Then he was silent for 6 years since the release of Mademoiselle, the return of Park Chan-wook can only seduce the cinephile: the reunion with the director is always guaranteed to have a scholarly alliance between the malice of a scenario that is twisted and the goldsmith’s art of a scene in chalk, all in the service of a refined set of deconstruction.
The architecture of his new plot lends itself to all these pet projects: the criminal investigation provides a lot of puzzles to be double-sided, while the work of spinning and monitoring by the protagonist police officer will allow a thorough exploration of the look, green and comfortable alibi perfect to the director. The first part will merge the investigation of the character and the voyeurism of the filmmaker, for a deployment virtuoso determined to prove that the master has lost none of its lustre. Photography, sharp and icy, mary the cold colours of nature to the interior framed with obsession, to the point that one observes, in the same way, an interrogation room or an apartment under surveillance.
The transitions plastic in between the scenes provides a kind of vertigo that oil the mechanical striking of a leak in the front, while the fantasy of a vision overhanging propels the investigator on the scene he questions. A duplication of spatial and temporal first euphoric, but that prefigures especially the loss of landmarks before the good sense not fades.
Because this is one of the evolutions of the film from Park Chan-wook that moderates the use of the effects that we thought were consubstantial to its appearance: in a Decision to leave, the violence and sexuality are more muted, less front-end, for a report to the picture, which, if it is still striking in its construction, might seem a more peaceful, or mature. The second part of the narrative – which, it is necessary to admit, acknowledge a few lengths – evolves into a theme which has always been at the heart of the plot of the film-maker, pure love, or even crazy, but with new nuances, which are not those of revenge, or of an intelligence monstrous.
The lyricism is built in an intimate, modest, and if the very graphic scenes of action (bird’s-eye view from a mountain singular, chase on the roofs) are still effective, attention to the eyes and to the construction of a couple unable generates an intensity more moving and less clever than in the previous games. The exploration of the language barrier (a pattern already present in Mademoiselle) is working, and the look on the other, the attention to the pronunciation and access to an intimacy beyond the language which allows an approximation to a sensuality quite striking.
The wavering of the second part with lucidity this impasse tragic compounded the protagonists: the indices of the erasure and missed opportunities multiply, like to accept this poignant paradox: it is at a distance and through walls, microphones or devices that love will be the most obvious. It burns photos and erases records while dreaming of a stay in the case of undecided, which can ensure the permanence of a contract.
In the wake of the couple’s morbid Vertigo, Park Chan-wook films the tracery of a link doomed to dislocation, and his escape from the city to the countryside calls the wind, the rain and the waves of the tide as patterns of dispersion. Because the quest aesthetic is well here, evidenced by the obsessive attention that we had examined the retina of a dead body: in the idea to mark the spirits, the images of love in an unstable equilibrium to survive for those who have a day approached.