The best part of Steven Spielberg’s new movie West Side Story isn’t the dancing in the gym, the sharks and Jets brawling in the lead, or the love duo of Tony and Maria.
Oddly enough, it’s the jazz song “Cool” that’s performed before the rumble. “I’ve got a rocket in your pocket. Keep calm cool boy!
I know that’s the profanity of the queen of the show, but the stunning figure tops the famous original choreography of Jerome Robbins and Robert Wise’s 1961 Academy Award-winning film.
She is very fierce.
Show duration: 156 minutes. Rated PG-13 (some extreme violence, vulgar language, thematic content, suggestive material and short smoking) in theaters December 10.
Spielberg shifts the glamorous scene to a rickety pier—has the bleak river look of the final scene from “On The Waterfront”—and choreographer Justin Beck fights Tony (Ansel Elgort) and Reeve (Mike Fest) in a glorious dance over a loaded gun.
These shifts in language, subtly updating the melodies and their impulses, are what makes Spielberg so good. Adapted from the play by Leonard Bernstein, Stephen Sondheim and Arthur Lorentz Do not forget. It’s the most visually exciting film from “ET” in a zillion years.
However, it will not become a classic as the original 1961 version did. Where this “story” sometimes wanders in West Side Highway traffic, there are several needless additions by screenwriter Tony Kushner to the script. The “Angels in America” writer has never encountered a plot he could not prolong like a victim of medieval torture.
Now, young sweetheart Tony is a former convict. Maria (Rachel Ziegler)’s parents have died (obviously to avoid any implicit reference to their absence). There is an improvement sub scheme on how to demolish the neighborhood to build Lincoln Center and the streets are covered in rubble. That’s a lot.
Uber’s defining and justifying every choice it makes stupid teens drains the story of its charm and universality. There is no strict formula for why we fall in love or why we hate.
There’s a great line on the 1957 show, cut naturally. Doc blames the boys and says, “You’re making the world lousy.”
“That’s how we found it, Doctor.”
More convincing than blaming a construction project, isn’t it?
However, Kushner doesn’t completely derail the movie, and it’s a great choice to bring your family for the holidays. Ninety percent of it is the “West Side” you know and love.
It’s the classic tale based on “Romeo and Juliet” – did Shakespeare tell us what caused the rift between the Capulets and Montague? No! – Where a Polish plane, Tony, falls in love with Puerto Rican Maria, the younger sister of Bernardo, the leader of the sharks.
Thus begins a whirlwind romance that, over the course of just one day, made the leading man sing, “You always, every thought I will ever know! Everywhere I go, you will be!” This will be a red flag for dating in 2021, but here it makes your heart Rises.
Or it’s supposed to. Unfortunately, we don’t fall in love with Elgort as we should. There are plenty of choices the actor can make with Tony — puppy dog, sexy, geek, whatever — but Elgort, who was excellent on “Baby Driver,” chose “stoner needs a nap.” “Maria” is one of the most beautiful songs written in any musical, but here it is a shrug. That’s a shame, because Broadway fans were too Briefly deal with Isaac Powell’s interpretation of 2020Which was as good as it gets.
However, the mood immediately improves when Elgort meets the adorable Zegler on a fire escape. Smart Spielberg shuts it down, so there’s an interesting barrier between them. Ziegler shows us her sweet singing voice and the radiant kindness that evokes the lyrical Nun Maria.
It is the most impressive group. Weist makes an unusually short riff, yet it’s more intimidating than anything I’ve seen. Bernardo, the show’s best role, was given real intensity by David Alvarez and Ariana Deboss Dancing Cocks Out of “America” as Anita.
Then there is Rita Moreno. original anita Playing a new role, Valentina, owner of Duke’s Pharmacy. The late Doc was her husband and she took Tony as a tenant. At the age of 89, there is pity and tenderness in every word, breath and tone. In the song “Somewhere” she sings “There is a place for us”.
Be glad Spielberg found a place for her.