On Air Now
Smooth Classics with Margherita Taylor 10pm - 1am
29 April 2021, 14:49 | Updated: 4 May 2021, 16:35
How it started… and how it’s going.
It’s a story of forbidden love between the two main characters, Maria (Rachel Zegler) and Tony (Ansel Elgort), and the warring gangs that divide them, the Sharks and Jets – but with a fresh, 2021-coloured lick of paint.
Set in Puerto Rico, the remake has cast only actors with Hispanic backgrounds for the film’s Hispanic characters, in contrast to the 1961 film version starring Natalie Wood and Richard Beymer which cast a number of white actors in makeup to play Puerto Rican characters.
There was also a lot of excitement for the striking shots of the Sharks and Jets’ ‘rumble’ scene in Spielberg’s remake.
As for the music, asking Venezuelan maestro Gustavo Dudamel to conduct the score was an absolute money shot. The sweeping strings and build-up of Bernstein and Sondheim’s timeless ‘Somewhere’, heard in a delicate rendering by Rita Moreno, is shiver-inducing.
But to help us get a clearer idea of how the remake will differ visually from the 1961 film, someone has put together a pristine side-by-side, shot-for-shot comparison.
“This side-by-side is intended to show the different choices made by two groups of filmmakers sixty years apart when adapting the same work,” YouTuber Matt Skuta said.
Watch Skuta’s great work in full below.