Sucker Punch: What The Hell Happened?

(Warning: Hella Spoilers)

Some of you probably just think Sucker Punch is one of those smorgasbords for your eyes, but I’m here to tell you that there’s more. What more you ask? Well, besides being a complete overload of sensory input, this movie is also confusing beyond all reckoning. At least, it probably was to everyone who isn’t nearly as insightful as I. So if you’re wondering what happened, pull up a chair, sit forward, and let me tell you.

My Top 2 Sucker Punch Theories

Theory 1: The main character of this film is actually Sweet Pea. Baby Doll helps her escape, and Sweet Pea is able to start a new life.

Theory 2: Baby Doll and Sweet Pea are aspects of the same person.

Arguments for 1:

The movie opens with a narration by Sweet Pea, leading us to believe it’s her story. She tells us that angels may come in any form, including little girls (i.e. Baby Doll), but that they’re not here to fight our battles. They’re here to help remind us that we control the worlds we create. Baby Doll is Sweet Pea’s angel, and when she arrives at the asylum, her impending lobotomy reminds Sweet Pea how sacred a place the mind is, and she uses this newly rediscovered knowledge to create an imaginary world she can retreat to during her escape attempts so that fear doesn’t overtake her.

The entire burlesque layer is Sweet Pea’s creation, which makes sense, since Sweet Pea is the main dancer. We’re all the main characters of our own imagination. The question then becomes why we get a battle that contains only Baby Doll when she’s fighting those robot samurai. It’s a valid concern, but perhaps Sweet Pea is simply entranced by Baby Doll’s dancing and chooses to imagine it as a battle. If that’s true, why is it Baby Doll who meets the old man and comes up with the plan? Maybe Baby Doll really did come up with the plan, and to give it some more credence, Sweet Pea inserts a wise man into her imagined version of Baby Doll’s story.

What’s happening in the asylum this entire time? Baby Doll is brought in, rebels, and comes up with a plan. Her dancing might represent fits of mental breakdown, minor attempts at escape (like fighting guards or running through doors) or even actual dancing. But no matter what it represents, it’s powerful enough that Sweet Pea must fit it into her imaginative storyline.

Sweet Pea escapes. When we’re finally in reality at the end of the film, the female doctor tells us that Baby Doll caused quite a bit of trouble, including helping a patient escape. We should believe any information that’s actually presented in reality, for there’s very little of it. If a patient escaped, it only stands to reason that it was Sweet Pea, for she’s the only one who comes close to escaping in any of the imagined layers.

But if she really was set free, then why does the last scene look so imaginary. Whenever we transfer to another layer of reality, the camera starts on Baby Doll then does a 180º spin. In the last scene, Baby dolls closer her eyes, the camera spins, then we see Sweet Pea meet a bus driver who is none other than the wise man. If this is supposedly real, then how did any of the characters know the bus driver well enough to insert his face into their imagination? She couldn’t possibly have met him before, could she? And why did the bus driver lie, saying that she’d been on board the whole time so that the cops didn’t question her? It all seems a little convenient. Isn’t it more likely that Baby Doll is simply imagining this as well?

Arguments for 2:

The last scene of reality at the beginning of the movie is Baby Doll lying down in the doctor’s chair, about to receive a lobotomy. If we’re seeing this scene, it only stands to reason that Baby Doll has already failed to escape and we’ve reached the end of the film. In the next scene, Baby Doll wakes up in the burlesque layer, only it’s not Baby Doll. It’s Sweet Pea in the exact same position wearing a blonde wig.

Baby Doll receives the lobotomy, and her last shot at survival is to retreat into her mind where she creates Sweet Pea, the sexy, confident dancer. The rest of the film only covers a few seconds in real life, the small amount of time it takes to perform a lobotomy. In that time, Baby Doll fantasizes an entirely different situation and an escape, and as she loses her mind, the burlesque layer becomes even crazier, slipping into the crazy battle scenes we saw earlier. In this reading, we no longer have to try to match the fantasy imagery to the layer of reality, for nothing is actually happening in reality.

By sacrificing herself to help Sweet Pea escape, Baby Doll is able to find solace, realizing that though she, the physical version of herself, may not make it, Sweet Pea, Baby Doll’s imaginary self, is free, unable to be harmed by the cruelty of the world. Sweet Pea is Baby Doll’s angel, whispering the reminder that we have power over the world we imagine, and in that world lies freedom. If this is true, then who actually escaped? The doctor says someone did, so it must have happened. In this reading, we’re required to assume that we don’t know who actually escaped, just that it happened.

Also, if the whole film is simply a few seconds of a mind’s last thoughts before being erased, then how do we explain the other information the doctor gave us and its relevance to the movie. She tells us that Baby Doll started a fire and stabbed someone, actions that directly link to the fantasy world. Is it possible she accomplished all that in the 5 days before the lobotomy, including helping someone escape, and that we didn’t see any of it? That the movie flashes forward to the lobotomy, and we get to see Baby Doll’s twisted, imaginary version of the previous 5 days? That’s what I think.

What do you think? Who teaches us what’s real and how to laugh at lies?

Written by Russ Nickel


Filed under Opinion

95 responses to “Sucker Punch: What The Hell Happened?

  1. Jeremy

    Sweet Pea is insane, so the bus station looks unrealistic because that is how she sees reality. The burlesque level of unreality is her interpretation of the events of the past few days. I think she normally believes she’s in a burlesque show. Its not supposed to make sense. Baby Doll’s dancing is a metaphor for resistance… an act of freedom in an otherwise condemned existence. Sweat Pea perceives all this as happening and also romanticizes her delusions into grandiose battles at these critical moments. In actuality they really are taking the map, lighter, etc. Baby Doll is the protagonist in Sweet Pea’s delusion but its really about what happened to Sweet Pea from her own perspective. For Baby Doll, even breaking free of the mental institution would not be freedom. She lost her mom and her step-dad killed her sister then had her unjustly committed. Her only real escape is the lobotomy. If she did manage to escape the institution she would be tormented with memories and in constant fear of being hunted down and recaptured. Everyone does believe she killed her sister and probably won’t just let her remain a fugitive. The bus driver sees how Sweet Pea is upset and is kind to her. Because of this she fantasizes that he is the wise man that was in her delusions.

    • Lee Min Hang

      So, you are agreeing with theory 1 above right? Which means Sweet Pea managed to escaped with the help of Baby Doll.

    • Harmony

      I don’t believe that. I believe that Babydoll should have escaped. I’m a lot less selfless than she is. I would fight for my own freedom and be like “to hell with everyone else”.

  2. Peeg

    Any thoughts on the relevence of the kid walking off the bus at the end? He makes eye contact with Sweet Pea and had previously appeared in the WWII fantasy as a soldier.

    • That’s a good question. I did notice that, but I chalked it up to still being part of Baby Doll’s imagined fantasy in which she simply generates characters. The old man is the part of her mind that has a plan and thinks it knows what it’s doing, and the boy is simply a recurring character used as a clue to prove to us that the last scene is imagined.

      What do you think?

      • Anonymous

        Isnt the bus kid that same kid from the trenches?

      • Anonymous

        who was the driver? is that matin short?

      • Anonymous

        even at the trenches the kid did make eye contact with sweet pea…then also at the bus station..he must have some relevance…maybe a person from the past…her lost young self…idk the film is too confusing but I LOVED IT …if u would like to discuss it thoroughly im ready to help…because i want to uncover all its mysteries andd uncertanties so just email me at: or tweet me at @elrifrawad…im ready for a long discussion regarding the movie(i know this is 2 years ago but ijust watched it a few days ago)

  3. Raven925

    I think your first argument is spot on. It leaves some wiggle room for people to think about what really happened, and thats what i love. Also, depending on how you look at it, there could be a possible second movie.

    • Ooh, Sucker Punch sequel!? I wonder how on earth that would work. Maybe we go into the fourth layer of reality? Baby Doll/Sweet Pea’s imagination’s imagination’s imagination.

  4. Just saw the movie last night and I really think it’s a possibility that you’re theory nº1 could be correct, though my favorite is theory nº2. Sweet Pea is my favorite character and the fact that babydoll could be her imagination and part of the same person it really fascinates me.

  5. Lee Min Hang

    Russ, I agree with the first argument.

    “If this is supposedly real, then how did any of the characters know the bus driver well enough to insert his face into their imagination?” I think that the battles are just fantasized flashbacks of Sweet Pea, after she escaped and making to the train station,especially after seeing the faces of the boy and the old man. It was all her own imagination, I don’t think any other people have to imagine as well.

    She might have thought of the battles when she slept on the bus, remember when the old man asked her to take a good rest? In the battles, Baby Doll was the heroine, because Sweet Pea thinks of her as her angel(Baby thought of the plans and all).

    These are my opinions. Sorry for my bad English.

    • Ooh. I like the idea of the imagination taking place on the bus. That’s really interesting, and you’re English is great!

    • C

      I agree with your comment:
      “Sweet Pea thinks of her as her angel(Baby thought of the plans and all).”
      It fits with the narration at the start when it said that the angels don’t fight your battles. Baby Doll came up with the plan but she couldn’t execute it by herself.

  6. Dylan

    I’m surprised that no-one noticed that the sign you see as the bus drives off says something “paradise”. The psychiatrist in the mental hospital keeps telling her patients to envision paradise.

    • Oh wow. I can’t believe I missed that. That’s a HUGE sign (pun intended) that it’s not real. Great catch Dylan. Can’t wait to tell my friends.

    • The sign is actually yet another clue to this being still fantasy. Remember when Sweet Pea tells Babydoll to “send her a postcard from paradise”?
      By the way, I think people that think that it’s all Sweet Pea’s imagination need to rewatch the movie. Preferably the extended cut.

      • Kelly Briles

        I know it has been some time since anyone has commented on Sucker Punch, but I just watched the film again and had one question. Who are the parents sitting in the waiting area when babydoll is admitted into the same Asylum?? Who are they supposed to represent?

    • Crystal

      It says Paradise Diner, which she is leaving…

  7. brock

    yeah i thought that sign was a bit odd..
    but i still dont understand how in the brothel they blondie and amber got shot…. but in the real world hoe did they grt shot?? sorry if i spelt somethings wrong

  8. Gabi

    OMG! I am loving reading your theories!! I agree with theory 1 – but with anything there is the freedom/flexibility to make it your own. My fav character is also Sweat Pea… isn’t that telling in itself? how we’ve mainly seen here as our ‘main character’- I am really interested in the last comment – the three other girls who die in the fantasy, did they even exist in the reality? and why did sweat pea imagine a sister in rocket? … Maybe these other characters did or didn’t exist? In the reality scenes, the doctor did confirm someone escaped – so the ‘reality’ of sweat pea has a believability … and the fact that Baby Doll is in the chair also makes her real … Could the other girls be aspects of Sweet Pea’s character – Rocket being her vulnerability, seen as Sweat Pea was always her protector? and being the younger sister too… was there a moment when her strength to protect Rocket failed when the mission went wrong that’s when rocket died… and I think maybe in reality a mission went slightly wrong and she was emotionally effected? … dunno, but it’s such a FUN film I love it!! and hands down to the choices of tunes I felt like someone went through my CDs and my mind and created a film I just can’t fault 🙂 awesome stuff … xx

    • Pete

      I think you’re right in that all the 5 girls are actually one, and that we never saw the person who actually escaped. My interpretation of the ending, is that Baby Doll is (through the lobotomy) letting the part og her who has lost a sister, Sweet Pea (also the memories), go. I think this sentence: “They’ll (guardian angels) shout through demons if they have to.” says that her paradise is achieved by being free from Sweet Pea/memories of having lost her sister and having the lobotomy.

      I also think that Jeremy is right: when she starts to dance in the “burlesque level”, dancing is a way to show freedom that she’s feeling on the “real level” as she aquires the items needed to escape, and dancing is her way of fighting for freedom (the fighting being shown in the deeper, war scenario-level)

  9. ivan

    I have to agree with theory 2.
    I also talked to this with my friends, they thought the same as your theory 1.
    But i interpreted as your theory 2, but with some other extras.
    I think, sweet pea is like the strong part of “Baby Doll” she even said it almost t the end, that she was the one that was meant to be free (Sweet pea, the strong internal part of Baby Doll). The other girls also it was part of the internet Baby Doll, also they died, they wasn’t meant to stay in “paradise” because in the end sweet pea it will be free for all that parts. I mean Baby doll trough all the movie got stronger, you can see how in the beginning she was insecure, she wasn’t even able to shot at her step dad. But as she is growing she was fighting, as the movie’s phrase that told it was only us who has the tools to fight…so fight! that makes it more personal, only to a person, because angles helps, but don’t fight for us. So, inside her mind, baby doll has an angel, but only she fought for her freedom.
    another hint i had, was at the end. You can see Baby Doll is at the asylum, she’s lost now. But the police said “are you ok madame?” and then the last scene in which there’s Sweet Pea taking the Bus i can swear the police men from the Asylum manifested there to her, the outside part is Baby Doll which i call first reality or reality itself, then Sweet Pea on the last Scene you can see her looking in the second reality the same as the cabaret life. The third reality is the phantasy of epic fights. so, the reality manifested to her on the last scene. That’s why the old man was there, she knew she was free now, and he helped her. (the Old man for me represents the wise subconscious of here)
    So, i think she really help someone to escape, but it wasn’t sweet pea, maybe a random girl. because in reality it was an asylum, in the second reality Sweet Pea escaped from home with her sister. in first reality she didn’t have a sister, and it’s obvious she didn’t escaped and was interned there just for escaping.
    That’s my theory, forgive my english, stills bad and i try to explain the better i can 🙂

  10. Gabi

    wow i think your right 🙂 xx

  11. Em

    I’m really glad I came across this site. After seeing the film, there was still a lot I was unsure about, and looking up a synopsis on the net didn’t cover it, so it’s great to see all the different theories and interpretations. I’ve seen the film once, with a friend who was a mad fan (her second time). And she said she hadn’t noticed the way Baby Doll sways from side to side when the music starts, just before she dances and the fantasy fight reality sequences start. Her theory was that Baby Doll was continually assaulted throughout her stay in the assylum. And that the fantasy realm with the Wise Man was her way of escaping that.

    But if that’s the case, every time she was “dancing”, psychiatrist/Madam Gorski was always there; which made me think that it couldn’t be Baby Doll experiencing another sexual assault. Unless (and I have a million “unless-es”) that is supposed to further highlight the fact that the psychiatrist was unaware about what was going on in the institution (eg the orderly/Blue forging her signature for Baby Doll’s lobotomy, and near the end of the film, after Baby Doll has the lobotomy and the Orderly is trying to assualt her, one of the other orderlies says I won’t let you keep hurting those girls (or words to that effect) – presumably something the psychiatrist was unaware of, otherwise they’d be out on their arses.

    I found it interesting that the alternate reality was a burlesque/brothel type setting. Baby Doll’s step father murdered her sister and tried to assault her also, I wouldn’t have thought that would be the most comforting setting to escape to. All of the girls had “client’s” too. Amber’s was the mayor for example. Baby Doll was dancing while Amber got the lighter…

    On another note, when Baby Doll was first brought to the asylum, and they were in the theatre, why would the psychiatrist want Sweet Pea to pretend to have a lobotomy? Maybe I’m getting my realities confused :S I think at some point in that scene, the psychiatrist said something to the girls about “finding paradise” and that seemed more poignant after Dylan pointed out the sign when Sweet Pea was on the bus that said something “paradise”.

    I agree with Jeremy about the lobotomy being a way for Baby Doll to escape the trauma of her past, and the constant reliving of it/persecution she’d face if she escaped. And the guy performing the lobotomy said “it was almost like she wanted mem to do it” which backs that up further.

    I found the alternate reality within an alternate reality a bit of a head-fuck at first. And one of the main things I’m wondering is what happened to the other girls (Blondie and Amber and Rocket)? Like Gabi said, ecause nothing was said in the asylum reality about deaths of other inmates was there? They said that Baby Doll had stabbed an orderly and helped someone escape. I guess it makes sense that they wouldn’t mention that she threatened the cook with the knife because then he (if he was even real, sheesh) would have to admit that he hit on Rocket.

    But Blue shooting Blondie and Amber happened in front of the psychiatrist, and if she’d seen shit like that, she’ d have had to do something. So was that Baby Doll’s world again? Seeing as Sweet Pea was locked in the cupboard?

    I thought Rocket was in the asylum because she had run away, and Sweet Pea was there because she ran also, to try and protect her. And some reference in the film was made to how much Sweet Pea had sacrificed. Maybe it’s another link between Sweet Pea and Baby Doll. Because Sweet Pea was able to watch over her sister more and protect her, whereas Baby Doll’s sister was killed by the step dad.

    When I watched the film I wanted to know how the other girls got there in the first place. And the closest I came to finding out, was about Rocket and Sweet Pea.

    Thanks for reading this, sorry for the many tangents!

  12. 2Bshy

    I think Zack was smart to make an open ended movie like this. We keep talking about it. I like the theory that the girls were all one person. The lobotomy reduced the personalities to one, Sweet Pea. In an interview Emily Browning revealed all the actresses tried out for Sweet Pea first. Baby Doll even said to Sweet Pea at the end ‘You were the strongest of us.’ I wonder if the eventual DVD will have a commentary that will reveal anything. And will the cut 18 minutes be returned to reveal anything. I find it interesting in the war world the girls would kick anyone’s butt, but in burlesque world they basically stand there and are ‘killed’.

  13. 2Bshy

    I think Zack was smart to make an open ended movie like this. We keep talking about it. I like the theory that the girls were all one person. The lobotomy reduced the personalities to one, Sweet Pea. In an interview Emily Browning revealed all the actresses tried out for Sweet Pea first. Baby Doll even said to Sweet Pea at the end ‘You were the strongest of us.’ I wonder if the eventual DVD will have a commentary that will reveal anything. And will the cut 18 minutes be returned to reveal anything. I find it interesting in the war world the girls would kick anyone’s butt, but in burlesque world they basically stand there and are ‘killed’.

  14. Mastermage

    As much as I like these two theory’s I cannot say I believe anyone of them. Allthough they do sound solid to both be right, there are a thing of two about them. I really have to watch it again to be certain but there are two scene’s between the shift of the real world to the brothelworld worth mentioning.

    The scene baby Doll was brought into the ‘theatre’ in the institute blue and the stepfather are discussing the price of the lobotomy when Baby Doll is watching docter Gorski having a session with Sweat Pea on the ‘stage’.
    The following scene is where baby Doll is on the sofa in docter Gorski’s office.
    The scene after that is of Baby Doll being straped in a chair and ‘someone’ approching with the lobotomyprobe, which is 5 days fast forwarded. Baby Doll closed her eye’s and the the scene changes to Sweat Pea with a blond wig in the chair, about to be lobotomized…
    This however is in the brother-world. Sweat Pea is on the ‘stage’ in the ‘theatre-room’. She starts complaining about the actingscene and you see Blue (with a moustage) next to the stepfather (as a priest) discussing the arrival of ‘the high-roller’.
    The rest of the brothel-realitity/dream is in one split second in the mind of Baby Doll when she actually is getting lobotomized, which ends when she gets punched in the face to let Sweat Pea escape (which happens in the brothel world).

    So, what happend? I think Baby Doll made up the brothelworld to re-cope what she had experienced past 5 days in the institute. Everything allready happened but in the split second she dreams up a nicer version. A version in which she fights against all odds to eventually give her life (surrendering to the high-roller, being lobotimized) to help a fellow inmate escape. Which docter Goski confimed happened in the real world.

    It could not have been Sweat Pea’s dream. The bunny painted on the mech is one example of why it is Baby Doll’s dream. Sweat Pea could not have know what it looked like.
    Also the first scene with the samurai’s is the scene where she is facing the danger alone. Sweat Pea could not have known that event.

    The last scene of Sweat Pea at the busstation is Baby Doll’s last dream. She had been lobotomized and when we finally see her face, she closes her eye’s (again) and we witness her last dream of Sweat Pea being rescued by her Angel/the busdriver, setting off to paradise (it’s on the bussign).

    • john

      Wow, great job on summing things up!

      I totally agree with your theory.

    • lane

      Makes sense. because of the labotomy BD also is set free of the terrible memory of killing her sister. After the doctor is arrested an confesses, BD could be physically set free and live a normal life too.

    • lane

      I also wonder about the girls getting killed? This had to be in her mind. In the end the female doctor doesn’t mention them, but does call the police when she finds out about the forged signature, and the doctor trying to rape her in the bathroom.

      • sumrsolo

        Is that why she is hold her stomach right after while lying on the doctors couch? Like she’s in pain from being raped? I thought he gae her a strange look in the bathroom stall but I wasn’t sure if he had really raped her.

    • Ashley

      I agree with you. But I dont think the similarity between Sweet Pea and Babydoll is a coincidence.

      • Ashley

        Like Babydoll envisions Sweet Pea as herself. In her alternate reality she imagines saving ‘herself’/ Sweet Pea and getting her paradise ‘freedom’ she wanted. While saving some random patient, she had helped herself escape in her own way. She was her own angel. Remember at the end, Sweet Pea said “Who is etc…It’s you. You have weapons, fight,etc”? It was her saying Babydoll/Sweet Pea were there own angel, or a seperate inner angel, if that makes any sense. The wise man was the real guardian angel, guiding Sweet Pea’s inner angel to save her. It’s kind of confusing. They are the same person. Baby doll is acting as her inner angel. Sweet Pea is the inner ‘her’ that the wiseman wants to guide free. Babydoll sacrificing herself is just her letting go to let herself be ‘free’, similiar to letting go and going to heaven. The other girls were parts of babydoll, the people from her life or herself that she couldn’t save, but she ended up finding peace anyways. The other girls were the things she needed to let go to find freedom/letting go to enter paradise. Blondie being the need for a family/care, Rocket being the remorse/guilt for the sister she couldn’t save (or that babydoll regrets something and need to make right etc, “Tell mom I love her”), Not sure about Amber. Sweet pea is the herself she wanted to save, like her soul. At first Sweet Pea was reluctant to help. Remember how at first Babydoll was a little introverted but changed into a strongwilled, passionate character similiar to Sweet Pea’s, its because Sweet Pea is her inner self. She was nervous at first, reluctant, she didn’t want to hurt herself anymore, but she changed her mind, determined to protect and find freedom for herself. She didn’t want to lose herself more then she already did. Sorta like a do over? The fantasy world was Babydoll’s inner world self. “You have your weapons, now fight!” The weapons were those parts of herself, Babydoll fighting to protect her inner self to find freedom (or a way out, so that she can let her pain go, her fighting for the five things that will grant herself freedom), so maybe in the end when the doctor says she helped someone escape, Sweet Pea could have been real after all and Baby doll took the form of herself as an angel and the wiseman as a guide, two parts of Sweet Pea) I’m sorry I hope that makes any sense.

  15. really

    Ok all the girls are real but when babydoll walks in the theater for the first time she sees them all and makes straight eye contact with sweet pea then she retreats into her head and fantasies about what she is really having to do in reality sweet pea is her other escape in her head and an actual person she would have never really been free like mentioned before so in reality she let’s sweet pea go instead and in her head she becomes sweet pea and escapes into her mind TO PArADISE BY THE WAY IF U LOOK AT THE BILLBOARD THAT’S WHERE THE BUS IS GOING ..paradise is mentioned several times…the last scene is in babys head .. her new reality …babys escape….the ultimate sacrifice and the perfect victory mentioned in the movie was …sacrifice ….. in reality letting sweat pea go instead.. the perfect victory…… the look in her eyes that got the dirty orderly caught and when she retreated back into her mind and became sweat pea for good before he could have her.and exposing her stepfather. So all the girls are real and imagined however baby split herself in two left her old self in reality and became sweet pea because sweet had a mother to go back to and something to escape for

  16. ash

    all of these theorys have done nothing for me but make me even mroe confused. I’m younger than all of you guys and this just doesnt make any so if someone nice would like to dumb down of what they think happened i would love you forever so my mind can rest! all of this fourth reality and first reality is giving me a headace!

  17. xpak

    I agree with Mastermage’s theory. It makes perfect sense.

  18. sara

    i agree with mastermage 110%, the end part anyway, like some of the others said everytime baby goes into the fighting reality she closes her eyes and the camera does a 180 around her and then it goes to the alternate reality scene which it exactly what happened in the last scene, i believe she imagined sweet pea going to paradise.

    im not sure what was with the other characters but i know they are real because in the begining of the movie when shes in the asylum with her dad and “blue” in the theatre and while sweet pea is on the stage those girls were all sitting at a table close to the stage looking at her, maybe they werent actually killed but maybe were sucluded, or even lubotomised and in babys reality that might as well have made them dead.

    at the end you see that “blue” has blood on his shoulder where she stabbed him in the brothel reality, the closet was burned aswell and the knife was gone from the chefs belt thingy so i think all that stuff happened but it was all in babys point of view how she imagined it right before the lubotomy.

    as mastermage said, baby doll imagined that sweet pea got to the bus stop ok and was helped by that old dude… thats what she hoped happened and thats why i think it was babys prospective not sweet peas the old guy was in a way “her angel”… now what really happened we’ll never know if she got to the bus stop or not thats left to our imagination, and also in my case proves that it was babys not sweet peas story.

    also babys first fight reality when she meets the old man for the first time he never actually told her she’ll get out… he said she’ll be free, and in a way she was though the lubotomy.

    if you guys can recall when she stabbed blue in the brothel reality she said “you’ll never have me…never” and when she was actually labotomizes the doctor said she looked as though she wanted him to do it, so when blue tried to rape her or whatever at the end he ended up cracking it because she wasnt there at all anymore and he needed her to be so he was able to do what he intended but she wouldnt let him have her, a mindless vegatable or not. but i believe all the girls were seperate people…. all this brothel and war stuff was just babys interpretation of what really happened.

    • lane

      Yes! She was set free of the terrible memory of killing her sister, and by the doctor getting arrested she could have been physically released.

    • matthew

      I agree with you totally. This really made sense to me, and along with mastermage’s theory I think it provides a great explanation.

      I had wondered what would have happened to the other girls, and what you said about them being lobotomised and then considered dead in Baby Doll’s mind really made sense. Rocket actually says “we’re already dead” in the Burlesque layer, and this must be because Baby Doll knew they had been lobotomised (in real life) and were then considered dead by her.

      This is all of course in the split second that Baby Doll imagined a ‘nicer’ reality to the things she suffered.

      • Eric

        Like all the people that were lobotomised were helped by a guardian angel. In the brothel, they existed and they couldn’t be free until they let go of the weight on their shoulders. Babydoll let Sweet Pea escape because she knew that was not her way of Freedom. Fighting those make believe battles were just their alternate universe in the lobotomy alternate world (With the wise man and demons). Sweet Pea getting on the bus was her way of escape. Their mom (Rocket, Sweet Pea) was probably already dead. Rocket said when you are free, tell mom I love her. Paradise might have been heaven, and those 3 girls died before. Brothel and fantasy might have taken place after lobotomy. So the aslum and fantasy might have been fake. Long story short, Babydoll envisioned herself helping someone before she was lobotomised. Helping a lost soul find its way to heaven. Sweet Pea probably thought of Baby as an angel that helped her fight her battle.

  19. Anonymous

    Its like the end of inception, when the needle is still spinning haha

    • Anonymous

      Except if you watched closely at the end of Inception you see it kind of whobble a bit. I like the theories. I definitely think this was kind of the idea Synder went for when he wrote this, he wanted it to be something people would have to see multiple times. Which to me, is an excellent tatic in the movie industry. So many movies are seen once or twice and never really dwelled upon entirely. Sucker Punch did that for me, I’m actually watching it right now and making my own scenarios up while thinking of what all I read here. I personally think that Baby Doll was in fact imagining the battles as a way to cop with gaining the items, the brothel as a means to live inside a fantasy to escape her asylum.

      As for Sweet Pea’s “escape”, originally I caught the Paradise sign and the fact that the old man was the same old man that helped them through getting the items, so I figured it may have been her actual escape in the eyes of Baby Doll.

      After watching it a few more times, I feel since B.D. no longer existed, she made her own fantasy in the last second of her procedure as Sweet Pea’s Paradise. “A way out”, her “freedom”, just as the old man helped Sweet Pea to freedom, Baby Doll’s imagination with the old man helped her escape her reality permanently by being able to escape and “become” a shadow of Sweet Pea, free to leave the asylum, the brothel and the wars to her paradise.

  20. Sara

    I just watched it today. I wasn’t sure what to expect but I must say I LOVED it! My first time writing a theory about a movie but here goes…

    I think that Sweet Pea is the main character in the movie (as far as patients go). I think it is her in the chair in the last few seconds before her lobotomy and that the movie is a quick recount of her life leading to that point. I think BD is a personality that SP created representing the strength in her. The opening scene where BD loses her mom, has an abusive stepfather, and loses her sister… I believe that is what happened to SP and led her to be in the asylum in the first place. SHE is the orphan, not BD. Rocket, while talking to BD (aka SP), even reminds herself that BD is an orphan. Rocket is SP’s way of bringing back to life the sister she lost… even if only in her imagination. That’s why she worked so hard to protect her in her fantasies because she couldn’t do so in real life.

    The whole movie is a recount of her life in the asylum with Rocket and BD as fictions of her imagination represent her lost sister and SP’s will to fight the system. SP found all of the items and used them as depicted… Dr Vera confirms that SP did stab an orderly and started a fire and helped a patient escape. Not quite sure if Amber and Blondie are also representative of SP’s personalities that she has created or what. And not sure who it is that SP helped to escape.

    In the end when we see “BD” is getting lobotomized… I think it’s SP’s imagination letting this personality, which represents her strength, take the hit for SP. And we see SP finally free from everything that’s kept her bound to her cruel reality… her mental prison so to speak. We see her heading to the back of the bus to get some rest as she heads to Paradise. She is finally free. BD was the angel within that allowed her to achieve this freedom.

    • Eleanor

      Like Babydoll sacrificing herself is actually Sweet Pea sacrificing herself/her past, or letting go, to find happiness.

  21. yinka

    got this movie on dvd today and here is what i think( watched it twice now)……… i dnt agree with either theory. what i believe is that sweet pea is actually baby dolls angel, that all the characters are real people (not sure bout the young guy and the wise man)…… heres my explanation, when she first gets to asylum and they go into the theatre you can see blondie, rocket and amber eye her up (this is where blue and step dad are discussing money). you also see baby doll and sweet pea exchange personal looks. this will already prove that the are not the same person………..shortly after this when she is bein taken away she clearly sees all 4 items that are stated later on by the wise man(map-blues office, fire-gaurd by the door, knife- cook, key- blue)……..we then see her cleaning the floor, toilet etc etc i believe this is in reality and what or part of what she was actually doin in the 5 days leading up to when the doctor would arrive…… next shes put in the doctors chair and strapped up to recieve the labotomy and this is mayb where she recalls her journey to paradice begins…..i believe everything we see from this point on till when she gets the labotomy is her imagination of how everything happened but not necessarily how it happened in reality. an important part for me is when the psychiatrist says “shes been here a week and stabbed an orderly,started a fire and helped some1 escape” all things that was told would be needed…… now to the ending, i think the person she helped escape was sweet pea and the whole segment with sweet pea is just another dream/her imagination of how sweet pea was doing, i think the wise man and young boy may be either real people she knew or just made up in her imagination…….. CONCLUSION: sweet pea is baby dolls angel, everything between start and end of labotomy is baby dolls imagination, by sweet pea escaping baby doll found freedom in her own mind

  22. Spaddel2710

    I think Sweet Pea and Baby are in fact one person. Baby had a sister who died. So did Sweet. Maybe the fantasy stuff we see are how baby sees her “fights” in real life in retrospect. At the beginning of the movie her step dad sells her to Blue. So she knew what was going to happen all along. She tried to escape but failed. So she forges Verenas signature to have the lobotomy. So she could “survive” the thing that Blue would do to her. I mean Verena says in the brothel scenes that all she taught the girls is how to survive him [Blue]. This is why she thinks of the mental institution as a brothel Baby knows what Blue will do to her.
    I think when Sweet Pea escapes and Baby sacrifices herself is when she receives the lobotomy because in reality Baby escapes into her mind so Blue can´t hurt her. Sweet Pea boards the bus at “Paradise”. Blue asks Baby after the lobotomy if she`s still there or if she`s already in paradise. I even go a step further and say that the Wise Man is Baby Dolls/Sweet Peas real father. The guy at the beginning was only her step dad.
    Hope anyone understood that cause I just saw the movie and my mind is still trying to process it. 🙂

  23. So many theories! Wow. I saw this movie this past weekend and it has been haunting me too. I think the thing that makes me mad as I personally struggle with trying to shine the light on what was going on all you see are reviews that are so superficial. Obviously, this movie is a huge mind bender and up for lots of interpretation. But I sure would love to know what the ACTUAL intention of director. I thought I had it all figured out until I found this page (full of very intelligent and creative people who will not take it at face value as I refuse to do.) (I just hate feeling so torn between so many possible interpretations!) I suppose I will need to see it again. Anyone know if the director’s cut helps with pointing the way? -David, creator of Desktop Gremlins papercraft

  24. This movie KEEPS haunting me. But as I have read and re-read all the comments above. I think Mastermage nailed it. The fact that tipped it for me is the pink bunny head on the mech warrior. Check this passage from another site: Debbie Snyder (producer): “But also there’s a significance in the bunny. A lot of things play in the different levels of reality. We tried to use pieces because, think about it, when you dream a lot of times it might not be a total picture and if you’re stressed out about something you get pieces and little hints of things and that’s what we wanted to do. So, the bunny is Baby Doll’s sister’s toy that’s on her bed, and there’s something tragic that happens to her. I think it’s very haunting.”

    So connecting that the pink bunny belonged to Baby Doll’s sister makes me feel that all the non-reality visuals (the dance AND the brothel) are Baby Doll’s memories altered into new places.

    I don’t like to think it is a 1 second RERUN in her mind… but the director’s choice to add the faux lobotomy near the front of the movie does seem to support this theory. (Or gives it a reason anyway to be up there.) I want to believe that Baby Doll was at least experiencing those five days in her escapist version of reality since there was so much bad stuff going down in the asylum.

    I also adding to my theory that no one DIED since the doctor at the end did not state that had happened. So perhaps they (Rocket, Amber, Blondie) were not REALLY part of the break out plan but figments added to the adventure of the mind. (There were not doctors performing lobotomies there every day or else Baby Doll would have not had to wait 5 days to get hers.)

    BUT what was the dance in real life? It was her distraction put on to get men to ignore they were being stolen from. But was it violence/rape as some have said? I don’t think so because she tells BLUE that he will never get to have her. So was it a strip tease of sorts and the orderlies and cook etc could just watch because if they acted with violence or took it too far they would be fired?

    But the orderlies would take advantage of the women after their lobotomies? When Blue attacks her near the end saying he does not want to wait anymore, she stabs him to keep him off and ensure she gets FREE before he can take advantage of her.

    Baby Doll’s true victory being that she exposes the terrible things happening in the hospital AND probably gets the step dad in jail too. (Paying the ultimate price to get there but save so many others and ESCAPE from the memories of her broken life.)

    Then I also agree that Sweat Pea getting on the bus at the end is one last DREAM by Baby Doll (especially since the bus driver is part of her dreams.)

    This movie really struck me hard as I have tried to decode it. I think all the bad reviews come from people just giving up on trying to understand it and they just flick their switch over to “broken movie.”

    I just can’t go there because there are TOO many things to think about. I can’t imagine the director is so reckless to make a movie that does not mean SOMETHING very specific in his own mind.

    NOW I fear that if I see the director’s cut it will mess up my balance I now have with the movie. Anyone see the Director’s Cut yet to add their thoughts to how it changes the story?

    (Finally, I like the Pink Bunny visual as a BENT nod to the white rabbit in Wonderland.)

  25. After having read many opinions about this movie, this is the first time an explanation fits my ideas.
    Heres what I wrote about this movie:

    When ten people use a filthy public restroom, at least one of them will

    complain. When the restroom is all tidy and clean, it takes at least a

    hundred users to get one positive feedback.

    Following this analogy, judging by the reviews and comments on the internet, millions of people

    must have liked Sucker Punch and only a few thousand hated it.

    Although this might not be entirely true, it does hold water. People

    are far more willingly to write a bad review than they are to write a

    good review. Another thing that is working against the movie getting

    positive feedback, is that the movie requires you to use your brain.

    The amount of action and erotic scene has people thrown off from that

    fact. They don’t expect to be using their brain in this multimillion

    dollar production, so they don’t. Not at first anyway. At some point

    during the movie or afterward, they start to try and explain what

    exactly happened. But that may be too late. You will have missed a few

    key elements in the story if you only start to wonder what is happening

    after things have happened. You have to keep your eyes open from the

    beginning to fully understand this movie. If you haven’t already, watch

    it a second time. There are bound to be elements you have missed when

    you watched it the first time.

    Now, I’ve read quite a lot of comments and reviews about this movie. I

    saw both the theatrical version and the extended cut. Read about some

    of Zack Snyder’s own interpretations of the movie. Saw interviews with

    the actors etc. etc. I think I hold enough baggage to come up with a

    decent explanation of this movie. My only real problem in writing down

    my theory about the movie is my limited English vocabulary. While it

    may be more than enough to write this review, it may not be as good to

    read as most other reviews are. I apologize for that.

    For this review I will assume you have seen the movie and that you have

    trued to understand what has happened. At least, you gave it a try.

    Whether you are right in my opinion or wrong like so many others, is

    not really important.

    When you have read other reviews like I have, you will have noticed

    that a few (partial) theories are very widely spread. Maybe you think

    these are right yourself. One is about the dancing sequences of

    Babydoll being her escape from being raped. The other one is of Sweet

    Pea being the lead character and it’s all her imagination we see and

    not Babydoll’s. I will try and explain why these two theories are


    It’s not Baybdoll’s story

    The imaginative part of the movie starts and ends with the doctor

    hammering the lobotomy tool through Babydoll’s brain. This is the first

    and most direct evidence of it all actually being Babydoll’s

    imagination and no one else’s. The other, more confusing evidence for

    this is the wise man/bus driver. This has a lot of people confused. The

    fact that we see the wise man appear as the bus driver can be explained

    as follows: When Babydoll and Sweet Pea escaped the asylum we think we

    see the real world events, not the fantasy. Yet, they are still wearing

    their brothel outfits. So this must still be the fantasy part. The

    switch between real life and the fantasy world in this part of the

    movie is why we get thrown off. Watch these scenes to understand what

    I’m talking about. In the extended version of the movie, we can see

    Sweet Pea taking down a dress from someones clothing line. It is this

    dress she wares at the bus station in the movies final scene. In the

    final shot of the movie we can see a billboard that has “Paradise

    Diner” written on it. Remember Sweet Pea telling Babydoll to “write her

    a postcard from Paradise”? This is yet another hint to the fact that we

    are actually seeing Babydoll’s fantasy of Sweet Peas escape. The wise

    man appearing as the bus driver is the result of the fact that we are

    seeing Babydoll’s imaginative representation of the events that

    happened after Sweet Pea escaped the asylum. Whether or not Sweet Pea

    even made it to a bus station or not remain unclear as we are not shown

    what happens in real life. Babydoll is taken away by the security

    guards just as Sweet Pea passes the main gate of the asylum. What

    happens after that is not known by Babydoll. Unfortunately, Dr. Grovsky

    fails to mention what happened too. She mentions that Babydoll helps

    Sweet Pea escape, but she doesn’t say if she stayed out of the hands of

    the guards. She may have been got later on. We don’t know.

    The dancing sequences are Babydolls escape from her being assaulted in the real world

    I believe it is being made very clear in the complete story that the only time that girls are being assaulted

    (if at all) is after they have been lobotomized. Since these are

    Babydoll’s fantasies from before her lobotomizing, we can assume that

    she is not being raped by that fact alone. Not by Blue anyway. The only

    scene where she may have been assaulted is when she dances for the

    cook. I believe what happened in the real world at that time is that

    the cook (being defeated earlier by Babydoll when she rescues Rocket

    from him) now tries to rape Babydoll. The cook once again fails in his

    attempts, because Rocket, returning the favor, rescues Babydoll from

    the hands of the cook. They other dancing sequences may be group

    sessions, led by Dr. Grovsky. They are generally not something she is

    suppressing even in her fantasy substitute of the occurrences at the

    asylum. They are merely a transfer to the second level of fantasy.

    Whenever she dances, one of the other girls is stealing one of the

    required items. It’s not even very logical to assume that each time,

    precisely at the same time Babydoll got raped, other girls are taking

    the items. Or that she uses the rapes as a form of distraction. Another

    thing we have to remember is that it is being made very clear that her

    virginity is being saved by Blue for the High Roller. And in the

    brothel’s final scenes Babydoll says to Blue, right after stabbing him

    in the left shoulder that “he will never have her, EVER”. This

    statement directly implies that he has also never had her before that


    The mirror shotis reveal yet another level of fantasy

    About a half hour after the start of the movie,

    moments after Babydoll’s first dance sequence, we see this amazing

    mirror shot. The camera pans in on the black board besides the mirrors

    then slides to the left all the way to the other side of the mirrors,

    then goes through the wall to the mirror side and the scene ends in

    this “mirror world”. Many people seem to think that this suggests

    another level of fantasy. In fact, the scene starts in the mirrored

    room and ends in the non mirrored room. Proof of that is that in the

    remainder of the movie, the black board is still on the left side of

    the mirrors. We don’t see the dressing room before that amazing shot,

    but we have seen some other rooms and corridors. If they were in a

    mirror world after the shot, all the other rooms would have to be

    mirrored as well. Furthermore, Blue gets stabbed in the left shoulder

    in the fantasy world. He’s wound on his left shoulder in the real world

    in consistent with that. Hence, there is no third fantasy level. It is

    just a nice camera shot.

    Rocket, Amber and Blondie also die in Real life

    When Dr. Grovsky enters the room where the Babydoll just got lobotomized she mentions to

    the doctor that “in the five days she has been in the asylum, she has

    started a fire, helped another patient escape and stabbed an orderly”.

    If three other girls died, Dr. Grovsky would have mentioned these

    events too, wouldn’t she? Of course, it is still possible that these

    events have no connection to Babydoll’s presence in the asylum and they

    may have died anyway. But there is no proof of three death girls what

    so ever. So it is most likely they didn’t die. I’m not even sure that

    Rocket and Sweet Pea are sisters in real life. I tend to believe they

    weren’t. (how many sisters have been placed in the same asylum with

    direct contact to each other anyway?). Clearly not all events of the

    fantasy world have real life substitutes. What scenes are a fantasy

    substitute of real world occurrences is very hard to tell and never

    really pointed out. It is up to anybody’s imagination to fantasize

    about what may have happened in real life. For instance the mayor

    getting pick pocketed by Amber. This may be a session of Dr. Grovsky’s

    theater therapy. One thing this “theater therapy” would require is an

    audience. Maybe Dr. Grovsky has asked the guard that the mayor

    represents in the fantasy to come and act as an audience. When watching

    the performance of one mental patient, another one picks his pockets

    for his lighter (not as sexy in real life of course). Use your

    imagination to find out what happened in real life.

    With these faulty assumptions out of the way, I will try and reveal

    what actually happened in real life.

    Right after being institutionalized, Babydoll isn’t really sure of what is the best way

    to cope with killing her little sister. At first, she logically

    assumes that the first thing she needs to do is escape the asylum. It

    takes her a while to learn that escaping will not help her. She will

    still have to cope with the death of her sister anyway. She may be hunted down

    and she will never be at peace.

    Having overheard Blue and her stepfather talking about the lobotomy, she later on

    realizes that this lobotomy may beher only way out.

    So instead of escaping herself, she helps another girl escape the asylum,

    ultimately redeeming herself for killing her sister. In the process of

    planning her escape she makes sure that Blue will get caught, although

    it is rather a coincidence that Dr. Grovszky finds out about Blue

    forging her signature. Nevertheless, her lobotomy sets her free. In the

    moments between the doctor getting ready to swing his hammer at the

    lobotomy tool and the actual driving the tool through her brain she

    imagines this fantasy world of the burlesque theater, where she and the

    other girls are erotic dancers held captive by Blue in his night club.

    This actually is a substitute for the real world occurrences, and the

    movie could just as well been shot in the real world, having just as

    many plot twists. What happens in real life is never fully explained,

    but using ones imagination a lot of it can be determined. A few flashes

    of the real world just before the lobotomy reveal what happens in the

    five days prior to that. Babydoll will have had private sessions with

    Dr. Grovsky as well as group sessions. She will have attended at these

    theater therapy sessions as well. In her fantasy world, all the

    discussions she has are being made up. They make no sense in the real

    world anyway. But they may have been strongly derived from real life

    discussions from time to time. Anyway, whatever happened happened, so

    to speak. Use your imagination a little. It’s what Zack Snyder wanted

    you to do. We can not be sure of what exactly happened in real life. We

    can not even be sure that it was actually Babydoll’s plan that helped

    Sweet Pea escape (though we can assume it is). Ultimately, what Zack

    Snyder did is show us a movie without showing it to us, but instead

    present us a substitute which has us wondering about what really

    happened. This is what makes this movie a masterpiece.

    The only thing that I’m still having trouble with is how a 20 year old

    girl in the late 1950’s/early 1960’s could have fantasized about modern

    day machine guns, advance technology as seen inside the man operated

    robot or mechanized robots and a jet powered train track. The only

    explanation for this is that this story is what happened to a girl some

    50 years ago and it is a modern day movie director’s visualization of

    it. Other than that I’m clueless.

  26. Sorry for the long read and the little errors. I may have been trying to explain too much at once 🙂

  27. Sassy Unicorn

    I believe the end of the movie was the beggining of the movie, rocket died and sweet pea was running away, that way she has seen the boy and the bus driver *hint he says something about adventure begginging or something like that* , it makes sense because why would random police officers ask a girl about a fire or escapie in a mental insitution rather than a murder would make sense. 😀 and i think baby doll was an actually orphan that had nothing or lost everthing and went there but ended up she saved sweet pea, i still believe they are two different people. I hope i made sense.

  28. Mastermage

    I watched the Extended version and I stand with my earlier theory. Baby Doll and Sweet Pie are two different persons.

    The only important scene added in the extended version is the conversation the ‘High Roller’ has with Baby Doll in the brother-world. It explains why Baby Doll accepted the lobotomy as a way out. It explains why the Docter who preformed the lobotomy is suprised by the look on Baby Doll’s face, making the comment she ‘wanted’ to get lobotomized.

    The shift from the assylum-reality to the brothel-world is when Baby Doll is put in the chair, shifting to Sweet Pie in a ‘Baby Doll-outfit’. I have no doubt about that. It also ended with the hammering of the probe, now happening after the conversation with the High Roller instead of the escape-scene.
    Everything in between is a fantasy of Baby Doll which is a reflection of what really happened, but nicer or in a way Baby Doll wanted it to have been if things could have existed that way. Baby Doll recalls real events and fantasizes a world around it.


    And finally, This question: The mystery of whose story it will be, of who will draw the curtain, of who sets the stage. Who is it that chooses our steps in a dance, who drives us mad, lashes us with whips, crowns us with victory when we survive the impossible? Who is it that tells all these things?

    Who Honors those we love for the very life we live? Who sends monsters to kill us… and at the same time sings that we’ll never die? Who teaches us what’s real… and how to laugh at lies? Who decides why we live and what we’ll die to defend? Who chains us… and who holds the key that can set us free?
    It’s you.
    You have all the weapons you need. Now fight!

    Don’t we all dwell in thoughts once and awhile, fantasizing up things we know could never happen? Things like magic, dragons, aliens, adventures. Don’t we all face our demons and be victorious in our dreams? Don’t we crown ourselves kings and queens while we conquer our deepest fears? It is the core of the movie. It is explained in the end by Sweet Pie’s voice-over. Our fantasies inspire us to be more than we think we are. We controll our dreams. The dreams or the persons/demons/figures in the dreams are our angels. Like Baby Doll imagened the Wise Man. But we often forget we also controll our reality. Dreams remind us what we life for, what we strife for and what we would die for.

    I crossed a review that explained of one more layer in the movie. It is the realisation the movie is a layer of itself. At anytime a movie is fantasy. It is all acting. Sweet Pie exclamed “And finally, This question: The mystery of whose story it will be, of who will draw the curtain, of who sets the stage.”, this implies it could be anyone… even you. And that is what the conclusion is. The movie could be your story, your insperation, your ‘angel’ in a way you can addapt it to your reality. I can relate to that theory. I like the idea a movie can speak to me and let me see things in different perspectives. And this one certainly did.

    I really believe the last lines of the movie. It is you! You have all the weapons you need…. Now fight!

    Side-note —
    I do not believe she was raped during her ‘dance’. There would be no point for Blue to ‘save’ her for the High Roller if she would. Being saved for the High Roller and have him take her virginity is a direct refference to the lobotomy. There is no direct reffernce of the dance being a rape attempt.
    There is a scene in the real world where Docter Gorski puts Sweet Pie on the stage in the theatre. Here Baby Doll watches Sweet Pie. Dr. Gorski plays Sweet Pie’s music, like she plays music in the brothel-world to make the girls dance. What Sweet Pie has to do on stage is not shown, but Blue says to the stepdad the theatre is a way to lern the girls social skills. Maybe it is somekind of acting or something. I think the dance is related to those preformances in the real world. It would be connected though the music which could be played in both worlds to have Baby Doll make a link in her fantasy. It is just guessing here, but to say the dance was linked to a rape of abuse, I don’t think so.

  29. sister

    I disagree with the comments that they were not raped during there stay at the asylum, there is a lot of evidence that they were. In baby dolls fantasy she was a virgin being saved for the high roller – in reality I think she was abused and the high roller was the lobotomy.
    At the beginning blue takes money from someone, he looks shiftily towards babydoll and babydoll backs away as though she knows whats happening but doesn’t want blue to know she knows. Why was he taking money? It was either for drugs or for use of the girls. Blue also says he’s annoyed that others get to ‘play with his toys’ and tries to abuse babydoll, and she stabs him. We know this happened in real life as he has a wound on his shoulder and tries to rape her again in the room after she is lobotomized but is angry because she is ‘not there’ – she said previously that he would ‘never have her’ and he realizes once she is lobotomized that she was right and he gets very upset. Before they take her into the room to be abused the male assistants state that they do not want to hurt these girls any more.
    This implies that perhaps abusing a lobotomized girl has crossed the line for them and they no longer want any part of the abuse. This implies that no lobotomized girls had previously been abused and in fact abuse had been going on all along.

    I personally don’t think that all babydolls dances were sexual abuse – I think most was the unusual therapy methods that babydoll was probably asked to recall abusive situations or re-enact them. Which was traumatic enough to send her to another level of consciousness.

    Also two of the patients were shot dead during her fantasy. This was not mentioned by the doctor. So either the patients were killed as a part of their abuse but covered up by blue (this would explain why they were so scared of blue) or they were not real patients and just other parts of babydoll/sweet pea.

    I also think that sweet pea was a part of baby dolls imagination – her true self (both babydoll and sweetpea lost their sister, that can’t be a coincidence) baby doll was her projected personality – but sweet pea was her true self. Once babydoll was lobotomized she was free to be sweetpea in her imagination.

  30. julio

    Not saying this is relevant. But at the end. With the bus station everyone is wearing a hat except the lol boy. In the ww2 scene everyone is wearing helmets and Blondie takes the helmet off the boys head and looks at sweet pea.

  31. mms20

    A lot of people are neglecting to mention the fact that Baby Doll had to find a fifth item but the wiseman couldn’t tell her what it was. Well I think the scene at the end where she realizes it’s her just proves the fact that Sweat Pea is a part of BD. She realizes that she can never really be free of her past, what she’s done. She’s an orphan, so running won’t help her. The name of the girl who escaped I think is purposely not mentioned because this movie was never really about the reality. It was always about what was happening in BD’s head. Her coming to the realization that the lobotomy IS her freedom. So when SP gets on that bus and heads to “Paradise”, that’s the lobotomized BD. The bus driver tells her to go get some rest. She’s at peace so to speak because she’s left the real world, she’s lobotomized, she’s not there anymore.

    Another important clue to support the fact that SP is part of BD is the fact that her sister dies in her arms. The Likelihood that Rocket and SP as sisters would be in the asylum together isn’t high, so it’s made up in BD’s alter-reality because it represents her and her sister. Notice how throughout the movie, SP is trying to protect Rocket from harm, just like we saw BD doing at the beginning. Notice also that Rocket dies as an indirect result of what SP did (i.e. letting her go forward with the plan) just like BD’s sister died because her bullet missed. Both younger sisters died in the older sister’s arms…I think it’s pretty clear that SP is a part of BD. Like the brothel world is all a brief dream, wherein things happening in BD’s life enter through various parts but played are played out by SP (SP and Rockets relationship, Rockets death, escape attempts, and finally SP’s fake escape to “Paradise”.) Brilliant movie. It’s certainly kept me thinking…

    • lane

      Yes, this makes sense. The labotomy let’s her escape the terrible memory of killing her sister. And the doctor getting arrested and telling his story to the police, would most likely result in BD getting physically released

  32. lane

    I agree with the posts here. I also think the labotomy erased the memories of her killing her sister, thus setting her free. I also assume she would be physically set free, as the doctor states, as he’s arrested, he will talk, It’s the stepfather who paid him, and she doesn’t belong there. I believe some people who received a labotomy lived very normal lives afterward.

  33. Anonymous

    Babydoll is the reality. Sweet pea, the strongest part left of her after the lobotomy. Rocket is how she feels with the loss of her sister. Amber is her longing of reality when Amber told Blue “we want to stay”. Blondie is her emotional health overall as a privileged daughter who suddenly became a distressed orphan.

  34. Tina

    I think that sweet pea is schizophrenic and that all the other girls are just her different personalities manifestating themselves in the way that she sees things. She’s making up the burlesque layer as an escape from her imprisonment in the mental hospital.

    Just my thoughts anyhow

  35. As far as I remember, Babydoll saw all her “team”, including Sweet Pea, in the very beginning in the asylum (around the scene of the quarrel of some girls).
    That is, Sweet Pea do exist, at least it is not completely imaginary. Thus the theory 2 falls apart, as I understand it.

    In my opinion, everything is simply a projection of the real events (i.e. Babydoll helps someone to escape), generated by the smashed lobotomized mind of Babydoll, insane after the operation.

    The question why Babydoll apparently didn’t want to run away with Sweet Pea is not very clear, though (maybe, her illusion of self-sacrifice is a projection of some major obstacle, or that she was just captured).
    Everything is just my humble opinion.

    • Duane

      They couldn’t both escape. One had to be used as a diversion for the other to escape. baby doll remembered the words of the wise man and understood that she had to be that diversion.

  36. Dara

    There is a thing I think everybody forgot to mention is that in the brothel when all the girls are in the bedroom, and baby doll was talking aboutt her escape, blonde said that three girls had tried to escape and died. So I think that maybe these girls meaning blonde, rocket and amber did try to escape and died in real world but had nothing to do with baby doll so they didn’t mentioned it at the end. I know it’s just a small thing but still I thought I could share! Anyways, I loved all the opinion and it also made my one clear. But there is still something I think of the guardian angel.. I think that the old man aka the bus driver is the guardian angel and so is baby doll. Because at the beginning it said that angel can take ANY form so maybe it took two forms in the movie- old man and little girl(as it was stated in the beginning) . Overall One thing um sure is that this is a brilliant movie whether anyone believes it or not!

  37. Anonymous

    I agree with the 2nd theory, and more:
    In fact the person that escaped was the boy that SP/BD sees at the WWII and at the Bus.

  38. Armando and Emanuela Moraes from Brazil

    I agree with the 2nd theory, and more:
    In fact the person that escaped was the boy that SP/BD sees at the WWII and at the Bus.

  39. Hani

    Agree with Theory 1

  40. Anonymous

    I think the “Wise Man” is BD’s real dad. (not the stepdad that abuses her) He is the projection of how she remembers her real father.

    BD has a multi-personnality disorder. BD, SP, Rocket, Amber & Blonde are all the same person. They are just representations of different personas/emotions of BD. The scene where BD enters the theater and sees the girls for the first time (reality scene), actually gives BD a visual representation of her persona as its fragments into 5 pieces. It is sort of a visual anchor for her emotions represented by each of the girls. (brothel and fight scenes)

    Agree with the previous poster, the person that BD helped escape was the little boy she sees at WWII & Bus scene and not SP.

    SP is the persona of BD that survives after the lobotomy and finally finds peace AKA paradise 🙂

  41. Happy Slappy

    OK, I keep seeing people reply to “what if sweet pea is baby doll’s psyche?” I noticed one person towards the top of this say that it was her first time seeing the movie and saying that she would say “to hell with the rest of ya’ll I’m out.”. What if this was merely a story about perspective. and the story was just told in the perspective of a side character that you never really see too much of, so you don’t get emotionally attached? What if this was told in the perspective of that person that you just said “to Hell with you”? I think that’s what this story is. Perspective, insight with empathy, and to show you how your decisions affect other people. What say you?

  42. ColdRaven

    In the alternate ending, Sweet Pea escapes. That answers a lot of questions…

  43. Anonymous

    has anyone ever seen Inception?? it da best!!!!!!

  44. Wow…everyone’s really put a lot of thought into this. I’m still in the ‘what the hell happened’ phase!

  45. Anonymous

    Best explanation I’ve read on the web so far (plus some of my own thoughts) that would go with your 2nd theory… There is just one person, sweet pea, who is institutionalized in a world we never actually see. She probably has mpd from being sexually abused as a child. Because of this abuse, she sort of dies (inside) as a young girl (loss of innocence). Baby doll is her inner strength and protector (courage) who witnesses this “death” and will help sweet pea to heal, overcome her past. To become free, sweet pea must first admit her current mental illness. She enters the asylum realm. Second, she must admit her past exploitation and sexual abuse — she enters the dance realm. Third, she must now courageously (through baby doll her inner strength) confront and overcome the inner demons of her abuse. One of the girls is called blondie, while not a blonde, because sweet pea is the actual blonde in question. The other girls are aspects of self (or other personalities) that have helped her in the past but must now die off — for her to be truly healed. More could be said but you get the idea. Has similarities to Mulholland Drive and Identity.

  46. Anonymous

    I think that amber, blondie, sweatpea and rocket were all parts of babydolls true self
    amber: shy
    blondie: vulnerable
    rocket: weak
    sweatpea : strong
    this would explain that the confident and strong aspect of babydolls imagination escaping in the form of sweatpea. and that she used all parts of her true self to help her to escape along with the wise man who i believe to be the guardian angel . this theory i not heavily supported as it would not explain that she helped a patient to escape , but it would explain why she is smiling at the end ( because she is left without the shyness, vulnerability and weakness and is left with strength and confidence given to her by her creation of sweat pea)

  47. Charles

    The Whole Baby Doll Story has an ending, the Perverted Orderly and her Step Father get theirs. THAT was her FINAL Sacrfice in The 1st reality. If you Look at the beginning when the girls are fighting in the Psyche ward, You see it is a fight between Blonde and Amber. So Sweet Pea’s Sister is the only one that does not exist. And Baby Doll hears the Shrink talk about letting the music wash over Sweet Pea to help her take control of her own damaged mind. I Beleive the 2nd and 3rd realites ARE Baby Doll’s attempt to do what she heard the shrink talk about, WHILE she helps Sweet Pea Escape. The Wise man AND the Little boy from the WWI Scene are BOTH at the bus stop, and the old man was Baby Doll’s Angel, She made the Sacrifice and got her reward of Venegnce agaist her step dad and the orderly. The Cat House part of the layers of reality probably Came From Her being Sexually Harrassed by this guy. The Scene in the bathroom is in the psyche ward.

  48. ConspiracySomethingOrOther

    Sorry if I’m repeating what anyone has said, but there are many theories and “messages” in the movie. Anyone ever heard of MK Ultra? I’ll have to go back and watch SP. As if I need an excuse. Anyway, when I first saw it, I was thinking it was about the way females are treated as sex objects and their dances were their disassociation from the objectification.

  49. A very analytical mind who thought this movie was terrible

    I’ve enjoyed reading all these theories and lot of them make sense and also have shown that the movie does have some sort of deepness to it which i couldn’t wrap my head around because i thought it was terribly written and i was watching a video game that i couldn’t play. but cheers

  50. Virgil

    So after reading all of the things you said and watching the movie, I have a few theories of my own.

    I believe that the whole movie happened in Baby Doll’s life. Like she was the one who went on the different levels of her mind and the asylum was the reality. I also think that Sweet Pea is Baby Doll’s sister that was killed in real life. If you look at the Burlesque level of dimension, Baby Doll has a connection with Sweet Pea that was unexplainable. It seemed like Baby Doll had an attachment to her. Also perhaps the reason why Sweet Pea was always antagonistic towards Baby Doll was because that is how Baby Doll thinks her real sister feels for not saving her.

    Another is that Baby Doll could’ve created Rocket as a sister image for Sweet Pea. It’s possible that she created Rocket because of her feeling of regret for not saving her sister. In the movie, Sweet Pea showed and explained how much she had done to protect Rocket so maybe that is what Baby Doll wanted to do, but was never able to. Also, it appeared that Rocket and Baby Doll were really close so it was possible that they had an affinity with each other like sisters.

  51. Rose

    I always thought that, because of the look Babydoll shared with Sweet Pea before the alternate reality came into motion (you know; where they make eye contact and Babydoll shakes her head) she was saying that the pain will always be there. When the lobotomy happens and we see Sweet Pea in the chair, Sweet Pea’s imagination has taken over, showing how she is dealing with the pain. She’s a top dancer, the lead, the most important. Nothing can touch her. When Babydoll arrives, it’s kind of like a kick start and she realizes that nothing is happen and she actually wants to get out. I believe that she actually escapes but is still insane; that’s why everything is fantasy looking and she’s going to paradise. The bus driver probably isn’t the Wise Man; she just saw him that way because he allowed her to move on. It’s a good story as you actually have to think about it. This is my theory and I have a feeling we’re mostly right on the ‘Sweet Pea is insane’ thing.

  52. Anonymous

    Sweet Pey = Sucker Punch
    Sweet Pey escapes and survives everything. Simple as that.

  53. NeverHere

    First of all I’m gonna tell you I lived this…it’s not exactly how it was for me obviously but it’s really close. Only I was the little sister and no one died and it was our real Dad. My big sister protected me and she took all the abuse she could for me from my Dad. Back a year ago I wouldn’t have even been able to watch this movie but since I got help I’ve been much better at handling movies with abuse in it. I get this girl so much and I don’t think any of you have nailed it on what everything is saying in this movie but I do think you’re all very creative and have beautiful imaginations. But some of you were a little right in some parts or close to it. This movie tells a story and it’s actually just about the evil in real life and it’s simple but told in an extraordinary way. For example when I write my poems they’re MY way of coping and they sound beautiful and deep but they’re really not at all. They are masked and they tell a simple story of someone who was hurt and of evil that was done by a person who was supposed to be my protector and a person who was to love me. A sucker punch is just that…something unexpected that hits you so hard and is so unfair that it is frowned upon because it’s one of the lowest cowardly things you could do to someone who trusts you. This movie tells you a story and everyone is making it into a deep complicated thing (and some of it is just not all of it) when it’s actually what you see right in front of you. And to get it out of the way now it begins with her lobotomy because like in my poems they want to get to the point and she’s flashing back to her latest days because those are the days she did something great and where she feels she accomplished something for once in fighting back. This is like when your life flashes before your eyes just before you’re going to die sort of. So those five days we see how she sees it. Everything that happened in the imaginary world happened in the real world but just in a different way. It takes place in a brothel because of the orderlies abuse and it reminds her of being with her Stepdad. There’s no change and everywhere she goes she’s this sexual object to everyone. I’m starting from the beginning of when she gets to the mental institute. She gets at the asylum and we see she’s looking and observing everything. We see she is not insane and she is actually very clever but lets everyone think she looks weak when she’s really not. She observes the key around Blue’s neck and notes that it’s important. She observes and listens to her Stepdad and Blue’s deal and we can tell she does care and doesn’t want the lobotomy. She’s already entranced in the theatre by one girl because she reminds her of herself and even maybe her little sister as well. She sees her pain because she acts it out on stage even though we don’t get to see it and relates to it. Later she stares at the map but in doing this she attracts Blue and he thinks she’s staring at him alone. She sees the lighter in the man’s hand who taps the glass for them to unlock and open the doors. She does what she’s supposed to sort of hiding in the shadows. Then She sees the knife in the kitchen and notes that. While cleaning the toilet Blue for the first time rapes her but she again notes the important key around his neck and that it says “Mt. Pleasant” on it. She knows soon she will have access to that since he will probably be very close to her a lot. It will for sure be the last thing she needs to get since it’s around his neck. And she noticed that first because that’s what her goal is in the first place…to get out. Then she thought but how do I get out? Ok I need a map to find my way out right after I get the key but then I need a distraction and then I need a weapon to make Blue powerless against me getting the key around his neck. These are not the thoughts or plans of a completely far gone mind. At the very least we know she has some shred of herself left inside there…a shred of fight left in her. And this is what Blue likes about her and even craves. In his twisted way he loves her. We see only once where BabyDoll is With the doctor and crying about her problems. So then we’re at the lobotomy and we are seeing the stage because the girl she knew in the asylum is Sweet Pea for us now. We are here because it is recounting the days we missed and it’s on the stage with Sweet Pea because this is what the doctor does to help the girls cope. She has them act out their abuse…this is what she is doing. I assume it’s the lobotomy because that’s what they’re all afraid of and remember the doctor herself is against that procedure. So we see how BabyDoll first arrives at the brothel and how she basically gets close to all these 4 girls who look like the ones in the theatre so guess what they are real. Again I will say Blue isn’t the only one hurting them…the other orderlies are hurting them as well so this is also what makes it seen as a brothel to her. So we continue and see that so far Sweet Pea is the best on the stage acting out her abuse apparently. And we see how BabyDoll doesn’t allow the others to be abused if she can help it. Just like with her little sister. And we never really know for sure but if in real life Rocket and Sweet Pea are not sisters then she associated them as sisters because of her own loss of her sister somehow. So to the big part…BabyDoll’s dancing. It’s exactly what it is…it’s her acting on stage back in the theatre for the doctor and to show she was willing to use what those men wanted from her to her advantage sometimes. She could play dead if she had to and play along then strike only at the right moments. This is survival. I’ve had to do it for myself sadly in the same situation. She is always in survival mode and this is so hard on the body and the mind. It’s obvious in the first fight scene that she has those items on her mind for escaping. BabyDoll knows her lobotomy is coming up in five days so she wants to fight and not have it done to her. She then shares her plan with some other girls and they begin to trust her. So they get the map, the lighter, and then the knife but the plan gets all messed up because one of the girls went to the doctor to tell but Blue also is told too. The doctor wouldn’t have told Blue if she had known he was the one causing problems. So he hurts all of them but BabyDoll sees this as killing them because essentially that is what it feels like when you’re being used sexually and being abused. You feel dead inside. This is her failure again like with her sister. So her sister (the girls) die all over again. She failed to help them but she finds she can get past Blue and stabs him. Sweet Pea is the one who has the most fight left in her so this is why BabyDoll goes back for her. She is locked in that room near the kitchen which I’d assume is not her room in the asylum because it’s small and too close to the kitchen. So it’s most likely a closet or maybe a bathroom or pantry. She grabs the key and runs to Sweet Pea in that room and it reminds us like BabyDoll’s little sister being in the closet and we see it is burned down at the end. This is where BabyDoll starts the fire and helps Sweet Pea escape but realizes that she is not even the one that needs to get out. It’s Sweet Pea and if just one of them gets out she would’ve fulfilled some sort of kind act. BabyDoll was like a mother really to her little sister and she messed up while trying to save her so this was her way of finishing what she started. This was part of her closure. And then at the very end we see the lobotomy doctor or the “High Roller” is really her angel because he says he is there to give her a gift and that the gift is freedom. She was fighting the whole time but realizes this could be a gift for her so she won’t have to remember all the hurt and the loss of her Mother and sister and the guilt. She welcomes the doctor and even shows a sort of love to him and he sees it. She shows respect and finally really gives in. Then we see her get the lobotomy. So yes Sweet Pea does get away and the doctor says so. The Doctor tells us what chaos BabyDoll caused in such a short many days. Then the doctor does say that she’s against lobotomies and sees her signature was forged. The lobotomy doctor does say how he could tell BabyDoll wanted it done and this concerns the doctor even more and probably leading her to call the police even more so because it tells her that BabyDoll was being abused by someone in the asylum. And it also explains to the doctor why BabyDoll was so destructive and stabbed Blue. She knows exactly who has been hurting her. The orderlies take BabyDoll to Blue and along the way like mentioned above we see some of the damage she did like the cook missing his knife and being scared of her. And we see the one room next to the kitchen being boarded up because it is burned down. Now alone with her Blue tries to dominate BabyDoll to be the one to finish and be in power instead of her. He wants her and her spark. He wants the real her and her to fight him because this is what he likes about her. He then cries because he loves her in a sick way of course. But she is gone. Blue gets taken away but does mention that all the girls are his girls and that he looks out for them. So we know now that he was abusing all of the girls and so were the other orderlies as well. The reason we see Sweet Pea successfully escaping in the bus in the imaginary world is because this is just seen from BabyDoll’s perspective. She saved her sister and herself in a sense. Sweet Pea was the one who had something to go back to and the others didn’t. And we see the sign because that’s what the doctor said they all can have and Blue’s key had it on it. It’s just a symbol that she got her to freedom finally and that this is a happy ending. Just like any poem I write there’s a connection that the ending has with the rest of the poem from the beginning and this is the movie’s. It’s the big finish. And if you have any questions I can answer them if I forgot something. But remember the details actually don’t matter as much as you think. Yes they mean something but even I can’t say I’ve got all of the specific messages right because I did not make this movie. And sometimes you don’t get answers because THEY don’t even know how to explain every little thing. I can’t always do it with my poems. The part about the boy looking up at Sweet Pea and how she holds his chin up to see his face better happens again but she does it to Rocket after she was almost killed. This makes me think of BabyDoll’s little sister and again when they have to kill the baby dragon to get the fire. That part makes me feel like it shows how when BabyDoll failed to keep her little sister safe she feels she angered her own Mother in a sense and this guilt makes her do dangerous things that could risk her own life. She sacrifices herself constantly as payment back to her sister and to her Mother. And the old man guide makes me think it’s a representation of BabyDoll’s Mother. Maybe I’m incorrect about those parts but this is how MY damaged mind is seeing it in this movie.

    • DED

      Both theories offer a plausible explanation, except for the following.

      Baby Doll is seemingly a sane person being framed for the murder of her sister. The mental institution also seems to be legit, with mentally deranged patients. How in the world can Baby Doll create an effective bond with other crazy girls, and why would Sweet Pie want to escape at all.

      A little clue is Blue saying “I forged [her] signature a dozen times” which means that some families come to him to get rid of their annoyance. Remember that couple in the waiting room at the beginning, they looked very uncaring.

      Thus, I think that Sweat Pie is also the victim of some conspiracy. Actually, the fantasized backstory of why she was there with Rocket didn’t make any sense. Remember that the lobotomy doctor was already scheduled to come, thus Baby Doll was not the initially intended patient.

  54. Christina

    So what happens to babydoll at the end of the film? . I get that sweet pea escape and babydoll risk her life but I do not like the ending of the film.

  55. I just got done watching it I don’t get the part where the police shines the light in her face saying mam you alright and she smiles and it shows sweet pea getting on a bus leaving. So I guess Sweet Pea and Baby Doll were two real people like baby doll really helped Sweet pea escape and sacrificed herself. I wish Baby doll wouldve took that knife and stabbed Blu seven times till he was dead. When I first was watching it I was hoping Baby Doll was the one to escape but it was still a good movie better than Alice in Wonderland.
    Well that’s it bye…

  56. Amber

    Here’s something I thought about. in the beginning of the movie baby doll is standing and looks directly into a girls eyes that is sitting on the bed receiving therapy from the doctor. Is the girl on the bed sweet pea? If it is then sweet pea is real and maybe the other girls are too. Maybe the nurse orderly really did kill the other girls because at the end of the movie the other nurses don’t want to hurt baby doll anymore. This could mean that the other nurses knew about the cruelty he has put her though. If the girl isn’t sweet pea in the beginning then maybe baby doll at the moment found apart of herself that was strong and not vulnerable. I say this because while she is standing there she can here her step father bargaining prices with the orderly. Maybe baby doll at that moment met the sweet pea side of her and that’s why after during that moment she stares into this girls eyes like she has felt everything she’s ever felt. If this is true then I think that subconsciously baby doll is free and she’s imagining the stronger part of her getting free. I think that baby doll sacrificed herself to help someone escape. I also think that because she stayed behind and received the lobotomy it made the woman doctor see that the documents were forged with her signature. It also symbolically gave baby doll freedom because even though she’s physically trapped her mind is free. Her rebellion helped saved many other girls down the road. The doctor also talks about the look she gave him before she received the lobotomy and he says it’s like she wanted me to do it. Baby doll at that moment realized she had to sacrifice herself in order to be free. She’s number 5 on the list.

  57. Rynia

    Ok, so I just watched the movie for the first time, and this is kind of my interpretation. I think maybe, Sweet Pea is the one who ended up getting the lobotomy, in a wig. That’s why the signature was forged. Baby Doll came into the asylum, convinced the four other girls she was innocent, cooked up the escape plan, and then something went wrong. This could be where the imaginative world plays somewhat of a part, with Rocket being assaulted by the cook in the brothel. The real Rocket was raped/assaulted but Baby Doll offered herself instead, thus saving Rocket. But of course, they aren’t all in an institution for nothing, and Rocket couldn’t deal with the emotional pain of it happening, nor could she deal with the guilt of having Baby Doll go in her place. So she kills herself. Blondie and Amber’s suicide is only logical to be next, them all being as close as we are lead to believe. So, Baby Doll and Sweet Pea are left all alone, and, after all, Sweet Pea just lost her supposed ‘sister’ so what does she have left? Nothing, but Baby Doll’s escape would only have her labeled as a high risk criminal, so Sweet Pea offers a trade like Baby Doll had with Rocket. Sweet Pea has nothing to live for, so she might as well help to save an innocent instead of just committing suicide. So the girls switched identities, and that is why the psychiatrist is so surprised. Also, assuming this is a mental asylum, suicides would not be uncommon at all, which is why the other three girls aren’t mentioned. I will most likely forge another theory after I re-watch the movie, as i quiet like theories, but I’m also awful at typing so this is really just a summery of my full theory.

  58. Margarita

    I blive that Babydoll is a fantasy created by Sweet Pea and she is her “angel”. If you think about it, it’s Sweet Peas fault that her little sister is in the asylum and she must feel guilty. Also, she ran out of home, which might be because she had an abusive father, so she created an imaginary character-Babydoll, which is dealing with the same troubles but is more selfless and tries to protect her sister instead of running away. Babydoll is the main character in all the fantasies, but I think that these are Peas fantasies. In the moment when she leaves for a while, is actually the moment when she questions her plan. Babydoll is basically all that Pea wants to be-good, brave and protective of the people she loves. But at the end, when Sweet Pea escapes and Babydoll stays is where Pea actually realizes that for good or for bad, she left a big part of her at the asylum

    • Dee

      The “Baby doll” character(Emily Browning) is the only character in the movie who the director gives a real name. The other 4 girls are given Nick names from the orderly, Blue. This tells us Baby Doll is very real and the protagonist. Before any fantasies occur we see her name being written on the admission papers. M. Reas.

      The fantasies always occur when she has closed her eyes. Again the director does this to let us know she is creating the other realities we are watching on screen, including the scene where she images sweet pea escaping on the bus driven by the same man she met in her first fantasy before the director cuts back to the real world environment where she is smiling in the lobotomy chair.

      The movie is narrated by sweet pea because she is the last survivor so to speak and the only one to tell the story since she escaped the Sanitarium through Baby Doll’s assistance and sacrifice.

      This is quite like the movie I am Legend where Will Smith’s Dr Neville character is the protagonist who sacrifices himself and creates extra time for the Anna and Ethan characters to escape. The movie, then closes with the Anna character narrating the movie remembering Dr Neville’s heroics “We are his legacy. This is his legend light up the darkness.”

  59. Pingback: Batman vs Superman | Arlock.JW

  60. Pink

    I think she’s killing off personalities one by one.

  61. Jay

    Pls explaine the deaths of amber, blondie then rocket. How come the cook didn’t get arrested for that as well as blue???

  62. Hi

    What a condescending opening paragraph. I don’t want to read your article after that.

  63. Lisa Grzybowski

    Baby doll killed her sister and got sent to the hospital and she got her lobotomy and is still in the hospital to this day.

  64. Squiggles

    I always sort of thought that Sweetpea is the ONLY actual character of this movie (aside from the medical staff) and that babydoll & the other girls are all aspects of herself that have been seperated into different people representing her different ‘strengths’. So basically Sweetpea has multiple personality disorder & the only way she gets ‘better’ is by having them die off 1 by 1.

  65. Koby

    I feel like sweet pea did escape and at the end the world looks like a fantasy bc BabyDoll is imagining the escape. But sweet pea for sure escaped with babydolls help and I would love another movie idk how or what the plot would be.

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