“West Side Story”: Speilberg’s Smashing Hit


Jenni Young, Staff Writer

Since its release on Dec. 10, 2021, Steven Speilberg’s take on the classic “West Side Story” has hit the ground running in theatres all around. With renowned actors and actresses such as Ansel Elgort (known for his role in “The Fault in Our Stars”) and Maddie Ziegler (best known as a lead in the reality show “Dance Moms”), this revival looks exciting and promising. The movie also features actors and actresses that are not so well known. For instance, the female protagonist Rachel Zegler, was cast as the lead at the young age of seventeen. Although she is not formerly known for any previous big-screen movies, this is sure to be a great start for a very successful career for her. Another lead actress that was not well-known prior to the release is Ariana DeBose, an incredible dancer and actress who has already won a Golden Globe for her performance in this film.

The show contains several elements that make it a true joy to watch. To start off, the cinematography in general was extremely beautiful. The whole configuration of the visuals was simply breathtaking. With so many energetic, large dance numbers and songs, Steven Spielberg and his associates did a fantastic job making each and every number come to life with bright color and aesthetic staging. My personal favorite number was “America,” where DeBose’s outstanding dancing is highlighted amongst a large crowd of lively people. The upbeat tune and the stunning dance moves made it a showstopper for sure. And even better, each and every group number was similar in effect. It is plain to see that each and every moving part of this show was done with precision, professionalism, and passion. 

However, please be warned that there are some mature and dark elements to the plot that make it feel heavy and a bit hard to watch at certain moments. Since it is a modern spin on the tragedy “Romeo and Juliet,” viewers can expect to see some violence and death. So please take extra caution if that’s something you are sensitive to. But, if everyone comes expecting that element, the audiences will love all of the wonder in this newly renowned film.