Tuesday, January 25, 2022


Okay, first off, a whole bunch of disclaimers.

I watched the movie off a screener not on a gigantic theater screen.   The only way to get the full effect of the film is to see it at a theater.

Practically every review has been rapturous.  And not just from critics.  Friends of mine whose opinions I really trust think it’s a masterpiece.  

The fact that it was a box-office bomb speaks to lack of interest and the fact that the target audience didn’t want to risk COVID.  Hey, I’m not ready to go back to the Cineplex anytime soon.  Not that I would anyway to see such current fare as THE 355 and SING 2.  

End of disclaimers.

I certainly liked WEST SIDE STORY.  And it’s enthralling to watch Spielberg’s direction.  Every shot is meticulous.  Every shot is interesting.  Visually the movie is eye-popping.   On the big screen it must’ve been dazzling.  The man is a master behind the camera. 

And then there’s the score and those songs.  Iconic.  Thrilling.  Timeless. I think this is the only movie where I stayed for the entire end credit sequence because they played the overture and it was heaven to have that music just wash over me. 

In subject matter, WEST SIDE STORY was somewhat similar to IN THE HEIGHTS — the plight of immigrants in New York City.  They were also similar in that it was subject matter no one apparently wanted to see.  For my money, however, WEST SIDE STORY was better in every single way.  

So if you’re curious, or waiting till it streams, I certainly recommend it.  

It’s just that… well… I had some problems.

But in fairness, some of them were the same problems I had with the original 1961 movie.  Vicious street gangs dancing just seems weird.  Not so much on the stage because it’s so stylized.  But when they’re dancing on real (or CGI’d) streets, you start to question the reality and tone.  Then later, during the rumble, the action gets very real and visceral.  So who are these guys?  Broadway theatre kids or an ugly mob?   I don’t know how they could be both.

And then there’s a story turn — that goes all the way back to the original.  I’m going to say SPOILER ALERT if you’ve never seen any version of WEST SIDE STORY.  Skip this paragraph.  But it’s the same plot point that’s always been.   Tony kills Bernardo.  Maria hears about it and is understandably devastated. Especially when she hears that Tony was the killer.  Tony arrives and somehow, within three minutes, she’s back on board with the love affair.  WTF?  The guy kills her brother that same night, but y’know, the heart wants what the heart wants.   I was curious to see if Tony Kushner, the screenwriter of the new adaptation (and one of the finest writers on the planet), could somehow justify that, but he couldn’t — at least for me.  But I don’t think any screenwriter could.  It’s one of those plot points where characters do things they would never do because the writer needed them to for their narrative.   So from that point, in every production I see, the spell is broken.  And I know I’m supposed to be heartbroken at the end, but I just feel manipulated.  

By the way, the turf war of San Juan Hill (where it was set) — in actual fact was predominately a black neighborhood.   So much for reality.

My last problem may just be a personal thing.  You might disagree.  But I thought Ansel Elgort was weak as Tony.  His voice is somewhat thin so none of his songs really soared.  Rachel Zegler blew him away in every duet they had.   Nor does he have much presence.  We’re supposed to believe that this guy is dangerous and has a real temper?  He’s a sweetie.  And the year in prison sure didn’t seem to harden Tony at all.   He appeared more comfortable on Sesame Street than the Mean Streets.  So when you have a weak lead that takes away from the film.  Again, you might disagree.  

The rest of the cast was fine.  Rachel Zegler apparently beat out 29,999 other hopefuls (there was an open casting call.  You probably tried out)
.  She was very good but to emerge victorious over 30,000 contenders you’d expect Barbra Streisand, Maria Callas, and Meryl Streep all rolled into one.   She was a young Anne Hathaway.   And to be fair, it’s not a role with tremendous depth.  Especially when a character can forgive her lover for killing her brother in three minutes.  

Here’s my final thought: The original 1961 movie was a monster hit but had its faults (as much as you know I love Natalie Wood, she was woefully miscast as Maria).  Spielberg spent $100,000,000 to adapt it.  So the one question you have to ask is:  Did he make it better?   I don’t think he did.  For a hundred million, that’s not a good answer.  


Honest Ed said...

For me the two leads were too bland and uninteresting. Which given the source of the story, they shouldn't be. Ariana Debose stole that movie and had no intention of giving it back. A genuine star making performance. It's just a shame out didn't do well.

Mike Chimeri said...

Regarding the disclaimers, I have only been in a movie theater twice since October 2008: for Finding Dory in July 2016 and Ghostbusters Afterlife two months ago on Thanksgiving afternoon.

Daniel Moniz said...

Does anyone go to Broadway to watch a movie? Or does this only work for some in reverse? I for one NEVER watch anything that is meant to be a play as a movie. I don't like plays, it's my personal choice, and they certainly don't seem entertaining on a screen at all. I can understand watching a live show, but random song and dance that is so unrealistic somehow in a movie format just doesn't do it for me. Makes for a VERY awkward watching experience.

Brian Phillips said...

I haven't seen it yet, but I have seen the original, have the DVD and you could tell when it was 1961. It was a pain in the buggin' neck to listen to the ever-lovin' euphemisms.

FRIDAY QUESTION: Have you heard a hit song, disliked it, but found out the album was surprisingly good? My nominee is Mungo Jerry.

ES said...

I agree with you about Elgort, the hole in the donut. All the sexual magnetism of a turnip, so it's difficult to imagine him inspiring this great passion. OTOH, it could be argued he's following in the footsteps of the 1961 WSS's equally underwhelming Tony. I did like the way Kushner highlighted Robert Moses's clearances of vibrant neighborhoods to make way for Lincoln Center (the 1961 version had the advantage of being able to be shot in the actual deserted locale right before construction started.)

Darwin's Ghost said...

I saw it on the big screen and I couldn't imagine seeing it any other way. That Dolby Atmos was legit.

You know, Ken, now is the best time to see it in a theater, as there will be hardly anyone else there and certainly no noisy teenagers.

As for other movies, I've yet to see it myself but Nightmare Alley is said to be great. That's another one that's bombed and promises a safe theater experience.

Matt K said...

Elgort’s vapidity in Baby Driver — think young Robby Benson, without looks —was reason enough to miss WSW.
Add to that the accusation — https://deadline.com/2020/06/ansel-elgort-denies-sexual-assault-allegation-2014-1202964183/
— the memory of which did not fade during the film’s Covid release delays — and you have a Perfect Storm (which was another movie to avoid because of a problematic lead). Alas, Spielberg chose not to reshoot with Chris Plummer or Tig Notaro, at least one of whom could have done media without fear of awkward questions.

Fred C said...

The thing with musicals is I let some stuff go. It's entertainment. That said, totally get the " Tony kills Bernardo " and every thing is fine three minutes later. Just doesn't work at all!! "Ansel Elgort was weak as Tony" .. agree 100% As for depth of Rachel Zegler, maybe. It's her voice that gets her this part. I read somewhere that she was 17 and still in high school when she filmed the "Tonight " scene. I cut some slack here. I also read where Rachel has been signed by Disney to play Snow White. That lady's future is so bright, she gotta wear shades!!

Gail B said...

Ken, I have to agree about Tony's murdering of Maria's brother, yet still she immediately forgives him. It reminds me of the funny ending of another favorite, that totally works- the ending of "Moonstruck". Danny Aiello returns home to his fiance, finds that she is in love with his brother- it upsets him for about 90 seconds, then he's leading the toast to the happy couple! Funny.

Jeffrey Graebner said...

I saw it in a theater with Dolby Vision projection and Atmos sound and can attest that it is a great experience there. I noticed a lot of the same flaws and can kind of overall say that the film isn't quite as good as I expected it to be, but the good really did far outweigh the problems here.

I do agree that Maria so quickly accepting Tony back after he killed her brother requires an almost unsurmountable suspension of disbelief. On the other hand, you are kind of giving script notes to William Shakespeare here... :)

Lemuel said...

ES: "Clearances of vibrant neighborhoods" shall now be changed to "sweep and clear".

McTom said...

Any discussion of WSS and dancing gang members requires viewing of Norm's finest work...

whynot said...

I saw it in the theater and it was great. I can see most of your points, but to me, the sight of all those good actors in the original wearing dark makeup is just unconscionable. The new version is better for a lot of reasons, including the correction of that.

Jimx said...

We loved it. And we REALLY love the first one so we were biased going in against it.

If the sort of magical realism part of the street gang dancing kills it for you, well there's nothing to be said about it. it works for a lot of us, it's just fun. We love it when shows like How I Met Your Mother break into a random music number halfway through a show. Just fun. But if that doesn't work for, okay no biggie.

Tony being "weak" and the quick forgiveness are two points that are very related, and two points we were hoping the new movie would fix from 1961. The third, also related, is Anita agreeing to help Tony and Maria after Tony just killed her lover. And we thought Spielberg nailed it.

Tony is a kid! Riff is a kid! It's Romeo and Juliet, who were what, 14 and 15? They are teenagers, poor and educated ones at that, making really really stupid choices based largely off hormones. In the old version, everybody was an adult and it was always just a little off. In this version it's made clear that the Jets and Maria and Tony are just kids. So it fits that Tony is really not a strong hottie and that Maria falls for him and then forgives him so quickly - that's how dumb teenagers act.

But Anita and Bernardo aren't kids. In this version they even talk about about how this is stupid and kids games but it's gotta stop and the cops won't stop it, so they will. And Anita has such a great transition from supporting Maria in her foolishness to just HATING, but still having to help Maria and just hating it with everything she has. And then in the shop scene it turns out the kids aren't really as cute as we've been thinking for the last 60 years.

Liggie said...

To follow up on Jeremy Graebner's comment, can you change some things from the original Shakespeare play and still otherwise be faithful to the original? Tony killing Maria's brother in "West Side Story" happened because Romeo killed Juliet's brother, and Sondheim et al. felt they had to include that plot point. However, could you have Tony accidentally killing somebody close to Maria's family? Or have someone else shooting Maria's brother, tossing Tony the gun, and escaping while the police arrest a startled Tony?

Paxton Q said...

I was a teenage movie theater usher in 1968 when "WSS" was re-released, and I saw it so many times I can replay it in my head. I was familiar with the music before then and loved it. (My older brother bought the soundtrack album in 1961.) However, I've always felt that most everything between the songs was weak, with the exception of the performances of Rita Moreno, Russ Tamblyn, Tucker Smith and the wonderful Ned Glass. Natalie Wood hated the role almost as much as she hated Richard Beymer. She thought Maria was cloying and for Tony she wanted her pal Warren Beatty. That said, she's damn good in the final scenes. Poor Richard was blandness personified. Makes me wonder if Tony is just a thankless role no matter who plays it.

You have to suspend a lot of disbelief to accept the story. Love at first sight for one. And so intense that all will be forgiven at a moment's notice, even murder! These kids knew each other for what, 24 hours? Hmm.

I have not yet seen the remake, but loving the score as I do, I want to see it, whatever flaws it may have. The young woman who plays Anita hosted SNL a few weeks back and she was great. I'm looking forward to her performance and seeing Rita Moreno again too.

By the way, I read long ago that the original idea for the story was a war between Jews and Catholics! Can you imagine? "When you're a mensch you're a mensch all the way..."

Ere I Saw Elba said...

Even though the 1961 original had some great songs and choreography, it still wasn't compelling as a story.

Frankly, I'm not even a fan of Romeo And Juliet, saying this with acknowledgement of Shakespeare as the most important and brilliant playwright of all time. Aren't there already too many unnecessary remakes as it is?

Mitch said...

Wait, you said you watched a screener , but then said "I think this is the only movie where I stayed for the entire end credits..." Stayed? You were at home....

David said...

I love the music, have seen it as a great stage show, played in the orchestra for an amateur production, and lime the 1961 version (with reservations). Spielberg's take had me first bored, then cross with the revisions. There's a ton of extra, leaden, exposition slowing everything down and making everything worse. Largely, I agree with Richard Brody: https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.newyorker.com/culture/the-front-row/review-steven-spielbergs-west-side-story-remake-is-worse-than-the-original/amp

D. McEwan said...

It wasn't Kushner's or Laurents's (Author of the show's book) or Lehman's (Screenwriter for the first movie version) job to justify Maria forgiving Tony; it was Sondheim's.

"Oh no, Anita, no, Anita, no.
It's isn't true; not for me.
It's true for you, not for me.
I hear your words, and in my head,
I know they're smart.
But my heart, Anita, but my heart,
Knows you're wrong!

You should know better.
You were in love, or so you said.
You should know better.

I have a love, and it's all that I have.
Right or wrong, what else can I do?
I love him; I'm his,
And everything he is
I am, too.

I have a love, and it's all that I need,
Right or wrong, and he needs me, too.

I love him, we're one;
There's nothing to be done,
Not a thing I can do
But hold him, hold him forever,
Be with him now, tomorrow
And all of my life!

When love comes so strong,
There is no right or wrong,
Your love is your life."

You may not buy it, but that's how the musical justifies it. Certainly it's hard to imagine working up passion like that for bland sexual-assaulter Ansel, an insane casting choice. But you know, some folks don't much like their brothers.

(My old, dear friend, the late "Female Impressionist" Kenny Sasha, used to do "A Boy Like That/I Have a Love" in his club act playing both parts, and doing them as Bette Davis as Anita and Tallulah Bankhead as Maria, and it was SCREAMINGLY funny!)

"Liggie said...
To follow up on Jeremy Graebner's comment, can you change some things from the original Shakespeare play and still otherwise be faithful to the original?"

Apart from the obvious changes, like moving it forward 400 years, changing continents, replacing Shakespeare's poetry with Sondheim's poetry and Laurents's prose, and making the central conflict a race-war rather than a family feud, there is the BIG change: in Shakespeare, they BOTH die, not just Romeo! (Also, no one dances except at the ball scene in act 1.)

" Jeffrey Graebner said...
I do agree that Maria so quickly accepting Tony back after he killed her brother requires an almost unsurmountable suspension of disbelief. On the other hand, you are kind of giving script notes to William Shakespeare here... :)

No, he's not. In Shakespeare, Tybalt is NOT Juliet's brother. He's her cousin. I have cousins I love and would be distressed to find were murdered, but I also have cousins I dislike a great deal, whose deaths affect me not. My Cousin Cole (Who, on two different occasions, once when they were in their 20s and once in their 60s) hit on my sister, his cousin, to her nausea (Both times she banned him from her home), died three years ago, and I didn't even find out until last month, when neither myself nor my siblings were sorry to learn he's gone.

Jahn Ghalt said...

A Friday Question:

What are the particular reasons you got a screener for WSS?

More generally who gets screeners these days?

Caleb Martin said...

I'll second the other commenters who have said that the theaters are empty, and now's an excellent time to consider taking the proper precautions and going to one. If you can get used to the relative discomfort of an N95 mask (and I admit that's a big "if"), right now a trip to a movie theater poses less risk than a trip to the supermarket.

I've seen two movies in theaters since Omicron came stateside, and each audience had no more than 10 people. No one anywhere near us. The latest Spider-Man movie made me feel in my bones how much I missed the big screen experience. The latest Scream movie did not.

We saw the former on the afternoon of 12/31, which means we were treated to a minute-long upbeat promo for the theater chain's Betty White 100th birthday celebration, just hours after the news broke that she'd passed. Seeing that on the big screen in that moment was so genuinely appalling that it was funny.

Chuck said...

No interest. But you know what I might go to a cinema to see? If Quentin Tarantino did a version. "Real Westside Story". Would be a bit bloody. Probably no singing or dancing either.

Mike Bloodworth said...

Never saw the original. Have no plans to watch this one.

Spielberg has said that the opening scene of "Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom" was inspired by the old Busby Berkeley musicals. S.S. also said that he would like to make a musical someday. Obviously he did.

I miss getting screeners. Maybe they'll show one of those "For your consideration" infomercials for "W.S.S." Essentially the Cliff notes of Hollywood.

You don't want to go to the theater?! I was going to make a comment about vaccines, but I won't. Too many people would get upset.


Roger Owen Green said...

I saw it in the theater and wrote about it. But yes, 2021 Tony was the weakest character, weaker than 1961 tony, but I loved Maria, and Anita rules.
It's SO difficult to divorce myself from not only the movie but every stage production I've seen (at least three). https://www.rogerogreen.com/2022/01/18/movie-review-west-side-story/

flurb said...

Some observations from reading the comments here and elsewhere:

1. The knee-jerk reaction "I hate musicals because singing and dancing is unbelievable" is pretty much like "I hate black and white movies", but more sweeping: It means that most of Western culture is off limits - opera just to begin with. But one of the USA's chief contributions to world culture is the modern musical. If that's your choice - and your reaction is a choice - you're missing out on a lot of great, even life-changing stuff. If someone tells me they hate musicals, and several someones have, it ends that part of the conversation. As Louis Armstrong said when asked "What is jazz?" - "Man, if you gotta ask, you'll never know."

Art requires work on the part of the receiver. The shortest poem requires one to imaginatively meet it to get anything from it; a painting is just a picture till you really look into it; and every dramatic form, be it play, sitcom, movie, or musical, requires what used to be known as the willing suspension of disbelief. No one can make you do that - you have to decide to. I note that many of the same folks have no trouble paying to watch gym rats in tight spandex flying around rescuing people, so it's clearly more an issue of willingness than a deficiency of the form.

2. I had read Elgort was weak, so when I saw the movie, I was surprised how much I disagreed. He's got a lovely singing voice, for one thing - "Something's Coming" and "Maria" were both terrific, and "Tonight," especially with Spielberg's staging, moved my entire family far more than the 1961 version. He's vulnerable as an older teen who's trying very hard to grow up would be. (The moment he heard that Maria was supposedly dead - that the only future for his life was gone - was devastating.) Tony has separated himself from the Jets right from the beginning of the story. He's seen himself as a destructive force, had a resulting year in a reformatory to consider that (a brilliant Kushner addition). His mother figure is Valentina, and he's looking to the example of her long, loving marriage to Doc (Kushner again) to turn his life around. He seeks to be a better person - perhaps, like many a convert, he seeks that too hard, which leads to his tragic downfall. Anyway, if he were coiled and dangerous all the time, he'd be Riff, not Tony.

3. Ken's problem with Maria's turnaround never even occurred to me before, mainly due to the gorgeous "A Boy Like That/I Have a Love", which is a gloriously active argument, in that both Maria and Anita are discovering what they believe by expressing it - exactly the way great drama works. But on reflection, I think Kushner further supported Maria's shift by more clearly setting up tension between her and Bernardo. Bernardo, in the apartment scenes, repeatedly dictates her behavior, and she clearly resents it. Anita is bothered by it too. Bernardo is set up early on as a boxer with a hair trigger; he exhibits it and the school dance. Maria knows Bernardo all too well. In Maria's eyes - and in Anita's! - Bernardo shouldn't have been at the rumble either. But most crucially, and this was true in 1957: teenage Maria loves Tony. Twenty-four, forty-eight, seventy-two hours, whatever. If you can't accept that there's a true love there, you're beyond the reach of one of the greatest musicals of the twentieth century, and, to reiterate Armstrong: You'll never know.

D. McEwan said...

Well, you picked an interesting day to knock this movie. It's Ariana Debose's 31st birthday today. Which makes her a bit over a decade too old for her role. As usual, Hollywood Movie Teenagers are in their 30s. I wrote a play that is a parody of 1950s Hollywood teen angst movies, and in the scripts notes to the director, I specify that all the teenagers should be played by actors who are obviously over 30.

Greg Ehrbar said...

Seems to me that to fully appreciate the artistry of any film made for theatrical presentation, it should be seen in a theater, so it follows that comparing either WEST SIDE STORY would require seeing both in a movie theater -- recently -- to make a truly accurate judgment.

The remake will be streaming and on video soon, but I just got an email that everyone can see the original for free now on Tubi. Not theatrical viewing conditions, as said, but it's there.


Darwin's Ghost said...

I know which people wouldn't get upset by anti vaccine comments.

All the anti vaxxers who got Covid and died and can't read anything anymore.

Thank you, I'm here all week, try the linguine.

John said...

I’ve been a fan of West Side Story all my life, and to me it is not a story about the plight of immigrants in New York City any more than Romeo and Juliet is about the challenges faced by the Capulets. It’s a story about doomed young lovers brought to grief by prejudice, bigotry, and tribalism.

I love the dancing gang members. It’s not supposed to be realistic, It’s a musical! Jerome Robbins’s fabulous choreography was part of the storytelling. It itself was a great work of art. Actors acting like real-life (non-dancing) gang members would be no fun at all.

I accepted Maria’s forgiving Tony because Tony tells her that Bernardo had killed Riff, and she understands. That’s close enough for me, but just barely.

A hundred million dollars is a lot of money to spend to fix the error of Natalie Wood’s incorrect ethnicity, but as you say, people love the new movie. I may see it one day.

Mark said...

The one bit I remember from the ill-fated House of Buggin'


warren d. scott said...

I accept that people will break into song and dance as a convention of musicals. But despite that, I just can't take the gangs in "West Side Story" seriously. And both "WSS" and "Romeo and Juliet" ask you to elevate a briefly developed teen romance into a true love story. You either buy it or you don't.

Barry Traylor said...

I have not watched WSS since 1961 (my mother loved musicals so of course I went with her). I liked Natalie Wood in it but that was about it. I have no desire to see the new one.

YEKIMI said...

I don't know, didn't see the movie [it was gone from the theaters around here faster then an owl fart in a hurricane]but maybe if Ansel acted like a screaming flaming asshole on screen the way he acts on the set [or so I've have heard] before the camera rolls maybe people would have bought him as Tony.

stephen catron said...

The one movie the wife and I have seen in an actual movie theater in the past few years. It was empty so we were safe. I enjoyed the film and think it's miles better than the original which borders on the cartoonish. However, what you said about the story is correct. Weak lead, dancing during a rumble, etc.
I think Tick..Tick... Boom is the better musical with better music and better direction.

stephen catron said...

The one movie the wife and I have seen in an actual movie theater in the past few years. It was empty so we were safe. I enjoyed the film and think it's miles better than the original which borders on the cartoonish. However, what you said about the story is correct. Weak lead, dancing during a rumble, etc.
I think Tick..Tick... Boom is the better musical with music I enjoy more and better direction.

Kendall Rivers said...

Well, apparently it was worth the risk to see Spider-man No Way Home since it's made a Gazillion bucks at the box office lol. I remember watching the original West Side Story in 6th grade Drama class. I liked it but nothing special so I have no interest in a remake. I'm 99 percent against remakes of classic anything so I'm not surprised that apparently a lot of people who didn't go see it felt the same way.

Leighton said...

Enjoyed the film. Beautifully lensed. I saw it in an almost empty theater. However, two of the seven viewers talked endlessly throughout the film, and I had to move twice. God, I hated those idiots.

I did find Elgort to be limited as one of the leads. I would have preferred a more masculine/rough type of personality.

It's a musical, people sing and dance. "Seven Brides" has dancing/singing lumberjacks. "Oklahoma" has dancing/singing cowboys. Etc. (At least "The Sound of Music" doesn't have dancing/singing Nazis, but "The Producers" handled that...)

Anthony Adams said...

I blame the whole Maria/Bernardo problem on Arthur Laurents. Bernardo is Maria's brother; Tybalt is Juliet's cousin. That extra degree of separation makes a big difference in how quickly and how completely you accept Tony/Romeo's explanation. The problem here isn't trying to give notes to Shakespeare but rather stop messing with him.

Stephen Robinson said...

One big issue I had with the 2021 West Side Story is that it is set in 1961, so effectively a period piece. The original film (and musical) was set in the modern day. The music and dance styles were modern, and the actors (even with the CW teen drama casting) were playing characters who were their contemporaries. If the 1961 film was set in the Edwardian era with period music and Natalie Wood in period clothing, I’m not sure it would have done as well.

West Side Story was intended as a modern spin on Romeo and Juliet so it makes sense that if you were remaking it you’d keep it modern. But it would mean an entirely different movie, story.

A rough example but I don’t think Ferris Bueller is a period piece. It is set in the 1980s because that’s when it was released. It’s meant to be modern and appeal to modern audiences. Remaking it today but keeping it in the 1980s and targeting it to Gen Xers would mean you’re making a very different film.

Daniel said...

I finally watched West Side Story this weekend. I liked it so much, I watched it again the next day. I absolutely loved it. Full disclosure, I never cared much for the '61 version. It was...fine.

I understand your issue with Maria falling for Tony after he killed Bernardo. But in this version, I think the filmmakers did a good job of making Bernardo out to be a hot head, and Maria recognizing that he's a hot head. The way I see it, it's almost like someone you love being a full-on Trumper and anti-vaxxer/anti-masker who gets COVID and dies. Yes, it would be sad to lose a loved one. But at the same time, you kinda knew they were playing with fire and this was inevitable anyway. So your sympathy would only go so far. That's how I see Maria: Deep down, she knew that this would always be Bernardo's end, and I think (even though she wasn't there) she knows that Bernardo provoked the attack that killed him. Anyway, my two cents.