West Side Story review round-up: Steven Spielberg’s adaption receives thumbs-up from critics

Critics have showered praises on the star cast including the lead actors Ansel Elgort (Tony) and Rachel Zegler (María).

FP Trending December 03, 2021 10:38:53 IST
West Side Story review round-up: Steven Spielberg’s adaption receives thumbs-up from critics

The early reviews of West Side Story are finally out and critics have given positive responses to the much-hyped production. Directed by Academy Award winner Steven Spielberg, the movie is an adaptation of the 1957 Broadway musical with the same name. West Side Story features a classic tale young love and fierce rivalries in New York City. Along with Spielberg, Pulitzer Prize winner Tony Kushner penned the film’s screenplay.

In the much-talked about movie, critics have showered praises on the star cast including the lead actors Ansel Elgort (Tony) and Rachel Zegler (María). Furthermore, Ariana DeBose (Anita), David Alvarez (Bernardo), Brian d’Arcy James (Officer Krupke), Rita Moreno (as Valentina, who owns the corner store in which Tony works), Josh Andrés Rivera (Chino), Ana Isabelle (Rosalía), Mike Faist (Riff) and Corey Stoll (Lieutenant Schrank) as seen in pivotal roles.

The film’s original release date was delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic but it will now hit theatres on 10 December this year. For the unversed, West Side Story is a new version of the 1957 musical that has been adapted from Arthur Laurents' book.

Check the early critics here:

Variety: The magazine writes that the new version remains "reverently true to what generations have loved about "West Side Story": the swoon factor, the yearning beauty of those songs, the hypnotic jackknife ballet of '50s delinquents dancing out their aggression on the New York streets. There are scenes in Spielberg's version that will melt you, scenes that will make your pulse race, and scenes where you simply sit back and revel in the big-spirited grandeur of it all."
Deadline: "For Spielberg, finally a musical - one I initially was surprised to hear he felt the need to reimagine but one that comes alive as proof of its endurance and long-lasting worth. It's also further evidence, if it ever was needed, of the gifts of a filmmaker who recognizes the greatness of those who came before him and finds a way to honor them by making it all seem so new and important once again."
The Guardian: "This new West Side Story isn't updated historically yet neither is it a shot-for-shot remake. But daringly, and maybe almost defiantly, it reproduces the original period ambience with stunning digital fabrications of late-1950s New York whose authentic detail co-exists with an unashamed theatricality. On the big screen the effect is hyperreal, as if you have somehow hallucinated your way back 70 years on to both the musical stage for the Broadway opening night and also the city streets outside."
Hollywood Reporter: "That score, by the way, has seldom sounded better. From the jagged, percussive syncopation of the gang numbers to the transporting romance of the love songs and the agitato drive of the underscoring, the music has been given impeccable treatment by the New York Philharmonic under the baton of conductor Gustavo Dudamel. David Newman did the dynamic new arrangements, while Jeanine Tesori (who co-wrote Caroline, or Change with Kushner) supervised the exquisite vocals."
The Telegraph: "West Side Story is, I believe, Spielberg's finest film in 20 years, and a new milestone in the career of one of our greatest living directors. A little less than a month before his 75th birthday, he has delivered a relentlessly dazzling, swooningly beautiful reworking of the 1957 Manhattan-set musical by Arthur Laurents, Leonard Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim, which feels just as definitive and indestructible as the previous screen adaptation, directed by Robert Wise and Jerome Robbins."

 

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