Yesterday afternoon, I went to the movie theaters to check out Spielberg’s version of “West Side Story”. I’ve been interested in it ever since it was announced and since it was being talked about. I had faith in Spielberg that he would make a great “West Side Story” movie and he did. I thought it was really good and knocked it out of the park.
Was this movie very faithful to the Broadway musical in 1957 and the 1961 film? Yes. Although this movie was more closer to the original 1957 play than anything, though. This movie didn’t do very well in box office opening weekend and reviews are mixed. Some complained that there are “woke” racial politics in this film which is true but that’s how it was in the 60’s though and Spielberg wanted to make this film as a way to show how divided it is in today’s America.
I don’t really care about that, though, Steve did a great job doing his first musical. It was well acted by the entire cast. You know how in Spielberg films he always has big name stars as the lead? Well in this film, most of the cast are “unknown” actors except the only well-known star in this film is Corey Stoll who plays Lt. Shrank. Well, one thing that impressed me the most about this cast was that this movie had an original star from the 1961 film by Robert Wise. Rena Moreno played Anita in the 1961 original and this same woman is in the 2021 version but plays a different character.
In Spielberg’s version, the songs are the same except there were like a few I didn’t hear before? Were they brand new written for the film exclusively or were they songs taken from the 1957 play and not heard in the 1961 film?
Anyway, while Spielberg’s version had lots of similarities of the 1961 movie, there will be a lot of differences too ’cause this is just Steve’s vision. This was how Steve saw it in his head. Same story but there were plenty of things added to explain things better and make things a little more realistic.
I thought Steve’s take on “West Side Story” was very well done but it still don’t top the 1961 original by Robert Wise ’cause I’ll always love the original. I’ll give Spielberg “West Side Story” a score of 8/10. Definitely worth watching if you’re fan.