West Side Story #MovieReview

Film 184 in the “1001 Films to See Before You Die” challenge is 1961’s “West Side Story”. This Jerome Robbins & Robert Wise crime drama musical is based on Jerome Robbins & Arthur Laurents’ novel of the same name and inspired by William Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet”. This film is about the rivalry between the Jets and the Sharks, two teenage street gangs of different ethnic backgrounds. Overall, I enjoyed this. My only complain would be that some of the dancing/singing scenes did feel like they went on and on. Especially the scene at the dance. Don’t get me wrong, they are fun to watch but it did lead me to watch these scenes on fast forward. Throughout the film, I couldn’t make out who which gang to cheer for. Both gangs come across as evil and make me not like neither of them. Did they do this to draw more focus on the relationship between Tony and Maria? Another thing I was thinking throughout was that this film is more suited for theatres. Am I the only one who thinks this? This is a film I would recommend. Especially those who want to get into dancing because you could probably learn a few moves from watching this. Fun Fact of the Film – The film gave rise to what was, at the time, the best-selling soundtrack LP. If you have seen this film then let me know what you thought of it in the comments. Here is what I had to say while watching 1961’s “West Side Story”

Film – West Side Story
Year – 1961
Director – Jerome Robbins & Robert Wise
Written by – Ernest Lehman
Based On – “West Side Story” by Jerome Robbins & Arthur Laurents and “Romeo and Juliet” by William Shakespeare
Staring – Natalie Wood, George Chakiris, Richard Beymer
IMDb Rating – 7.6/10
My Rating – 7.2/10
Length – 140 min (2h 20min)
Genre – Crime, Drama, Musical
We ope with “Jet Song”…. and lots of yellow
Now it’s “Tonight”…. and very red
Time for “Maria”… and the screen is purple
Stop changing colours! You’re making me go blind
And after 4 and a half minutes we finally see New York
That building was shaped like a h
Is this New York or Holbeck?
So… These are The Jets
How dare you interupt our finger clicking session
These are the nicest thiefs
Intermission – Someone from 024 7623 1293 wanted to steal money from me
And we’re back and The Jets are now dancing
I have been humiliated! Better click my fingers angerly and dance with my mates
Damn! He stole my lemon
Shit! We’ve been spotted
One of The Sharks has a lazy eye
Time for a dance fight
184 films to finally see someone get booted up the ass
We’ve been defeated by lime coloured paint
I will defeat all four of you with my paintbrush
15 minutes for me to know one character’s name
Make it two
So… The Jets and The Sharks don’t like each other but they both hate cops
No women in our gang!
I can’t tell what’s more red – The building or Riff
Riff proposes The Jets fight The Sharks with fists, blades or guns – It depends on what The Sharks agree with
20 minutes for our first sing-along song
Better get Tony to come back from his job
Nice to know that that The Jets censor themselves – Fucking is “Buggin'”
Thanks for the free Coca-Cola
Riff talks to Tony about coming back to The Jets and come to the dance
Time for Tony to sing
Time to meet Maria and some woman who argue about cutting one inch in her dress
Here comes Chino and Bernardo to take her to the dance
And once again, the picture changes colour making me go blind again
So… Are we at the dance?
Dance cancelled! Time for staredown
The owner proposes the boys and girls get in two circles
When the music stops, you have to dance with that person
That failed! They’ve all gone back to their original partners
Have we got a dance-off happening?
Not gonna lie, this scene feels like it’s been going on forever
Wait… When did Tony get at the dance
Tony finds Maria and the two… stand next to each other before dancing
Looks like we’ve found a case of “Love At First Sight”
Bernardo demands Maria leave because she was with Tony
Riff and Bernardo agree to a war council at midnight
Meanwhile, Tony sings about “Maria”
Back at Maria’s apartment and it’s time for The Sharks to meet
Wait… Tony is Polish?!?
What Cadillac has a built-in bar?
Time for a song about Puerto Rico followed by “America”
This scene is really dragging now
Meanwhile, Tony somehow managed to find Maria’s apartment
Time for another song
Kiss me through the fire escape
And time for another song about… sleeping
At the war council
Time to sing about not wanting to be arrested by Officer Krumke
Intermission – Another load of theifing bastards rang – 024 7655 9078 – All I know is that they’re from Coventry
And back to the film and The Jet and Sharks agree to an all out brawl with weapons
Tony arrives and proposes a fair fight
Act like we like each other when Lieutenant arrives
Why were they whisling “God Save the Queen”?
No one tell Lieutenant about where the rumble will take place
After everyone leaves, Tony tells Doc about Maria and explains the “fair fight” is for her
Time for another song – “I Feel Pretty”
Anita let’s slip about the rumble
Tony arrives and Maria demands him to stop the rumble
They already talking about marriage! They’ve known each other less than 24 hours
The two have a mock wedding before singing
Meanwhile under the freeway The Sharks arrive and wait for The Jets
Tony arrives and tries to stop the fight
Now Tony’s in the fight and is instantly thrown out and replaces with Riff
It’s Riff vs Bernardo in a switchblade fight
And Riff has been stabbed and killed
And Bernardo is dead thanks to Tony
That female is back and tells Tony to leave
Meanwhile, Maria has a dance to herself on the roof
Chino arrives and tells her about the rumble and Bernardo’s death
“HE KILLED YOUR BROTHER” – How dare you lie to me
Tony arrives and explains everything
Tony asks Maria for forgiveness for he can turn himself into the police
They decide to sing about running away
Meanwhile at The Jets meeting and they argue about everything
Ice starts singing about being cool
The female arrives and tells them she what she learned from spying on The Sharks
I guess shes part of The Jets now?!?
Back at Maria’s and her and Tony fell asleep together before Anita arrives
Tony tells Maria to meet her at the docks so they can escape together
Anita sings to Maria about Tony being a member of The Jets
Leiutenant arrives and demands answers from Maria
At Doc’s, The Jets arrive and talk
Anita arrives and demands where Doc is
This then leads to her being abused and they steal her scarf
Doc arrives and stops thing before they turn ugly
She tells them to tell Tony that Maria is dead
Doc tells Tony that Maria is “dead”
This causes Tony to run around looking for Chino and demands he kill him
Turns out Maria isn’t dead and Chino arrives and shoots Tony
Time for one more song while Tony is dying
Tony is dead and Lieutenant arrives to…. stand and look
Both The Jets and Sharks help carry Tony away meaning that their war is over
And I’m guessing Chino is being arrested

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