About That Ending… and Feminism, Too.
[Warning: This part contains HUGE spoilers, including ENDING SPOILERS for both the theatrical release and the director’s cut.]
The ending of Sucker Punch is among its most controversial elements. Except for Sweet Pea, all of Baby Doll’s friends have been killed in the brothel-reality. (In the film, it’s left ambiguous whether they died in the real world. It’s possible they were lobotomized or taken/confined to some other part of the facility.) Sweet Pea and Baby Doll have made it outside brothel and are on their way to freedom… except there are scores of men waiting outside who’d catch them in an instant.
This is when Baby Doll remembers her plan needs “one more thing.” As mentioned by the wise man who sent her on her quest, this One Thing will be “A deep sacrifice—and a perfect victory.” That’s when it finally dawns on her: she needs to sacrifice herself so Sweet Pea, who Baby Doll sees as “the strongest” of the girls and “the only one of us who had a chance out there”, can go free. In the real world, this means causing a distraction and ultimately letting herself be lobotomized. How it goes in the brothel fantasy depends on which version you’re watching. (more…)