“The explanation was that within the authentic Robert Clever and Jerome Robbins movie, ‘I Really feel Fairly’ presages the rumble. It occurs when Tony and Maria know they’re existent on the planet collectively and he or she’s celebrating the happiest second of her life. However within the authentic play, and the explanation as Sondheim defined to me that it got here to be, is as a result of they got here to him and stated, ‘It’s essential write an upbeat quantity as a result of on the finish of the Second Act, Bernardo and Riff are useless, and the viewers is sobbing out by the concessions space, and we come again with extra tragedy after they’ve had their break. So we have to choose them up once more.’ So Sondheim beneath protest wrote ‘I Really feel Fairly’ with Lenny [Bernstein] and it really works. It introduced the viewers again on their ft.”
He continues, “Effectively in our film, it additionally follows the rumble, and I didn’t know with out that 15-minute or 20-minute interval whether or not the viewers might get better [and accept] that she would even be having this second. After which Tony defined to me, after which I defined to Stephen—and he paused for a very long time on the cellphone—that that is the primary time in our story that your entire viewers is forward of Maria’s story. And the viewers will really feel very protecting of her as a result of we all know she’s about to search out out. So it went again in.”
Certainly, the completed scene, which happens in the course of the after hours of a Midtown division retailer, is coated in a tragic sense of irony. Maria is blissfully unaware that her brother is useless, and that her lover is his killer, as she galavants across the retailers. It additionally addresses Sondheim’s lengthy public criticism of his personal lyrics in that music: She sounds much less like a younger and impoverished Puerto Rican girl who continues to be mastering English and as a substitute sounds one thing like a witty 27-year-old white man who’s attempting to point out off intelligent wordplay. Effectively, within the Kushner model of the scene, Zegler’s Maria is being impressed (and gently mocking together with her mimicry) the luxury Gimbels shows, that are geared toward Higher East Facet white girls.
Nonetheless, in the course of the DGA occasion there have been occasions the place the shoe was on the opposite foot between Spielberg and his frequent screenwriting collaborator. Certainly, the above revelation was following up on one other anecdote Kushner revealed: He and Spielberg had their greatest inventive quarrel over the music “Officer Krupke.” Regardless of collaborating for years on difficult movies like Munich, which tackled the 1972 massacres of Israeli athletes on the Olympics, and their nation’s espionage response, and Lincoln, the bold biopic on the sixteenth President of the US, it was the position of “Krupke” within the second half of the film (similar to the ’57 manufacturing!) that precipitated Spielberg to lose his cool.
“We solely disagreed about one music, which is I wished to place ‘Krupke’ within the second act, which is the place it initially was supposed to be,” says Kushner, “and also you had probably the most violent response to something I’ve ever performed! Do you bear in mind at one level within the lengthy means of doing Lincoln, I wrote a scene the place there was this fantasy character, an outdated woman who visits Lincoln after which falls out a window or one thing? You had been very well mannered about that. ‘Oh yeah, that’s fascinating however possibly not.’ However [on this] you stated, ‘I like the screenplay till I obtained to ‘Krupke,’ after which it ruined it for me! By no means! It’s by no means, ever going to be there, get it out of there! Rewrite the entire thing, I can’t present it to anyone except you get it out!’ So it obtained shoved within the first act.”
After pausing for viewers laughter, Kushner provides that he had deep regrets about that alternative till he noticed the completed movie and realized Spielberg made the precise alternative. However then, probably the most spectacular factor about Spielberg and Kushner’s West Facet Story is a lot of it appears to be the precise alternative, which has led to many (together with us) believing it did the unattainable and surpassed the 1961 adaptation.