Park Chan-wook is a master filmmaker from South Korea. He is one of the few well-known filmmakers who has always been able to surprise audiences all over the world with the audacity of his plot twists. He is well-known for his funny, dark, and subversive black humor and for taking a brutally serious look at life.
The director’s latest work, “Decision to Leave,” is a little different from what he usually does. Even though this one is different, it has all of his signature layers, which makes it worth watching.
As for Chan-wook, after his infamous 2003 movie Oldboy won the Grand Prix, the Korean director became famous overnight. It is not only one of his most violent and shocking movies, but it is also thought to be one of the best movies ever made in Korea.
But most people outside of Asia still don’t know about his first big hit, Joint Security Area, which came out in 2000 and gave Chan-wook creative control over his projects, which led to the Vengeance Trilogy. With the 2013 movie “Stoker,” which was well-received by critics, he made his first movie in English. However, with the 2016 movie “The Handmaiden,” which was a masterpiece, he went back to what he knew best.
Park Chan-wook hasn’t said much about the plot of the Decision to Leave, which is South Korea’s official Oscar entry for Best International Feature. This means that if you don’t know anything about it, it will be more exciting and fun to watch.
But if you need a nudge, the official synopsis says, “Kind and polite detective Haejun is given a case of a death in the mountains that doesn’t make sense. While looking into the case, he meets the dead man’s wife, Seorae. He can’t help but suspect her and become interested in her.
Where Can I Watch Decision to Leave Online and Stream It?
At the moment, you can only see Decision to Leave in a movie theater. On October 14, 2022, MUBI, a streaming service that also sells movies, will release the Chan-latest wook’s film in a limited number of theatres across the US. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime chance to watch a Park Chan-wook movie with a live audience. If the movie is coming to a theatre near you, go to Fandango to buy tickets.
As far as streaming goes, we don’t know when it will be available online. But it’s a sure thing that MUBI, which bought the rights to the movie after its premiere at Cannes, will be the place where you can stream Decision to Leave. MUBI hasn’t made an official announcement about the dates yet, though.
Decision to Leave (2022) Plot Synopsis
In Decision to Leave, a South Korean detective named Hae-Joon (played by Park Hae-il, who is great) falls for a mysterious Chinese woman named Seo-are (played by Tang Wei, who is great). Seo-are is the wife of a Korean man who died after falling off a cliff, and Hae-Joon thinks she might be the one.
She comes in for the first investigation. When asked about her husband’s death, she doesn’t show any sadness but instead hides a small laugh. Seo-are also notices that she is wearing a small bandage on the left side of her hand. What is she covering up? As the play goes on, there are shocking hints that she is wanted for murder in China and that her husband, who has his initials tattooed on her, almost brought her to Korea.
Later, Hae-Joon hears Seo-Rae talking to her cat. She tells the cat, “Bring me the heart of that nice detective.” It leaves a delicious trail between the two, which shows up in the smallest of actions and wins in that seductive thrill of getting to know someone’s mind.
The story jumps ahead a few months in the middle, and then another murder happens. The same characters come back, but this time things are different. Seo-Rae acts like a master of what Hae-Joon can do, and she becomes a magnetic force that pulls his morals away from him. It also has a lot of small details that are easy to miss.
Each new scene and conversation hides and builds on a possible clue. If you know less, that’s better. And if you think that a thriller like Decision to Leave can’t keep its secret in this fast-paced digital age, you are in for a surprise. Just wait until Seo-are says this in Chinese: “The moment you told me you loved me, your love for me ended. As soon as your love ends, mine starts.”
Decision to Leave Ending Explained
Decision to Leave is a mix of different types of stories about love and lying. At its core, this is a love story in the same style as Vertigo by Alfred Hitchcock. Decision to Leave can be broken down into three parts so that we can find all of the clues we need to pass the test.
In the first part, Hae-Joon looks into what happened when Seo-Rae’s Korean husband fell off a hill. When he finds out that she planned the whole murder (the step counter on her dead woman’s phone shows 138 steps), he is devastated. He has to hide the fact that he likes her, so he tells her to get rid of that piece of evidence.
While Hae-Joon is talking, Seo-are records his voice on her phone and tells him, “Don’t talk about our time that way.” He asks, “What kind of time was that?” “The time I spent each night outside your house?” This whole passage is the end of the first part.
The second part starts when Hae-Joon runs into Seo-rae at the fish market in Lipo a year later. She is now with her second husband, a trade analyst named Ho-shin (Park Yong-woo). He is found stabbed in his pool, so this time Seo-race is arrested temporarily and charged. But she didn’t kill the person.
Even though a man named Chul-sung, who helped plan the murder and has a connection to Seo-Rae (which is shown in a short break), says he did it, we know that Seo-Rae didn’t do it. She calls Hae-Joon at night when it’s snowing and gives him the phone, which is the piece of evidence he told her to get rid of after the last crime.
The last act can be separated from the third part. The next day, Hae-Joon learns that Chul-sung did kill her second husband, but that it was because Seo-are killed Chul-mother. sung’s Now come to the surprise.
Seo-Rae is in her car, which Hae-Joon is following. On the way, he calls her to find out what is going on. He asks, “Why?” Hae-Joon says she did this because she knew her husband put her mother’s money back into the stock market and lost it. So, if she gives the mother drugs and the mother dies, Chul-sung will blame Ho-shin and kill him.
In the end, Ho-shin also finds the recording of Hae-Joon saying “I love you” on her phone. It’s not said literally, but because Seo-Rae is afraid of getting caught and needs to get rid of the proof as soon as possible. This shows how much he loves her.
She pulls over on the beach and tells Hae-Joon to throw the phone into the water before ending the call. Just as the waves reach her, she digs a hole in the sand and waits inside for the water to fill it.
Hae-Joon gets to the place where she is, but by the time he gets there and starts looking for her desperately, she is too far down in the water to still be alive. At the end of Decision to Leave, Hae-Joon listens to the recording of himself and is still worried about her.
She chose to kill herself because she knew the truth would come out, and that Hae-Joon would be investigated for trying to destroy evidence. Who will this help? Her leaving may be the only thing that can save them.