Murder, romance and a plot that's hard to follow

The noirish Decision to Leave centers on an affair between a homicide detective (Park Hae-il, right) and his prime suspect (Tang Wei).

South Korea’s Oscar submission in the international feature category, the twisty, heavily hyped romance Decision to Leave, has already garnered a best-director prize at Cannes for Park Chan-wook, the director of Oldboy, Stoker, and The Handmaiden — works of undeniably arresting visual power that are, nevertheless, something of an acquired taste. If you have developed an appreciation for them, then the news of the new film’s accolades and generally positive reviews will make you think that it’s about time for the world to acknowledge the greatness of this distinctive storyteller.

If, however, despite numerous attempts, you still just don’t get it (guilty as charged), Decision will simply confirm what you’ve come to expect from the auteur: another movie in which style overwhelms substance.

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