Is West Side Story REALLY a Good Movie?

6 Oct


(Beware spoilers)

I just saw West Side Story for the first time ever. I had a vague idea of what it was about – something about a modern day Romeo & Juliet, involving rival gangs. But I honestly wasn’t sure what to expect.

The dancing, acting, and general feel of the film was closer to a play than a movie. I’m not sure if this was the intent, as it was originally performed on Broadway. In any case, though the dancing made me laugh at first, I grew to like it. Those boys were light on their feet.

I wish the story had been prolonged; the whole movie spans just two days. It could have been made to last a few weeks (at the very least!). I say this for two reasons:

1) To let the tension grow.

2) To let Tony’s and Maria’s love grow. I may incur a lot of wrath for this, but I didn’t believe their love for each other. Cry “love at first sight” all you want, a dance and kiss is not a relationship. I was very surprised when they exchanged “I love you”s – it seemed awfully quick to me.

That brings me to my next point: I liked the parts between Maria and Tony least of all. I like each of them fine, but their songs together were just too cheesy and unbelievable – and that goes for their non-musical scenes as well.

I love Anita. She’s so sassy.

I was not prepared for all those deaths.

I wish there had been more mourning for said deaths by the Jets, by Maria, and by Anita.

I was deeply disturbed by the scene with Anita and the Jets where they rough around with her.

The ending left me…unsettled. I was sad (which surprised me as the movie was cute in its dramatic quality and I didn’t think I’d be much affected by it), but the upbeat songs from the musical numbers were stuck in my head. An odd combination, to be sure.

So would I recommend West Side Story? In a snap 😉

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