Beijing: David Fincher’s 1999 ‘Fight Club’ is at the center of a social media storm in China after a new version of it replaced the original ending with a terse message saying all criminals apprehended and that the authorities have triumphed.
Tencent Video subscribers mocked the newly abridged and edited ending for twisting the message and intent of the original film. Based on Chuck Palahniuk’s book of the same name, “Fight Club” culminates when the unnamed narrator kills his alter ego Tyler Durden and sets off a chain of explosions destroying all bank and credit records, resetting the economy. None of this is present in the new Chinese version, which treats the film’s Project Mayhem venture as a thwarted and misguided attempt at crime.
“Thanks to the clue provided by Tyler, the police quickly figured out the whole plan and arrested all the criminals, successfully preventing the bomb from detonating,” Tencent Video’s version tells viewers, before adding its own. creative touch: “After the trial, Tyler was sent to an insane asylum to receive psychological treatment.
A spokesperson for Tencent Holdings Ltd. declined to comment. Vice, which earlier reported the reconfigured ending, said the rights to the film were held by Pacific Audio & Video Co., a subsidiary of state broadcaster Guangdong TV, and the edited version had been approved by the government before release. being sold to streaming sites, citing an anonymous person familiar with the matter.
“Lord of War,” telling the story of an arms dealer played by Nicolas Cage, is another American film that suffered a similar contraction. Streaming viewers in China complained about his missing last 30 minutes, replaced by white text on a black screen saying “Yuri Orlov confessed to all the officially charged crimes against him in court and was eventually sentenced to life imprisonment at perpetuity”.
Foreign filmmakers have watered down or altered content for years to pass the censors in Beijing, but it’s rare for entire endings to be reversed – especially on older films millions of which have already seen pirated copies.
“When people tell you that the hero of Shawshank ended up in jail again, that there was no explosion in Fight Club and that Nicolas Cage was arrested, you will wonder if your memory exists really,” said a commenter on China’s Weibo Twitter. .
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