The White Tiger – Murder

‘Here’s a strange fact: murder a man, and you feel responsible for his life – possessive, even. You know more about him than his father and mother; they knew his foetus, but you know his corpse. Only you can complete the story of his life; only you know why his body has to be pushed into the fire beofre its time, and why his toes curl up and fight for another hour on earth.’ -pp.46-47

Reminiscent for me of Clint Eastwood’s excellent portrayal of the reality of violence in Unforgiven:

                               MUNNY
                   Well, that fella today, you shot
                   him alright.

                              THE KID
                          (forced bravado)
                   H-hell yeah.  I killed the hell
                   out of him... three shots... he
                   was takin' a sh-sh-shit an'...
                   an'...

     The Kid is shaking, becoming hysterical, he can't go on, and
     Munny hands the bottle back.

                               MUNNY
                   Take a drink, Kid.

                              THE KID
                      (breaking down, crying)
                   Oh Ch-ch-christ... it don't... it
                   don't seem... real... How he's...
                   DEAD... how he ain't gonna breathe
                   no more... n-n-never.  Or the
                   other one neither... On account
                   of... of just... pullin' a
                   trigger.

     Munny walks back to the edge of the rise and watches the
     rider and it is a lovely sunset happening and he is
     talking to no one in particular.

                               MUNNY
                   It's a hell of a thing, ain't it,
                   killin' a man.  You take
                   everythin' he's got... an'
                   everythin' he's ever gonna have...

                              THE KID
                        (trying to pull him-
                           self together)
                   Well, I gu-guess they had it...
                   comin'.

                               MUNNY
                   We all got it comin', Kid.
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Published in: on December 25, 2009 at 1:05 pm  Comments (1)  

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  1. I loved this paragraph… it was a really nice combination of the psychological element of why Balram killed Mr. Ashok. It was also beautifully and also eerily reminiscent of the death of Balram’s mother and the first time he fainted… Infact, I think this paragarpah is a snapshot of the entire book (once you’ve read it) that shows you the attachment that Balram had towards his master despite having murdered him, how emotionally complex he really is despite his simple upbringing, the scary calmness with which he talks about the murder and the simplicity he lends to the heinous act… even how he makes it almost poetic!Even though I haven’t seen unforgiven… and don’t really know the context of this scene… I think that perhaps what you’re comparing it to is too simplistic. This paragraph is loaded with so many of the themes that the book comments on (crushing corruption in India, the pitiful situation and sufferings of the lower class in India, the relationship between the ‘servants’ of India and masters and so on) whereas the dialogue that you have quoted from the movie, though also about murder… has a much more simple message to give. Also, the paragraph has a more regretful tone about the kid having committed a murder but Balram was never apologetic, not sincerely at least.


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