Ben Oliver

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Decision to Leave

The moment you said you loved me, your love is over. The moment your love ends, my love begins.
26 November 2022

An insomniac detective (Park Hae-il) investigates the death of a man in the mountains. He encounters the man’s wife (Tang Wei) and starts to develop feelings for her while also potentially suspecting she did the murder.

An unusual cocktail of romance and mystery that comes together to make a sort of modern Hitchcock thriller. Park sets an offbeat tone that borrows a little from the cool foreboding of Gone Girl but also something from In the Mood For Love, all with his unique perspective and sense of humour.

Every scene is delicately staged, with some subtle and some not-so-subtle foreshadowing hidden throughout. It’s a world away from Oldboy yet, stylistically, the director’s fingerprints are all over the film.

There’s so much to like here, from the creative storytelling to the quirky (sometimes endearingly weird and clumsy) editing, and yet the romance at the centre of it all just didn’t quite click. I didn’t feel the connection between the two leads at all, and as a result their actions felt completely bizarre to me. Once the second murder comes around it started to lose me completely and outstay its welcome.

Clearly I’m in a minority here but this one goes in the ‘really liked it’ bucket rather than the ‘loved it’ pile.