“West Side Story”: Each Skin Color Matters

8:20 am  |  05.01.2022

Steven Spielberg has fulfilled a dream and created a musical movie – the remake of Leonard Bernstein’s 1961 tenfold Oscar-crowned “West Side Story”. This time all Hispanics are played by Hispanics. One of them was at the age of 61.


Spielberg and Kushner have sharpened the background. The quarter and that of the figures. Gentralization would be called this today. What happens to the leaflets of the jets – the children of the white immigrants who have dreamed the American dream for generations, without having ever managed – and the Sharks – the Puerto-Rican Neumigrants, whose doubts on the prospects of their pursuit after luck in “América” ​​are not very big now. The demolition bulbs destroy block for a block in the West Side, set up an Armageddon from which the Lincoln Center should grow like a Trabant city.

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Everyone is a loser. Would you come together, could perhaps still change anything. Racism, prejudices, and highly toxic masculinity do not allow. The rooms are getting tighter. In the end, three boys are dead. The women who dream of criminals, better to know the reality, nothing remains as to do what is always mourning them in male poisoned societies. Anyway, the place, from which everyone dreams that there is him somewhere, where every life can be free as in that America, of which everyone speeches, is not there.

Sing and Dance

It does not take long, since you understood that. Actually, you have already understood as soon as you see the first of the guys dancing through the ruins, in the shadow of the demolition bulb through the lounger, which was their home. So about shortly after the whistle. Spielberg and Kushner will not tire of illuminating the social, political conditions that drive their story into the tragedy. The brain-burned machismo, the everyday racism, the false luck promises, the social impermeability, the hatred of people whose gender affiliation flushes, the pre-imperative compulsory jacket, which women did not have a chance – everything the way it was.

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“West Side Story” 2021

Spielberg’s “West Side Story” itself an outdated women’s picture, for example, to accuse how it is particularly promptly acted again, but now again testifies by the usual thinking of supposedly enlightened. But that only incidentally.

Gustavo Dudamel on the desk helps to hide the edges of this piece. Bring out the last energy from the engine room of the Bernstein score. So hard and crashing, so beguiling and beautiful, so clear and tense, slim and nerve strong one has never heard.

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It is beautifully sung – Rachel Zegner, especially, fragile-looking, survive sounding. And dances! You want to get up and join. It’s about life and death. You have to make a bit of Abbittitte at Richard Beymer, whom they found at that time, who almost disappeared in the bright bunch of 1961. Ansel Elgort’s Tony is now wearing a slight fat and biography a light fat and unfortunately, you can still imagine where Maria And this Bauspartragspopper would have stayed in the end, it would be different.

Rita Moreno as Valentina

That Rita Moreno, the Anita of 1961, is allowed to participate again, stirring natural tears. She is the warm heart of this story. Tony’s Hispanic Zilome is she, whom her gringo from man sometimes walked away and lived under pain, which Mary and Tony had imminent at a happy end.

Tony Kushner has invented her for the new version. “There’s a place for us”, she sings and of course, it knows better. There was no place for a Latina that loves an Irish-Catholic white. There is probably still none. Whether there will be a real one, whether it is with the racism, which is extremely currently advanced by the gorges of this “West Side Story” will ever have an end, one may doubt. Not enough has been done since 1957.

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The Hispanics are finally played by real Hispanics. Nobody became Hispanic for a role (like Natalie Wood, who had neither Hispanic roots still sang in 1961). Brilliant is the cut. This is fashionable that is filmed. The pictures suck one into this glow-cold world. If you had to protect the “West Side Story” again, it would not have gone better. The question of whether it had to be on a completely different sheet. Probably not.

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