"West Side Story" (2021)- Movie Review

Directed by Steven Spielberg
Starring Ansel Elgort, Rachel Zegler and Rita Moreno

                                                                            ‘Maria-velous Musical’

Latino-American communities scarcely orchestrate sound of music arrangements underneath sky-scraping storeys without practically perfect nannies’ authorities. Musicals all-too-commonly symbolize saccharine spoonful digesting medicine as practically perfect jolly holiday experience amidst lockdown disregarding 96,000 Puerto-Ricans opportunities when sun goes down. For exemplifications, Robert Wise’s Oscar-winner “West Side Story” disregarded ena-Moreno-ed Latin girls feeling pretty through ir-Rita-ble surgeries. However, Hispanics touring City of Stars aren’t often overlooked audition by Stone-cold beauties on Another Day of Sun in La La Lands of opportunities. Although Latinos without Ginger Genes escalated 1950’s A-staires, Lin-Manuel Miranda opening rooms where it happens’ door for Latin-Americans demonstrates that’s enough for “West Side Story” remake. Justifiably, it’s frequently necessitated brain, heart and bravery for lion visiting Wonderful Wizard of Oz reconstructing Garlanded movie-musicals beyond splen-Dorothy-ous box-office draws.  As eye-popping exemplar, Rob Marshall’s “Mary Poppins Returns” b-Andrews-ed one-too-many sugar spoonfuls into coffees for bankable families. As un-Cooper-ative rockstars deteriorating fame behind Gaga-worthy dames becoming household names, filmmakers inevitably spoil evergreen movies in shallow remakes. Nonetheless, 5% Latin-Americans (2021 LDC Report) prove film merits remake. Can it climb higher storeys?

Jet-sparks emanate when Glee-ful Latin-Americans rewarded sugar spoonfuls by nannies embracing ena-Moreno-ed  Genes conducting sound of music symphonies ascending sky-scraping storeys are tap-danced throughout Steven Spielberg’s blockbuster “West Side Story”. Old-fashioned, empowering and heartbreaking, it demonstrates Maria-ginalized Latino-American communities deserve place somewhere. With musical, Spielberg reinvigorates o-Dorothy-ous genre. Boasting toe-tapping arrangements, spellbinding storytelling and phenomenal performances, it’s Maria-velous musical-adaptation. Although “West Side Story’s” Spielbergian, it’s problematic. It’s undermined by superfluous transgender subplot. Nonetheless, it offers enjoyable musical entertainment.

Amidst 1950’s NYC, “West Side Story” chronicles rivalrous families’ star-crossed lovers whose Romeo-ance experiences Shakespearian catastrophes. Rachel Zegler personifies Maria, exuberant romance-seeking Latina. Following Jets-gang’s Tony’s relationships, Maria’s prayers transform Maria-culously answered. However, large-hearted relationship progresses untrustworthy following gangster-segregated catastrophe. As Maria’s relationship declines, she questions Latin-American loyalties.

Steven Spielberg’s excelled compiling Minority Reports on communities experiencing Schindler’s List catastrophes jaws. Following award-winning acknowledgements with 1993’s “Schindler’s List”, Spielberg’s become extraordinary filmmaker. His Oscar-winning historical-drama “Schindler’s List” investigated humanitarian German businessman Oscar Schindler’s accomplishments repairing centuries-old genocidal Holocaust relationships. With “West Side Story”, however, Spielberg reconstructs first-ever musical. It’s Spielberg’s first assignment reinterpreting legendary Broadway musicals from Puerto-Rican perspective, but he accomplishes masterfully. Using captivating cinematography, Spielberg emulates star-crossed relationships amidst Puerto-Rican gang-related adversaries. Memorializing Bradley Cooper’s “A Star is Born”, Spielberg successfully utilizes lens-flares lighting foreshadowing hopeless romantics’ catastrophic destinies oblivious something’s coming. Like lens-flare demonstrating Ally’s shallow romance tragedies, Maria’s romantic encounter foreshadows future catastrophe. Alongside cinematographer Janusz Kamiński, Spielberg expertly employs lens-flares foreshadowing future catastrophes. Spielberg recontextualizes movie-musical for 21st Century, constructing adaptations mandatory theatrical viewing.

If movie-musical modernized reimaginings don’t attract your attention, however, there’re countless reasons to see “West Side Story”. Whereas stereotypes downgrading Latin-American communities constricted Oscar-winner classic’s musical sequences, Spielberg crafts mesmerizing magical realism musical sequences honoring Hispanic. For director frequently chomping jaws into E.T. Jurassic dinosaurs, Spielberg surprisingly succeeds behind movie-musical cameras. Spielberg successfully employs magical realism illustrating Puerto-Ricans’ heightened emotions seeking American prosperity. For instance, magical realism’s employed especially impressively demonstrating Puerto-Rican Sharks-gang’s dreams in “In America” sequence. During unforgettable sequence, Latin-Americans’ congregation assemble together acknowledging America’s diversity. One must acknowledge Maria-verlous dance-choreography on publicized streetcar in Cha-zealous style evoking Damien Chazelle’s “La La Land”. Spielberg tap-dances fine line between honoring and modifying classic through musical sequences celebrating Puerto-Ricans. Moreover, Leonard Bernstein’s score’s superb. Evoking Spike Lee’s “Do the Right Thing”, cool melodies signify discrimination. Through awe-inspiring productions, Spielberg honors Latinos.

Another extraordinary aspect of “West Side Story’s” screenplay. Kushner’s greatest screenwriting strength’s aptitudes for constructing compassionate Latino-American communities without foreign-language subtitle. In Hollywood, musicals are heavily nostalgia-dependent, exploiting stereotype representing Latin-American communities despite being outdated by today’s standards. As exemplifications, predecessor portrayed Latin-American communities as she-Riff deputies’ Maria-ginalized enemies somewhere in America. Thankfully, though, “West Side Story” avoids complications. Spielberg wisely avoids repeating mistakes dehumanizing Latino communities. Imitating John M. Chu’s “In the Heights”, Spielberg deftly employs no Spanish subtitle demonstrating Hispanic Sharks-gang’s heightened connections. Recalling Usnavi’s clear-spoken Spanish communication with 96,000 Latino-Americans when sun goes down in Heights, Maria utilizes Spanish conversing with Sharks-gang. Subtitles’ absence incorporate cultural authenticity into adaptation missing from classic. Through excluding subtitles, Spielberg builds compelling Latin-American characters not characterized as treacherous sharks. In industry all-too-commonly dehumanizing Latin-American communities, it represents Miranda-culous strides towards Steven-handed representation. Absent subtitles’ tricky employing in genres having Garlanded American soil running through Ginger Gene, but exceeds tremendously. Using empathetic screenplay, Spielberg celebrates Maria-ginalized.

One appreciates Maria-verlous performances.

 
Rachel Zegler delivers star-making performance as Maria Vasquez. In breakthrough turns, Zegler demonstrates multi-talented actress with singing, dancing and performing aptitude. If Natalie Wood’s wooden role portrayed Latinos poorly through brownface makeup, Zegler avoids problem. Evoking Kate Winslet in James Cameron’s “Titanic”, Zegler crafts heroine whose fragile heart won’t go on from Dawson-ing affair despite titanic shipwreck tragedies. With mesmerizing expressions, she conveys affection, longing and resentments of Latina amidst ill-fated romance. Not only does Zegler prove in-Gene-ious dancer, but emerges Gaga-worthy singer. It’s breakout performance suggesting Zegler’s destined success.

Supporting cast’s superb, creating bonds. Ariana DeBose’s amazing, emitting charisma as Latina loving America lifestyles even though it’s infrequently s-Anita-ry house for Latino diaspora. Mike Faist’s magnificent, instilling sympathy in she-Riff gangster rarely cool when Dean-efening rebels without cause trigger rivalries. And, Rita Moreno’s strong. Moreno remains ena-Moreno-ed.

Conclusively, anybody’ll be ena-Moreno-ed with “West Side Story’s” cool melodies for communities loving America living without Maria-ginalized ethnicities. Despite highlighting 1950’s Puerto-Rican communities, musical’s universal subjects’ll strike chord with modern audiences. Spielberg tackles timely topics including discrimination, immigration and community concerning post-pandemic audiences. Viewers aren’t necessitated musicians connecting with gangster experiences. As Pakistani immigrating to North-America, I identified with Sharks-gang’s experiences. Consequently, “West Side Story’s” universal.

Despite universal appeal, however, “West Side Story” features Greasy hairsprays not always glimmering as brightly as Umbrellas of Cherbourg Glee-ful nannies use travelling from West Side Storeys to Wizard of Oz countries. Spielberg’s decision deviating from source material incorporating transgender subplot into story’s clever and inventive, but doesn’t work. Therefore, sequences on Anybody’s sexual journey aren’t as engrossing as gang conflicts. While homosexuality pervaded 1950’s, it wasn’t as publicized as Anybody’s sexuality self-discovery. Whereas transgender subplot elevated Adam Shankman’s “Hairspray”, it contradicts time-period. For all merits, subplot seems more suited towards AIDS era series (“Glee”) over musical. Worst, it suggests anybody could be 1950’s hitman despite sexuality. Therefore, remake falters.

Nonetheless, Hispanics will acknowledge “West Side Story” and so will moviegoers seeking joyful entertainment. A Maria-verlous symphony Riff, it suggests Latino beauties deserve homes Somewhere over Rainbow. If Tonight Something good’s coming to ena-Moreno-ed Latina beauties feeling pretty on West Side Storey following ir-Rita-able plastic surgeries, its swing time Hollywood heed Wizard of Oz’s advice giving Greasy Latins Gigi-antic Sound of Music symphonies in La La Land of opportunities despite in-Fletcher-exible band-teachers arguing no words in English language more harmful than good job for actor whose dark skin-tone fall below Mary Poppins’ my fair lady look at Sweeney Todd barber Hairspray salon rarely radiocasting evergreen melodies shallow riffs for un-Victor-ious Les Misérables minorities following catastrophes.

4.5/5 stars

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