Credit - Disney Plus

REVIEW: Going West for a re-boot which does not disappoint

Grab your popcorn because this film’s a long one. 

For many, the 1961 film version of west side story is a beloved classic. 

I’m glad to say this re-boot does not disappoint on the recognisable genius of musical timing and dance rhythms. 

The whole movie feels nostalgic in a comforting way while simultaneously new and exciting.  I am also glad to see the problematic portrayal of Puerto Ricans painted in the same monotone makeup shade in the original film has been overturned for a more realistic varied representation with a Puerto Rican cast that includes afro-latina Ariana De-bose as Anita. Those who idolised Rita Moreno as Anita in the 1961 film will be excited to find out she takes on a role as Valentina in the new film too.

The portrayal of the character ‘Anybodys’ is a perfect example of an update that is subtle, yet clearly communicated to a modern audience and feels in touch with the modern world. Originally described as a tomboy, Anybody’s is now portrayed as a trans man. 

This term is not explicitly used in the film, perhaps deciding to leave the character open to interpretation and ditching a rigid label. All in all, this version of Westside story doesn’t break the mould with the story plot but is a visual art form and feels like a modern classic.

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