Spielberg and Kushner make one of the most commercially intelligent decisions of their careers yet: carefully xerox the narrative beats of the esteemed 1961 original to please devotees pursuing memories while making its setting, however, very much a take of their own, enough so to moderately subvert masses of naysayers ready to harshly critique the existence of this remake. As Spielberg and Kaminski visualize perhaps their most aesthetically pleasing project in decades by brainstorming new locations to work with for this musical, Kushner stays ready behind the script adding slivers of improvements to the narrative, jotting in plenty more Spanish speaking but more notably a little bit of intimacy to a few character relationships that were previously thinner, all to make this modernization ever so faintly superior than its source material.
Yet, my thoughts on Wise and Robbins’ West Side Story essentially still apply here to dominate given that their plots — and songs of course — are virtually identical. Plus, I’d argue that there remain to be a few moments in the original that outshine this remake. Not to mention, you can’t beat all its color!
“West Side Story” is now playing in theaters.