The age-old problem of forbidden love between two young lovers of different backgrounds is all too familiar in Steven Spielberg‘s recreation of “West Side Story.” This 2021 version of the film holds true to the original film released in 1961. With some instances of grit and tenderness, this film may provide more of an intense take on the story.
Newcomer Rachel Zegler beat out 30,000 other actors to play the role of Maria, a feisty young woman with the voice of an angel. And Ansel Elgort plays Tony, a former gang member who is changed by Maria and decides to go straight, but his friends and hers are both against their desire to be together.
Steven Spielberg says that he chose West Side Story because it was one of his childhood favorites. The 2.5 hour film takes a slow start, but then is brought with some surprises. Spielberg brings in Rita Moreno, who won an Oscar for her role as Anita in the original 1961 film. This time, she plays a widowed store keeper that helps Tony from staying out of trouble. In a stroke of genius, Spielberg has Moreno sing the classic song “Somewhere”
You can watch West Side Story today in theaters.