The original Indian ending was more of an indictment of social injustice and corruption, with the buried body symbolizing rage and contempt toward the police. But then, it’s not so easy for Chinese films to challenge the authorities.

In China, both foreign and domestic movies go through strict censorship to make sure they don’t contain “non-harmonious” elements. As a result, Chinese crime films often ”are crime free, ghost tales have no ghosts and crooked politicians can’t be crooked,” one foreign screenwriter discovered. A bad cop in a movie set in China is very likely to turn out by the end of the movie to have been undercover. That’s why the movie also made other key changes—it was shot in Thailand and the story is set in a fictional Southeast Asian country called Sai. The corrupt cops victimizing the immigrant Chinese family are foreigners, not Chinese.

“The film has taken the core plot from the Indian version. But because the story cannot take place in China, so it has to happen in Thailand. This combined with the ‘harmonious’ ending means I could not give the film a high score,” said a user on Weibo (link in Chinese) yesterday.

Although the Malaysian director of the Chinese film, Sam Quah, defended the change (link in Chinese) as having been made purely out of “artistic considerations,” some aren’t convinced.

“After watching over 100 Chinese films you would learn one thing: there’s no production that can’t be destroyed by a horrible ending with Chinese characteristics,” said a Douban user (link in Chinese).

📬 Sign up for the Daily Brief

Our free, fast, and fun briefing on the global economy, delivered every weekday morning.