Now, I don't want to give away anything. I've seen directors employ such techniques before where they use an extra to tell his/her story and suddenly that relates to our hero strongly. It's a frequently used tool to explore the moral depths of the protagonist. This scene just nailed it. In fact, I recommed this movie for this piece of writing alone. (And Ben Kingsley's performance.)
PS: I'm half-way through the movie and being blown away, I paused and decided to post about it.