Korean filmmaker Park Chanwook’s “Decision to Leave” is a film with memorable camera angles.

The film premiered at Keene Putnam Theatre from Feb. 17 to 20.

A murder mystery film with stunning cinematography and thought-provoking dialogue, the film deals with an insomniac detective named Hae-Jun solving a death of an immigration officer and a speculative motive for the young wife Seo-Rae.

We are introduced to our main protagonist, Hae-Jun, as we see he has a wife in his home of Ipo. He works in Busan and has a partner named Soo-wan. After the introduction of the world, we shift to the scene of the immigration officer’s death. He was an avid mountain climber and we see him dead at the bottom of a mountain. Authorities interview Seo-Rae, wife and Chinese emigrate to Korea, and see bruising and the initials of her dead husband on her.

The mystery behind Seo-Rae makes Hae-Jun want to dive deeper. He does more interviews with Seo-Rae and even stakes out her house at night. He also spies on Seo-Rae at her work, where she is an elder caretaker.

Throughout the film, we see depictions of Hae-Jun’s insomnia manifest. During one scene, he envisions talking to Seo-Rae in person, but, in reality, he is on the phone with her while on his stakeout.

One thing I was amazed with while watching this film was the visual elements and camera angles. One angle that surprised me was looking at the officers seeing the dead husband’s body from the angle of the dead husband. The camera looks at the sky until you see men in suits and gloves beginning to inspect. Another cool camera angle is when you are looking at Hae-Jun from his phone while he is texting Seo-Rae and see the three dots that appear in iMessage.

I mentioned above that the dialogue was great; it’s witty at times, but it really drives the story forward. One type of imagery that is spoken at one point is being in the woods or by the sea. This duality plays throughout the film by Seo-Rae, but is an interesting question for the viewer to ponder why we like one form of nature more than the other.

Like most of the films I have seen so far, there are two parts. For “Decision to Leave,” it’s not explicit, but you notice when one part ends and the other begins.

Additionally, I found the chemistry of the characters interesting and how they are trying to reach a greater goal. I found the character of Seo-Rae interesting because she has a complicated past and she is a part of the two murder investigations while manipulating Hae-Jun emotionally.

The only fault I felt the film lacked in character motive is why Seo-Rae was really doing all the stuff she did. Other than that, it is a fun murder mystery with memorable cinematography, dialogue, and great pacing for the story.

Shawn Belden can be contacted
at sbelden@kscequinox.com

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