Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Favorite Fictional Character: Anita from West Side Story

Posted by Simcha 6:03 PM, under | 5 comments

Favorite Fictional Character
Hosted by Ryan at Wordsmithonia

Last week’s FFC post about Mary Poppins got me reminiscing about some of my other favorite musicals, and so I decided this week to choose a character from one of the musicals I enjoy the most, West Side Story.

I’ve actually only seen West Side Story on film, not live, but each time I watch it I’m equally impressed by the character of Anita, played by Rita Moreno.

West Side Story is a modern version of Romeo and Juliet in which two teenagers from rival New York City gangs fall in love in the 1960’s. Anita is the girlfriend of Bernardo, the leader of the Puerto Rican gang, and a big sister figure to Maria, the girl in love. Anita and her friends had left everything behind in Puerto Rico for dreams of success in America, only to be faced with constant racial discrimination that keeps pushing them down. But Anita remains strong and hopeful in the face of all the obstacles; a steadying influence on her hot-head boyfriend and a guiding presence to the innocent Maria. But even the down-to earth Anita is moved by Maria’s love for Tony and so she agrees to do what she can to help the two. Though it’s the result of these actions the lead to the tragic ending of this moving story.

One of my favorite numbers in West Side Story is America, a song that successfully portrays Anita's feelings and the struggles that her and her friends face in America as immigrants. (OK, and perhaps this post is also an excuse to share this clip, which I love):


5 comments:

I've also only seen West Side Story on film, but I absolutely love it! Great pick with Anita! It's been so long since I last saw WestSide Story - maybe if I ever find some time, I'll have to try to watch it again. Though it doesn't seem like time will be happening for me any time soon. :-P
Anyhow, I love your participation in this feature. It always makes me feel so nostalgic!

You know, I've never seen West Side Story, and yes I'm hanging my head down in shame right now. I'm going to have to rectify it soon though. From what I've read in your post and what I've heard from others, I would really enjoy it. Thanks for sharing and participating in the Favorite Fictional Character feature.

Brizmus: I can tell that you must be really awesome because you like all of the same things I do. :) Except for the vegan bit (I love my eggs and cheese)

As someone who's been a devout fan of the film West Side Story for 42 years, it's my all time favorite movie, hands down, and I, too, think that Anita, as well as her boyfriend, Bernardo, the Shark gangleader, was excellent. Rita Moreno does a fabulous job of playing the role of the fiesty, fiery Anita, and she's a great dancer, as well.

I also might add that West Side Story is in a class by itself, and a film that I can never, ever get enough of, because it's a classic that never grows old.

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