Why Park Chan-wook crafted ‘Decision to Leave’ so love is more mysterious than murder mystery?
In Park Chan-wook’s 2009 film “You’re Next,” the protagonist (played by Gong Yoo) is murdered because he’s “the one who can’t stand [his] own company.”
“I want to live again,” confesses the now-dead man in the film. He doesn’t get to. As a result, he has to watch his mother get murdered, his wife tortured, and his baby and girlfriend poisoned.
The movie seems to suggest that murder, torture, and death are the only things that will stop Park from his life of crime and want to live again. This, of course, is absurd on multiple levels. What type of man is violent and murderous, anyway? A rational, compassionate man who wants to live again?
In his own words, Park Chan-wook wrote, “I didn’t want [“you’re next”] to be a suicide or a murder movie, but this is a movie that tells a story.”
Park wanted his film to be about how life is like when you’re a child, but grew up to become a criminal and murderer. The movie has a narrative that is very unusual in the Korean film industry.
In his film, Park was able to draw on his own experiences to create a compelling character who, in my opinion, is one of the best love stories of this generation.
Park’s choice to base a film on his own story is not unique in the world of Korean cinema.
Many filmmakers have made films on their personal experiences in movies, and in my opinion, more would do well to take the lead to do so. It’s not simply an opportunity to try to tell a familiar story, but rather a chance to tell the story of a life and the experiences that shape that life.
And, in many ways, Park Chan-wook does that.
In “Decision to Leave,” Park has the chance to tell the story of his life at the age of 12, when he decides to quit high school and walk down Toaegi Elementary School’s steps. Park spends the rest of his high school