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‘Decision To Leave’s Park Chan-wook On Romance Noir’s Jaw-Dropping Ending – Cannes Studio

By Anthony D'Alessandro, David Janove

Decision to Leave

SPOILER ALERT: If you still have questions after watching Decision to Leave, then watch our interview with filmmaker Park Chan-wook. If you haven’t seen the movie yet, however, you might want to wait. 

While The Handmaiden dropped jaws in a lot of ways from kink to its opulence at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival, Decision to Leave in its naturalistic, misty environment kept many debating plot points and dopplegangers days after the pic’s premiere here on the Croisette.

It’s very much a different film, arguably similar to Tenet to some degree in its labyrinthine plotting.

Behold, the brilliance of Park Chan-wook when it comes to playing with timelines and details.

Park’s latest revolves around a detective, Hae-Joon (Park Hae-il), who falls head over heels for his Chinese murder suspect, Seo-rae (Tang Wei). She’s apparently thrown her husband off a mountain, and looks like she took out another guy too. But the married Hae-Joon crushes for her, cooking her dinner, even ripping up photographic evidence and playing around with cell phone audio files. Ahhh, love.

Cannes Review: Park Chan-Wook’s ‘Decision To Leave’

Says Park on how he gets us to lean forward in our seats: “Well, most of the times the audience gets to watch a film just once, and through that experience, they find out the plot, they look at the performance of the acting, they hear the dialogue. That’s what they really concentrate on when they watch the film just once.”

“But there is a very small group of people who would do other things and these people are quite important for me,” he adds.

Essentially, he gives us our money’s worth. If we arrive to watch his fare for 90 minutes or even more than two hours, essentially that experience “becomes 20 and 30 hours.” Decision to Leave clocks in at 2 hours and 18 minutes.

“I like to present many things during that time. That way if I give you more then the film can hold, then the time you spent for my film will be so much richer,” says the filmmaker.

In a conversation at the Deadline Studio, Park dishes on the pic’s shocking ending above, his segue from the posh set of Handmaiden to a more naturalistic environment, and what exactly was in Seo-rae’s cell phone that made her guilty of the first murder. (By the way, there were three cell phones going around in the movie pegged to Seo-rae, right?)

Aero is the official sponsor of the Deadline Studio at Cannes Film Festival, sponsors are Soia & Kyo and Jamones Iberico from Spain: Ambassadors of Europe in the World.

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