Combustible Celluloid Review - Decision to Leave (2022), Jeong Seo-kyeong, Park Chan-wook, Park Chan-wook, Tang Wei, Park Hae-il, Lee Jung-hyun, Go Kyung-pyo, Park Yong-woo, Jung Yi-seo
Combustible Celluloid
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With: Tang Wei, Park Hae-il, Lee Jung-hyun, Go Kyung-pyo, Park Yong-woo, Jung Yi-seo
Written by: Jeong Seo-kyeong, Park Chan-wook
Directed by: Park Chan-wook
MPAA Rating: NR
Language: Korean, Mandarin, with English subtitles
Running Time: 138
Date: 10/14/2022

Decision to Leave (2022)

3 1/2 Stars (out of 4)

Homicide Piece

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Park Chan-wook's first feature film since The Handmaiden is an intensely detailed, brilliantly executed, hot-blooded film noir. Decision to Leave is complex and twisty, and it certainly lost me a few times, but it comes together so expertly, with every move planned so intricately, that it's as deeply satisfying as a Hitchcock thriller. Insomniac detective Hae-joon (Park Hae-il, Memories of Murder and The Host) is called in to investigate the strange death of an experienced mountain climber. The death is ruled a suicide, despite the odd behavior of the man's widow, Seo-rae (Tang Wei, Lust, Caution and Blackhat). Hae-joon becomes obsessed with watching Seo-rae, and slowly becomes romantically involved with her. But when he discovers new evidence, it changes everything. And that's only the first half; the second half is even twistier, and ties thing together gorgeously. Park's camera is alive, finding the most eloquent moves and atmospheric settings (one sequence takes place in the snowy dark, with two characters conversing across the beams of flashlights), and the snappy editing and dreamy music complete the picture.

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