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DECISION TO LEAVE

Decision to Leave quickly draws you into its intoxicating tale and lets you marvel at the wonderful direction of Park Chan-wook.


The first half of Decision to Leave, the new film by Korean genre master Park Chan-wook, is among the densest, most intriguing thrillers of the past decade. It shows a detective trying to prove a wife has thrown her husband from a cliff but subsequently falling in love with her.


Carried by exquisite performances from Park Hae-il and Tang Wei Decision to Leave quickly draws you into its intoxicating tale and lets you marvel at the wonderful direction of Park Chan-wook, who uses framing, editing and camera moves to augment the plot with an atmosphere of unease and tension.


Based on just the first 70-odd minutes Decision to Leave deserves to be in the conversation as a candidate for the very best movie of the year. It's a tremendous shame then that the picture loses nearly all momentum in a messy, unfocused second half.


By trying to demystify the central intrigue Decision to Leave becomes a meandering melodrama instead of the noirish potboiler it was in its first half. Even an arresting final sequence can't steady that ship.



release: 2022

director: Park Chan-wook

starring: Park Hae-il, Tang Wei, Lee Jung-hyun, Go Kyung-Pyo

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