Directed by Steven Spielberg
Starring Ansel Elgort, Ariana DeBose, David Alvarez, Mike Faist, Rita Moreno, Rachel Ziegler
West side story is a very well-known film and won Best Picture as well as 9 other awards in 1961. Now in 2021 Spielberg has done a new version of the film and it has had the same recognition in terms of nominations as the 1961 version.
The story is about two groups of people fighting for territory, the Puerto Ricans kill and whites. Within that fight, Tony who is with Jets falls in love with Maria, sister to Bernardo the leader of the Puerto Ricans.
The film has its good things in terms of direction and some performances but overall I can’t say that enjoyed the film. The main actors could not convince me of their love story. The story had a lot of good things outside Maria and Tony that were interesting but I just could not get into it because of all the singing. I just don’t like musicals, and the ones I like the music is good, here I did not like the songs. When I heard I felt pretty all I did was laugh as I remembered Adam Sandler’s Anger Management. That is just me, I liked a few things in the story except the love story between Maria and Tony, that Romeo and Juliet thing like my sister told me the film had. The gang and their fights are nothing new on-screen and have been brought to the screen better in my opinion. I think for me I just did not buy the performances and the singing just took my mind out of the story.
DeBose gave a great performance no doubt about it. Her character is the one character that has depth in my opinion. The other characters just felt cliche to me. Having Rota Moreno who won the Oscar for her role in the original version was good, she was good this time once again.
I don’t think in this case seeing the original would mean something because from what I heard Spielberg made minor changes. I think if you are a fan of musicals, you might enjoy it more than I did. As a Puerto Rican I understand the story but I just could not connect with the characters mainly because of the performances, maybe in this sense seeing the original would make a difference.