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Decision to Leave (2022) – English Review

A cop suspects that a woman has killed her husband, but he can’t prove it. After a while, they develop feelings for each other, and that will create problems for the married cop.

Decision to Leave is directed by Park Chan-wook, and since he’s one of the best directors in South Korea, every movie nerd holds their breath when they sit down to watch a new movie directed by the master.

I wasn’t a big fan of The Handmaiden (2016). It’s a movie I’m going to watch again since I usually give movies directed by some of the best directors a new chance. It’s always interesting to see if I change my mind watching it a second time.

Decision to Leave is a long romantic crime movie with a runtime of around 138 minutes. The first hour is the best, but after the first hour, you notice the long runtime.

Tang Wei has one of the leading roles, and she is always brilliant. It’s also impressive that she speaks Korean in the movie. Hae Park-il plays the cop, and he’s okay, but I’m not the biggest fan of his. He lacks charisma. So I felt Tang Wei had to carry the movie on her shoulders.

To be direct and short, I feel Park Chan-wook doesn’t deliver what I want from him after The Handmaiden. I loved his vampire movie, Thirst (2009). But I feel he has gotten older and more boring as a movie director with his two latest movies. Since this is a director who doesn’t make many movies, you expect something special and magical when a director like this makes a new movie. But he has turned out to be a more classy and boring director who channels Alfred Hitchcock with this movie. I want the old Park Chan-wook back again. I want movies like Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance, Oldboy, JSA, and Thirst. Give me what I want! I’m not a baby, but give me what I want, NOW!

Decision to Leave focuses on the relationship between the widow and the married cop. The cop is certain that the woman killed her husband, but if she did, she has hidden it well. After a while, they develop feelings for each other, and you feel he’s a puppet, and his puppetmaster is the woman he suspects has killed her husband. She’s charming and beautiful, and maybe a little crazy.

I found Decision to Leave to be long and a little boring. The cinematography is beautiful, with some details here and there, and the scene when the cop and his partner climb a mountain belongs in a Twin Peaks episode. That scene is awesome!

But this movie burns slowly, and in the end, I didn’t find the story interesting. It drags on with the dialog between a cop who tries to do his job, but it’s difficult for him when he falls in love with the suspect.

The script isn’t captivating enough and hadn’t been for Tang Wei, the movie would have drowned. Please Park Chan-wook, find your inner child again, and make something entertaining again. Push the limit! You can do it for the sleepy, creepy, pervert guy!

Rating: 6/10

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