I just saw the new WEST SIDE STORY. It will never surpass the original, but its quite good. I don’t get why its a bomb!
The good: This is “Stage 3 Spielberg” not the “dolly up to the actors face” Spielberg from the 80s. Beautiful photography, big wonderful sets ( did they build a fake New York City somewhere?) “Cool Boy” seemed to be on a greenscreen stage. Real Puerto Rican Actors playing Puerto Ricans?!?!? Imagine that! Great dancers, great actors, great singing.
The Bad? If this an update of Shakespeares “Romeo and Juliet,” does anyone remember that THOSE two lead characters are supposed to be around 12 years old? That explains the overdone emotional outbursts (Talking about getting married after the second day they know each other?) The 2 leads are around 18, but putting (most of) them back in High School would make the gangs, the school dance and the overall juvenile delinquency seem more logical.
Rita Morena sings the signature “A Place for Us” and its no longer a love song, but a lament about being Puerto Rican immigrants in a strange land.
I cant put my finger on exactly WHY…. but the memorable energy that the original gave off just isn’t here.
Not good or bad, just different:
Both teen gangs are battling for control of a neighborhood, that ( in this new version) is about to be demolished soon anyway. (Was that historically accurate for the early 1950s?)
The Hispanic actors mostly talk to each other in Spanish with NO subtitles. BUT the actors deliver their lines so well that I could most get the gist of what they were saying