Mark Llobrera
Decision to Leave cover image

Decision to Leave

Apr 23, 2023

This review may contain spoilers.

This was interesting to rewatch—I think that it deepened my appreciation for the things that I loved the first time out, but it didn’t necessarily change my opinion of second half and how it doesn’t quite connect with that beautiful ending.

In particular: that sushi dinner interrogation scene! I noticed how the camera separates/isolates the faces in the foreground as well as in the mirror, a detail I missed the first time. (I catch echoes of Wong Kar-Wai’s dinner scene two shot from In the Mood For Love.) First half is grade-A rom-com material! You could end it before one of the grannies spoils Seo-Rae’s meticulous mountaintop murder and be perfectly happy.

The second half, though—it feels too complicated with threads that don’t quite resolve for me. The second husband, second murder, Slappy (!), oh so many phones, voice messages. But that final scene still hits, and I am ok imagining it as Seo-Rae’s gift to Hae-Jun: an unresolved mystery he can keep tacked to the wall forever.