Irish Film Institute -DECISION TO LEAVE


Director: Park Chan-wook

138 mins, 2022, South Korea, Digital

Homicide detective Hae-jun (Park Hae-il) is investigating the death of a climber who has fallen to his death in what seems to be an accident if it were not for the peculiar reaction of the man’s Chinese wife, Seo-rae (Tang Wei), which marks her as a suspect in a possible murder. Hae-jun, however, finds himself falling for the elusive, charismatic, and – of course – beautiful, Seo-rae. As his fascination with her becomes all consuming, it threatens to cloud his professional judgment. Director Park Chan-wook, famed for his Vengeance trilogy – especially the intoxicating cocktail of passion and violence that is Oldboy – refined his style with 2016’s The Handmaiden. In Decision to Leave, he again displays his peerless visual panache, weaving a deliciously knotty, Hitchcockian romantic thriller. Mercurial, engrossing, and playful, it’s a film that’s destined to repay with repeated viewings.

Notes by David O’Mahony

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