Review: Leafie, a Hen into the Wild

The ending that you can find on the South Korean bluray release and some oversea releases has Greenie saying a tearful goodbye to Leafie and flies of with the ducks on their trip, as it fades to the epilogue and credits, but what surprised me and a few of my friends when we first saw it is that it’s not the full ending. In the theatrical release and some other oversea releases (namely Germany and Brazil) has an extra scene that calls back to an earlier twist which reveals that not only is the one-eyed weasel a female, but a mother of some baby weasel pups who desperately needs food so she could be able to feed her young. After Greenie leaves, the weasel returns and Leafie offers to die and be food so the weasel babies can survive, and as such the one-eyed weasel painstakingly kills Leafie. As dark as the uncut ending is, it drives the point of the movie that a mother will go through with risk and loss in order for children, even not their own, to live full lives. Cutting the ending has led to a small debate on whether or not cutting the ending was good, and if it was necessary at all. Personally, I admit to being an apologist of censorship and editing, as I feel that sometimes changes are needed so it can be accepted culturally to the general intended audience, and as long as cuts and edits don’t vastly change the story or the message it’s supposed to bring, I am okay with it and I can happily find the original version if I want to. That being said, I’m okay with the edited ending because despite the possible reasoning for the edit was to give the film a happier ending, the edit doesn’t exactly make the ending scene happy. First off, not only does the twist foreshadow the weasel’s need for food, scenes in the final act of the film show that Leafie is aging, implying that she might not live long even if she isn’t killed by the weasel. As such, even with the edit, it still implies that Leafie and Greenie might not see each other again after the tearful goodbye, so the main difference is that the ending is more ambiguous. While I’m not sure if the edit makes the film on the whole better or worse, I’d probably be more against it is the ambiguity was shattered by adding an extra scene where Greenie returns to the everglades and Leafie would be standing there waiting for him. It’s also worth pointing out that the UK release is only partially cut, leaving in the last bit of Leafie’s diaglogue but cutting out her actual death, probably to keep the kid friendly rating.

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