Park Chan-wook returns to the Competition with the beautiful film Decision to Leave, which tells the story of a romantic criminal investigation in which a policeman and his suspect experience an impossible love.
Cannes Film Festival 2022: Park Chan-wook returns to Competition six years after The Handmaiden with the beautiful film Heojil Kyolshim (Decision to Leave). The film focuses on the romantic relationship between a homicide detective, who is investigating the murder of a man, and the main suspect – the victim’s wife. Iranian director Saeed Roustaee enters the Cannes Film Festival Competition for the first time with Leila’s Brothers, a drama about the tragic implosion of a family trying to escape poverty in a country plagued by international economic sanctions. Director Louis Garrel is starring this year in Valeria Bruni-Tedeschi‘s Les Amandiers, and is actor/director in L’Innocent, his new feature film presented Out of Competition.
Leila’s family drama
After Ali Abassi with Holy Spider, the young Iranian director Saeed Roustaee takes us into Iranian society, but in modern-day Tehran this time, with Leila’s Brothers. This powerful family drama tells the story of a young woman’s struggle to lift her family out of poverty at all costs by proposing to her brothers that they combine their savings to buy a shop in a shopping centre. Unfortunately, Leila has to deal with the personal ambitions of her father and the lack of ambition of her brothers. Despite her efforts, the family is torn apart by an unprecedented economic crisis.
Heojil Kyolshim, murder and romance
Sacred with the Grand Prix for Old Boy in 2004 and the Jury Prize for Thirst (Bak-Jwi) in 2009, Park Chan-wook returns to the Croisette six years after The Handmaiden (Agassi) with Decision to Leave, in which a love-struck homicide detective tries to unravel the true from the false in his romantic relationship with the widow of the victim of an accident, which gradually turns out to be murder. The “weak” immigrant woman, who has to deal with her husband’s mistreatment, turns out to be very resourceful. Doubt gnaws at the inspector and the truth about the beautiful Chinese woman will leave him shattered.
Detective and suspect fascinated by each other
A mountain climber falls to his death from the top of a mountain. Detective Hae-joon (Park Hae-il) finds it suspicious that the widow, Seo-rae (Tang Wei) seems so unmoved by her husband’s death. Hae-joon begins to follow her day and night, observing her, lurking outside her flat, and gradually feels more and more attracted to her, who hides her feelings while in turn observing the policeman. The policeman and the suspect are fascinated by each other, and the viewer becomes a witness to the interplay between the two as the investigation builds up tension and winds its way up like a mountain path as layers of guilt are revealed.
Penetrating the psychology of both characters
With subtle narration and sophisticated direction, a camera that imaginatively leads the investigator around his prey as he is spying, Park Chan-wook takes us into the psychology of the two main characters. The policeman is obsessed with the truth; he displays photos of unsolved cases in his home and his tenacity, which makes him neglect his wife, finally pays off. But at what cost? Is the beautiful Chinese woman, unhappy in love, sincere and honest or a “femme fatale”, a daring monster of duplicity who plays on her charm by simulating the weak woman? In the end, if the two can’t get their hearts to talk, the audio files on the mobile phones will have the last word.
The Red Carpet of Louis Garrel’s The Innocent
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