Decision to Leave

Park Chan-wook (Oldboy, The Handmaiden) aspires to give audiences a different type of police procedural with Decision to Leave, but I’m afraid he’s put too much of his focus on trying to deliver innovation rather than a story that’s either compelling or accessible.

The dense story alternates between mystery and romance as a sleep-deprived detective, Jang Hae-Joon (Park Hae-il), loses himself in an investigation;  finding himself falling for the murder victim’s wife, Song Seo-rae (Tang Wei). Chan-wook invites all sorts of stylistic flourishes to portray Hae-Joon’s craft and frame of mind, which gives the filmmaking some flare as well.  However, as much as I appreciated the effort, the style gets in the way of the characters.

The complexities within the romantic plot hinge on the chemistry and characterizations of Hae-Joon and Seo-rae.  The working relationship is believable between the detective and the suspect, but Decision to Leave is unsuccessful in branching off of that foundation and making the dynamic between Hae-il and Wei more personal.

When Chan-wook’s story revs back up to include another crime, the audience can’t help but feel lost in the movie’s dust.


Do You Tweet? Follow These Tweeple:

Addison Wylie: @AddisonWylie

Be the first to comment

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.