“West Side Story”, seen and reviewed? Certainly. The famous Broadway musical first performed in 1957 has just been re-adapted by Steven Spielberg, here are 5 good reasons to go see this film which is soon to be released in theaters.
1) this is a cult story
From the screenplay of Tony Kushner – winner of the Pulitzer Prize – Steven Spielberg offers us a new version while remaining faithful to the time, the characters, and the story of the original work, based on the Shakespearean drama.
That of an impossible romance in the New York of 1957, between the Puerto Rican Maria, and Tony, Polish by origin. From the first glance, they fall head over heels in love but their romance is battered by racism, intolerance, and clashes between two rival gangs.
2) we have our heads in the stars
Steven Spielberg offers us a dazzling and dynamic version, carried by sublime shots and spectacular scenes.
3) because we take it all in the ears
“West Side Story” is also an opportunity to catch your ears, the dance scenes being punctuated by the iconic score by Leonard Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim, arranged by the American composer David Newman.
The mambo “The Dance At The Gym”, the happy song “Gee Officer Krupke”, “Maria”, “Somewhere”, the exhilarating “America” … Thanks to these songs, said Steven Spielberg, “we have the feeling that ‘in spite of all the sadness and all the ugliness, love will always triumph ”.
“So never give up. This is why I wanted to tell this story today. Because she speaks even louder about our present than she did at the time, ”he added.
4) Because there is a beautiful cast involved
To interpret these title roles, the multi-Oscar winner called on Ansel Elgort “Baby driver” and “Our opposite stars”, and Rachel Zegler, chosen among more than 30,000 candidates.
We also find Ariana DeBose, who brilliantly interprets the famous role of Anita, Bernardo’s companion, as well as Rita Moreno, the unforgettable Anita in the 1961 version, winner of an Oscar. This time, she plays Valentina, a modernized version of the friendly pharmacist Doc.
5) Because there is a beautiful message to send us
West Side Story denounces violence (in particular, gang violence) and preaches for cultural and racial tolerance. Modern interpretations and productions of the musical (originally created for the stage) also cite gun violence as a theme which is unfortunately all too relevant today.
The story also chronicles the plight of immigrants (although Puerto Rico is a territory of the United States), the experiences described in the 1961 original were not necessarily those of Puerto Ricans today – because the composer Stephen Sondheim confessed that he had never even met a Puerto Rican person before writing the songs for the musical.