Cannes Film Festival 2022: decision to leave (Heojil Kyolshim)

Cannes Film Festival 2022: Decision to leave (Heojil Kyolshim) | Review

May 23, 2022


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Following its striking visual The servant in 2016, master filmmaker Park Chan-wook returns with a wild detective romance odyssey Decision to leave. With no detail lost, viewers will be thrilled at every turn as the Korean director takes viewers further down the rabbit hole in this airtight thriller bolstered by spectacular performances from protagonists Park Hae-il and Tang Wei.

Set in Busan, the film picks up with detective Hae-jun (Hae-il) obsessing over cases he hasn’t been able to solve. He can’t sleep and his marriage to Jung-an (Lee Jung-hyun) is strained. However, everything changes when the cop is assigned the case of a mountain climber who has fallen off a cliff, as evidence of his mysterious death begins to point to the man’s widow, a Chinese immigrant named Seo-rae. But Hae-jun is instantly taken with her, and she him. A romance ignites, though the detective remains torn between his moral duties to his wife and the law and this new spark of passion in his life.

Just when viewers think they understand where the plot is going, Chan-wook and co-writer Seo-kyeong Jeon unleash a dozen more curveballs that move events in surprising new directions. Likewise, a quirky sense of humor only adds to the gripping thriller the filmmakers have crafted. There are occasions where the barrage of twists and turns can sometimes make this film feel a little long in the tooth. Stick with it a little longer, though, and every detail (however insignificant) has a satisfying reward.

As with the rest of the director’s film catalog, Decision to leave is surprisingly pretty. Whether the setting is inside Seo-rae’s house, a snowy mountainside, or a shoreline at sunset, the cinematography lends a little magic to every scene.

With plenty of twists and stunning performances from its lead actors, Chan-wook’s latest work will no doubt surprise, delight and move audiences in ways they wouldn’t expect.

Andre Murray

Decision to leave does not yet have a UK release date.

Read more reviews of our Cannes Film Festival 2022 coverage here.

For more information about the event visit the Cannes Film Festival website here.

Watch the trailer for Decision to leave here: