#CANNES22: “DECISION TO LEAVE” REVIEW
By Amanda Gilmore
Visionary South Korean Director Park Chan-Wook is back with this visually stunning romantic Thriller Noir.
After a man falls to his death from a mountain, Detective Hae-joon (Park Hae-il) meets his widow Seo-rae (Chinese Actress Tang Wei). She seems to be unaffected by the death of her husband. This causes suspicion amongst the detectives in the precinct. All signs point to her as suspect number one. But Hae-joon doesn’t believe that this mysterious woman could do such a thing. After stakeouts and an interrogation, Hae-joon becomes smitten with the mysterious Seo-rae. Now he must decide if his feelings get in the way of the investigation.
Decision to Leave starts out as a Detective Thriller and turns into something more heartfelt. In brilliant Chan-Wook style the edits and transitions are a visual feast for the eyes. Chan-Wook makes these transitions feel like they are one continuous take. They transport our detective into another scene that is playing out inside his mind. It’s a mesmerizing camera technique that is a delight to witness. There are shots that will dazzle and make any cinephile gasp.
The first half plays out like a gritty Detective Thriller Noir. Hae-joon is on a mission to find who threw this man off of the mountain. It seems like he found his prime suspect but her demeanour throws Hae-joon off. He finds this woman mesmerizing. The effect she has on him is paramount and the audience understands the emotion, thanks to the strong performance from Hae-il. He looks at her like she has all the answers in the world.
That’s when this noir turns into something more romantic. A blossoming relationship flourishes between the two. In lesser hands, this wouldn’t work. However, Chan-Wook excels in this storytelling. Seo-rae has clearly lived a difficult life. She’s been abused by her deceased husband. She carries this weight with her and it’s part of the reason Hae-joon falls for her. The audience is swept-away in this romance because of the chemistry between the two leads.
It’s in the second half when Seo-rae comes back into Hae-joon’s life that Chan-Wook’s intention comes through. This is a story about two people who fall in love in the oddest of circumstances. It’s about how far someone will go to protect the one they love. Wei’s performance is one of the best of the entire decade. It’s a special one that needs to be seen to be believed. She masters the art of mystery within her character. Although some would play Seo-rae as a psychopath, Wei grounds her. She’s a person who has never received real love and care until she met Hae-joon. Due to this, she will stop at nothing to feel it again.
Overall, Decision to Leave despite being a Thriller, also is tender and romantic. It has an insurmountable performance from Wei that will not be forgotten. Additionally, it reminds us that love is unexpected, needed and selfless.
Decision to Leave screens at Cannes ’22:
Mon, May 23 at 6:00 PM at GRAND THÉÂTRE LUMIÈRE
Tue, May 24 at 8:30 AM at GRAND THÉÂTRE LUMIÈRE
Tue, May 24 at 7:30 PM at SALLE AGNÈS VARDA
Tue, May 24 at 9:30 PM at LICORNE
Wed, May 25 at 9:30 AM at CINEUM IMAX
Thu, May 26 at 12:00 PM at CINEUM AURORE
#SPOTTED: STARS IN NEW YORK FOR 2015 MET BALL
Stars of the Film, Fashion and Music Worlds gathered Monday night at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Modern Art, for Fashion’s biggest night, the Costume Institute Ball – known more as the Met Ball or Met Gala – for a 44th year. As in previous years, the night was nothing short of spectacular and this year’s theme was China: Through the Looking Glass, which explores the Country’s influence on Fashion as we know it today. An Exhibition put-on in conjunction with the Museum’s Department of Asian Art, commences now through August, with the Gala kicking it all off.
The ultra-exclusive Affair is invite-only and if you are fortunate enough to be granted the opportunity to purchase a ticket even, acceptance is pending the approval of the most revered and feared Woman in the Industry, Anna Wintour.
Just so there was no confusion in the hierarchy, the dazzling A-List of predominantly female Talent would see its biggest stars Jay-Z and Beyoncé (in a revealing sheer Givenchy) arrive approximately three hours late, drawing a crowd of cheers from onlookers who lined street for a long glance at beauty and innovation when finally they did arrive.
Although a list of Guests was published prior, with Jennifer Lawrence named Event Chair this year, few know fully who exactly will arrive until they walk the many steps of the Red Carpet. Some Starlets stayed within their comfort zone wearing with an array of pretty form-fitting gowns. Others took major fashion risks, staying true to the Night’s established theme including Trailblazer Sarah Jessica Parker who had donned a Chinese Opera-like Headpiece over an H&M Dress, a strong contingent of Chinese Actresses including Gong Li, Ziyi Zhang, Carina Lau, Li Bing Bing, Gao Yuan Yuan, Tang Wei and more donned intricate creations with floral themed patterns. Dolce & Gabbana was most daring and our personal favourite, dressing a handful of Starlets like Karen Elson, Brie Larson and more in decadent golds with dazzling Tiaras fit for a Queen. Red-hot Moschino now underseen by Jeremy Scott, saw the likes of Madonna and Katy Perry garbed head-to-toe in his vision, the latter who turned heads with a cropped Pixie Cut which turned to blonde at the Afterparty which she had co-hosted. Not quite thematically correct, but still a visual Feast.
Others getting high praise for their looks were friends Anne Hathaway in a hooded gold Ralph Lauren numbers, Lady Gaga in a Zac Posen Pantsuit, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley in rose-coloured Versace and Sophie Turner in teal Burberry Dress. And speaking of teal, Miley Cyrus would dazzle in a high-neck Alexander Wang dress, with her hair slicked-back and coloured as such. We also are a huge Fan of Kate Hudson‘s gold Michael Kors number.
Social Media was lit afire when Perry, Madonna and perceived Pop Rival Lady Gaga posed for Selfies together at the Ball’s official Afterparty in the City’s Meatpacking District. Both Lady Gaga and Rihanna also themselves would throw their own bashes, which would see the likes of Naomi Campbell, Robert Pattinson and his girlfriend FKA Twigs returning to their star-crammed Hotel in the wee hours at the break of dawn.
We make a point of celebrating this important Affair every year and wait eagerly on next year’s theme. In the meantime, here are some Pics of the Fashion Festivities throughout the Night.
Katy Perry + Jeremy Scott
Jay-Z + Beyoncé:
Emily Blunt + Bill Nighy
André Leon Talley
Sarah Jessica Parker + Andy Cohen
Selena Gomez + Vanessa Hudgens:
Robert Pattinson + FKA Twigs
Some Selfies from our time in New York…
Gao Yuan Yuan
(Photo credit: Mr. Will Wong)