May 12th, 2016

  • mapol

Why the film West Side Story should NOT be re-made:

Hollywood, unfortunately, seems to have run out of creative ideas, which is probably one big, if not the biggest reasons that there are so many sequels and re-makes of films coming out nowadays.

The one thing that I find particularly troublesome, however, is the fact that renowned film director, Stephen Spielberg, has gotten Fox's approval for doing a re-make of the great, golden-oldie-but-keeper of a classic film, West Side Story. Nobody, whoever they may be, should even think of re-making this great film! Here's why:

A) Admittedly, my gut instinct is to totally recoil from the idea of a re-make of the film West Side Story, by anybody! Supposedly, the reason for a re-make of this film is to update it for younger generations, but hey! Why not simply introduce the original film West Side Story to today's younger people by having it re-released, on a national basis, in movie theatres throughout the country? Then the older people who saw the film West Side Story , as well as today's young people, would also enjoy it! Besides, bringing back some of these great old classics just might bring more moviegoers back to the movie theatres, thus restoring some semblance of the old days, when movies were viewed as they were supposed to be. Frankly, I think that Stephen Spielberg should bypass the idea of re-making the film West Side Story and do something else. He's a good director who's done many awesome films, but...West Side Story should definitely be left alone!

B) Given today's overall atmosphere and attitudes, the romance scenes between Tony & Maria, as well as Bernardo and Anita, as well as the other Jets, Sharks and their girls, would be a lot steamier, more graphic, and much more explicitly sexual.

C) The playground fights between the Jets and the Sharks would also be more graphic and bloodier, there'd be an abundance of "blue" language (which I'm no stranger to!), and that would be inappropriate for such a film as West Side Story.

D). Police departments in cities and towns throughout the United States today have become much more militarized, and abuse by police, especially poor and minority males, although not new, has become even harsher, resulting in even more serious injuries and/or deaths to more people. Handicapped people, regardless of ethnicity or color, have suffered gross abuse by cops, as well. Having said all of the above, Lt. Shrank and Ofcr Krupke would be even harsher, more prejudiced against both the newly-arrived Puerto Rican Sharks, and the White Ethnic American Jets alike.

E.) The Jets and the Sharks would more than likely use guns (most likely automatic weapons), rather than fisticuffs and switchblade knives during the rumble, and viler insults would've been hurled on both sides. More Sharks and Jets alike would be killed, and the outcome would be far bloodier and more graphic.

F). The shooting death of Tony by Chino would also be far bloodier and more graphic, and there would be no sign of, or even a hint of reconciliation between the Jets and Sharks. Unlike in the original film West Side Story, there'd be no sense of accountability on the part of anybody, on either side, for lack of accountability on the part of people for the actions and behaviors is all too often the order of the day. This message is clearly written into many, if not most films today, and I think that West Side Story (if the film were to be remade!) is no exception, imho.

G) West Side Story, as I"ve already pointed out, is a very special classic film that's in a class all by itself, and a re-make of this great film, by anybody, would be nothing less than a disaster, because it would just cut the very heart and soul right out of this great movie.

H.) After all is said and done, if Steve Spielberg truly wishes to show his affection for the film West Side Story, he'd do better to leave well enough alone and go on to something else. Steve Spielberg...if you happen to be listening in, Please do not mess with a classic! Ever heard the expression "If it ain't broke, don't fix it"? That applies here...perfectly.