The original 1961 movie is one of my wife’s all time favorite movies. I knew that we would be going to see West Side Story in the theatre and I am glad we did. The fact that this had Steven Spielberg as the director made me pretty pumped for this new adaptation of the stage classic.
How to Stream or Download West Side Story (2021 film)
You can expect Spielberg’s West Side Story to be available for streaming on Disney+ 45 days after its theatrical release,. It means that it should be there by the end of January 2022. The same logic applies to its availability on HBO Max, Click on the Download button at the end of the review and check both platforms.
The Movie Review
I was not sure what to expect from this, to be honest. However, I was happy to see that this new version of the story kept many of the classic elements. It is still set in the 1950s, still set in New York, still features the Sharks, Jets, racial tensions, and so on. However, it puts its own spin on things.
What is very clever about West Side Story is that it is putting its own spin and stamp on things, but without taking away the soul of the original movie or stage show. The movie looks absolutely fantastic. This is one of the most eye-catching movies that was released in 2021 and this version of New York is quite different from the original.
The original movie kind of has a fantastical almost stage like version of New York. Here, New York is rougher and more “damaged” and it looks amazing, as cheesy as it sounds, New York is almost like a character itself. Speaking of characters, I really cannot praise the cast enough.
I am not going to sit and write every role and actor, but the likes of Mike Faist as Riff, Ansel Elgort as Tony, Rachel Zegler as Maria, and David Alverez as Barnado are just great examples of the excellent casting. You really do feel like you are in this world and what a world it is.
If you have experienced the original movie or stage show, the plot here is pretty much the same. We have the Sharks and Jets at war over San Juan Hill all the while the neighborhood is going to be demolished! Of course, we get the big rumble that the movie is known for, but there is so much more to the story of West Side Story than that.
As one of the most iconic musicals of all time, the big question about this new West Side Story is, how is the music and the choreography? I have to say that the music is great, but the choreography may be the best I have seen and I have seen the original movie multiple times and a couple of different stage adaptions too!
A huge reason for this is that the way the movie is shot and the way this version of New York looks. The dancing really does pop off the screen here and the rumble scene, in particular, was amazing and a huge part of that was the way they played with the lighting.
I was very impressed from start to end with this movie. While my wife is a massive fan of West Side Story, I am a casual fan, but we were both very impressed by this new take on the classic. I really do not see how anyone could have produced a better version of West Side Story than Steven Spielberg and his very talented team did here.