Film Review: Decision to Leave (2022)
The Korean film Decision to Leave (which won Best Director at the Cannes festival in 2022) is a thrilling yet understated crime drama focused on the relationship between an insomniac police detective and a woman whose husband has died in a suspicious rock-climbing accident. This film is distinguished by the complexity of its characters, even in minor roles. While the story follows Detective Jang Hae-joon (played by Park Hae-il), every other person in his life—his brash young partner, the mobster he’s devoted his career to hunting, his wife, a serious and kind-hearted nuclear technician, and especially the mysterious woman who becomes his chief suspect—is clearly playing out their own drama of pain and longing, with themselves as the hero.
How much can one person share in the tragedy of another? Is the cost of failing to reach out worse than the cost of becoming entwined with one another?