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Decision to Leave

There’s a certain flair about this that makes it unmistakable as a Park Chan-wook film, but it also had something a bit more to it than what I’ve seen from his work before. It’s as heavy as you’d expect from the guy who made The Vengeance Trilogy, but there are multiple points of light relief through humor and romance. It’s almost as if Memories of Murder was blended with Punch-Drunk Love by way of The Three Stooges.

It’s a bit of a novel setup, in that there are lots of little threads that don’t quite seem relevant to one another. Or at least that’s what you start with. By the end, you’re left with quite a rich tapestry of a multilayered love story where excitement and the monotony of marriage are played as binaries. There are some really clever, touching moments of dialogue that play off of this theme, and those were probably my favorite moments.

I think another thing that will stick with me from this is how stunning the visuals were. There are a number of set pieces that are made to be seen in a theatre setting, which perhaps you wouldn’t expect from a police thriller. This is certainly one that feels like it was made in a big part to subvert the genre, and it’s difficult to say it doesn’t achieve it on multiple levels.

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