Bill: “You’re not a bad person. You’re a terrific person. You’re my favourite person. But every once in a while… You can be a real cunt.”
“How do I look?”
Kiddo: “You look ready”
This is the final conversation that Bill and Beatrix Kiddo have before they part. And they part for good.
What was Quentin Tarantino thinking while making this film? Sure, he wanted to mix and match a lot of genres and show his prowess on the medium and he succeeds in a spectacular fashion in both volumes. But deep within he also wanted to say a story of two tormented souls and how much they were in love. Love, that only both could destroy each other.
Apart from the non linear chapters and a close look into the characters of Bill and Kiddo, it also comes across as a story of understanding, human frailties and deceit. And not necessarily it has to be from the female’s side. Though all the sympathies lie with her because of the massacre during a wedding ‘dress’ rehearsal at the Two Pines Wedding Chapel, El-Paso Texas; if we peel the layer there is more than what meets the eye.
Who is Bill?
Bill aka Snake Charmer and the leader of the Deadly Viper Assassination Squad is an enigmatic entity. His identity is closely guarded in Volume 1 and we get to know of him by the glimpses of his hand or over the voice on a phone. The first time we encounter him is on a flute and on the wedding “dress” rehearsal.
Kiddo: “How did you find me?”
Bill: : “I am the man”
Bill is watching the person after a span of 3 months whom he loves a lot and assumed to be dead in his books. She is even carrying his kid. But this time he is seeing her in a bridal dress about to part and be with someone else. And worst of all he is even introduced as her father to the groom.
Last few words, “You don’t owe me a damn thing. If he’s the man you want….then go stand by him.”
Budd: “That woman…. deserves her revenge. And we deserve to die. But then again, so does she”
Younger brother to Bill and the only man he ever loved, Budd is mad about what has happened and clearly in guilt. Staying away from his brother and even lying low as a bouncer in a bar, Budd knows the inevitable and is waiting for it.
And strangely Budd happens to be the sole person who does not have death by the hands of Kiddo, in fact he even defeats her. But in an act of betrayal he is killed by a Black Mamba which incidentally is the code name for Beatrix Kiddo.
Elle: An ambitious and the most vicious of the DVAS, Elle has a continuing relationship going with Bill. It is clearly visible that she is extremely envious of Kiddo and vouched for the attention of Bill in her earlier days and will go at any lengths to keep her in his good books always. Responsible for the death of Budd, in an act of betrayal; Elle is very scared of Bill albeit with a lot of respect too.
On a mission to kill her secretly in the hospital, Bill on knowing that Kiddo is in a comatose state says “We’ve done a lot of things to this lady. And if she ever wakes up, we’ll do a whole lot more. But one thing we won’t do is sneak into her room in the night like a filthy rat and kill her in her sleep. And the reason we won’t do that thing is because… that thing would lower us.”
Bill still loves her lady even though he is unaware if she may ever get up from that condition.
Hattori Hanzo: The man from OKINAWA is clearly repentant on the actions of his former student. For sure there was something about Bill which made him accept to impart his knowledge and swordsmanship skills. Never to make Japanese steel again, he breaks his oath after 28 years to create one of his finest swords for Kiddo to accompany her roaring rampage of revenge.
His remorse is heartbreaking and you know the man is in great pain when he doesn’t even utter Bill’s name and just writes it down.
“Revenge is never a straight line. It’s a forest. And like a forest, it’s easy to lose your way. To get lost. To forget where you came in.”
Esteban Vihaio: Bill’s father figure and the person who tells Kiddo about his location only because Bill would want it to be like that as it is the only way he could he meet her. He gives a trivia on Bill that he would compulsively suck his thumb on seeing a blonde woman at the cinemas when Esteban used to take him during his childhood. And from that moment he knew that he would be a fool for blondes.
His appreciation on Bill’s choice as Kiddo is summed up by “Being a fool for a woman as yourself is the right thing to do”
Bill and Kiddo’s daughter B.B is a natural born killer in the making and it is acknowledged in a small round of discussion about the concept of life and death to be made understood to her when she accidentally kills a fish and sees it flapping on a carpet. Bill even confesses to her that he had shot her mother and admits that he was very sad and learned that it was something that can never be undone. He is not very proud about it and after repeated viewings I buy the theory that he really overeacted.
There are consequences of breaking the heart of a murdering bastard and Beatrix Kiddo experienced some of them. Kiddo knew that Bill was perfectly capable of doing everything that he did to her on someone else, until she broke his heart.
The Undisputable Truth:
Bill rightly felt that Beatrix Kiddo was a renegade killer bee and she being masked in her alter ego as a worker bee was in no ways justifying her natural killer instincts. She even admits in the conversation that she enjoyed killing and the people felt good in her pursuit to reach Bill.
“Letting someone think that someone they love is dead when they’re not is quite cruel. I mourned you for three months. And in the third month of mourning you, I tracked you down. Now, I wasn’t trying to track you down. I was trying to track down the fucking assholes who I thought killed you. So, I find you. And what do I find? Not only are you not dead, you’re getting married, to some fucking jerk, and you’re pregnant. I… overreacted.”
Bill is the person who let Kiddo reach the dizzying heights of her skills by moulding and preparing her to be one of the greatest assassination killers. He even got her trained with Pai Mei and let her learn all the techniques but he is still unaware of Kiddo knowing the 5 point palm-exploding heart technique aka Touch of Death. And it comes as no surprise that Bill had a death with his heart exploding; and he gets ready for the last 5 steps.
At a significant point before the climax after making her daughter go to sleep, this song by Malcolm McLaren plays in the background which portrays the relationship between Bill & Kiddo.
My man’s got a heart… Like a rock cast in the sea…
Well, no one told me about her, the way she lies… Well, no one told me about her, how many people cried…Listen the song here
Bill to Kiddo before he puts a hole in her head. “This is me at my most… Masochistic.”
Bill is charismatic, complex, a master assassin and above all BILL is the MAN.
Thank You Quentin Tarantino.
PS: Have refrained from writing about Vernita Green as she doesn’t add much depth to the character of Bill or Kiddo and O Ren Ishi deservingly got the most of Volume 1 including a back story.