost his memories. His family visited him again to give him what he had lost: happiness, hope, and the desire to live. Thus, it was them who had sabotaged his every suicide attempt; sometimes, by making holes in the plastic bag, he put around his neck or emptying the water inside the jar that Chen-wei had saved to pop up on sleeping pills. Also, the dreams Chen-wei was helping them fulfill were actually things he never got to do with his family. This included enjoying swings with his little brother, sharing a smoke with his father, and eating his favorite glass jelly dessert, which his mother used to cook.
Hello Ghost isn’t just about Chen-wei; it delivers a powerful message about the importance of family. It shows that even when our loved ones are gone, their care for us endures. Take Chen-wei’s family, for example—they returned to guide him toward hope, happiness, and a fresh perspective on life. Chen-Wei, who felt utterly alone, discovered an incredible family that still looked out for him, even beyond the boundaries of life.