West Side Story Remake

West Side Story Remake

Maggie Flannery, writer

Over the past couple of years, a lot of movies have had remakes, some of these include classic Disney movies of Cinderella and Beauty and the Beast. But Westside story deals with heavier topics, than just finding your Prince Charming. Some of those topics include racism, immigration, poverty, and marginalization.

West Side story is about young adults, Tony and Maria, when they have love at first sight moment at a high school dance in 1957, New York City. Maria is an immigrant from Puerto Rico and innocent while being kind, Tony on the other hand is a poor American-born white boy that gets into trouble. 

This story was based on Romeo and Juliet, so you know the ending is going to be sad, but this story was first made for Broadway. So that means this story has been redone 2 different times, not even mentioning the countless times the broadway cast has been changed and recast. Maria was played by Natalie Wood and Tony Richard Beymerin in the 1961 version, in the 2021 version she was played by Rachel Zegler, and he by Ansel Elgort.

When doing a movie remake there is a lot more pressure on the actors, director, producer, and pretty much everyone making the movie. The dancing and singing have to be 100% every time the camera is rolling. My favorite part of the movie just so happens to be when Maria and Tony meet for the first time at the dance.

There is so much tension between the two gangs that it


just makes everything more exciting, and to top it all of the music is phenomenal.

Now let’s talk about which one is better. On Rotten Tomatoes, 1961 had a 93% while 2021 had a 92%. This is almost too close to call. The newer one has brought to life a classic tale for a new generation, while the older one is a clas

sic that will never go out of style. But for me, it would have to be the newer one. There is just something about this remake that makes you excited to watch it and not feel like you have to watch it just because it is a classic.