The West Side Story remake looks uncomfortably beige


The first look at West Side Story’s remake for the big screen doesn’t have the bright colors of the original, and that doesn’t seem like the right choice.

Yikes, Steven Spielberg. That shouldn’t be a thing that is said, but when the first look at West Side Story looks so washed out and bland that that’s really the only thing we can say. Yikes. Earlier this morning, Amblin Entertainment dropped the first image from the film.

Feast your eyes:

Look, no one is expecting the neon pink skies of “Maria” from the 1961 adaptation. Modern film sensibilities don’t really go for that kind of aesthetic anymore, but modern revivals have still had bright colors in costuming, even if not necessarily in lighting:

And as Amblin’s own website notes, this film is supposed to be looking at the Broadway musical for inspiration. How on earth does that translate to the bland colors and washed-out lighting apparent in this shot? Look, Bernardo looks fine, but even then this rusty color looks a bit … boring. About the only perfect costuming is really Maria, and even then, she looks more strait-laced than usually does.

How are these people supposed to break out in song and dance, exactly? We expect rhythmic snapping, ballet moves, and skirts swishing!

Can Maria even twirl around for “I Feel Pretty” in that khaki skirt? (To be fair, she still looks charming, of sorts.) Look, Tony himself usually doesn’t have the greatest costuming in the world, but this just looks bland and oversized. Granted, he’s the only one wearing that baby blue color, which helps draws the eye right towards him again. This is the couple at the heart of the whole story, after all, so that only makes sense that their colors are brightest.

But brightest doesn’t mean that they’re the only ones who can wear eye-catching colors. Notably, Anita isn’t pictured in this, nor is Rita Moreno’s Valentina, who will replace Doc. They’re our hopes for some interesting color choices, and hopefully the whole movie doesn’t look like this.

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Spielberg has until December 2020 to really nail down the aesthetic of the film. Hopefully a first trailer will restore our faith in this.