2021 ( USA ) ( Crime, Drama, Musical )
DIRECTOR: Steven Spielberg
STARRING: Ansel Elgort, Rachel Zegler, Ariana DeBose
Steven Spielberg has never “done” a musical. Here, he remakes the Oscar winning 1961 film of the same name. But while the original felt very much like it was filmed on an indoor set, Spielberg’s version is refreshingly free and sweeps around the streets, parks, balconies and deserted rubble of New York Housing Authority buildings. There, the Puerto Rican and poor white community who live in the area are about to be moved out, igniting ethnic rivalries. These become gangs of men: The Sharks and Jets. It certainly doesn’t help matters when former Jet Tony (Ansel Elgort) falls head-over-heels in love with Maria (Rachel Zegler) the moment he sets eyes on her at a local dance. Just like Romeo and Juliet — whose tragic romance provided the original inspiration for West Side Story — you know the purity of their love will be ruined by war.
How do you outdo a classic? Steven Spielberg’s new version of the timeless musical pulls it off in style.