By the Director of acclaimed films THE HANDMAIDEN (2016) and OLDBOY (2003), Director Park Chan-wook is back with his first feature film in six years, DECISION TO LEAVE.
A blend of investigative drama, romance and unexpected humor, this film eschews the shocking breaking of taboos in his previous work for a deep drama in which subtle emotional tremors coexist with pulsating inner waves.
Decision To Leave begins with the detective Hae-joon (Park Hae-il) investigating the death of a man who fell from a mountaintop. When he meets the deceased man’s wife Seo-rae (Tang Wei), he starts to suspect her at the same time that he begins feeling an attraction to her.
Amidst the rising tension of the crime investigation, the film delicately captures the emotions of two characters who feel a special curiosity and unexpected affinity for each other, providing an intriguing mix of suspense and romance.
In particular, the unreadable words and actions by Seo-rae make her tantalizingly hard to read, not only for Hae-joon but for the viewer as well, raising dramatic tension. As the location of the story shifts from the mountain to the sea, as their developing relationship is torn between suspicion and attraction, and as the investigation slowly reveals more details about the past, the complex, subtle emotions that tie these two characters together will leave an unforgettable impression on viewers.
With its genre mix of police procedural and romance, its intriguing characters, its moments of unexpected humor, the sensual mise-en-scène and powerful direction of Park Chan-wook, this film is at once the most classic and most original film of 2022.
“DECISION TO LEAVE is a story for adults. It’s a love story, and also a detective drama. But what I really want to emphasize is that it’s a story about loss, that any adults will be able to relate to. Rather than treat it as a solid tragedy, I tried to express it with subtlety, elegance and humor.”
– Director Park Chan-wook
A man falls from a mountain peak to his death. The detective in charge, Hae-joon (Park Hae-il), comes to meet the dead man’s wife Seo-rae (Tang Wei).
“I worry when he does not come back from a mountain, thinking he might die at last.“
Seo-rae does not show any signs of agitation at her husband’s death. With her behavior so unlike that of a grieving relative, the police consider her a suspect. Hae-joon interrogates Seo-rae, and while observing her on stakeout, feels himself slowly developing an interest in her. Meanwhile the difficult-to-read Seo-rae, despite being suspected of a crime, acts boldly towards Hae-joon.
A suspect who is hiding her true feelings.
A detective who suspects and desires his suspect.
Their Decision to Leave.
Title: Decision To Leave
Genre: Police, Procedural, Romance
Cast: Tang Wei, Park Hae-il
Directed by: Park Chan-wook
Singapore Release Date: 14 July 2022
Runtime: 138 minutes
(Movie Stills: Golden Village)