Another Forbidden Love Story?

Melyna Carter, Print Team Leader

   The movie “West Side Story” was released to theaters Dec. 10, 2021. “West Side Story” was based on the play “Romeo and Juliet” which came out in the 1590s. The movie was set in the 1950s. 

   The movie introduces the Sharks, the Puerto Ricans and the Jets, white Americans as rivals living in the Upper West Side of New York. The two groups are constantly fighting for control of their neighborhood. María (Rachel Zegler) fell in love with Tony [Ansel Elgort] but their love was forbidden by María’s brother Bernardo (David Alvarez).

   The movie has more serious and sensitive topics like racism, transphobia and sexual assault. The main reason the Jets didn’t like the Sharks was based on the Jets being born in Puerto Rico and not in America. The more serious topics were portrayed well for the time period it was set in and how certain people were treated at that time. 

   María, a newly 18-year-old, went to a dance with her brother Bernardo and his girlfriend Anita (Arianna DeBose). At the dance, María sees Tony and meets him under the bleachers. While under the bleachers, María and Tony dance with each other which leads to more conflict between the Jets and Sharks.

   Riff (Mike Faist) and Bernardo make an agreement to have a “rumble” the next day at midnight. At the rumble Bernardo was fighting Tony, which led to Riff stepping in and eventually getting stabbed by Bernardo. Enraged Tony stabs Bernardo, killing him. At the end of the movie, Tony was told María had been shot and died and was looking for Chino (Josh Andrés Rivera) so he can die too. Chino had shot Tony and killed him before María could get to where she was supposed to meet Tony. 

   I really enjoyed the movie and all the songs in it. Throughout the movie the costumes were really well made and really added to the time period it was set in. The movie having more sensitive topics added to the hatred that the Jets and Sharks had towards each other. The dances through the movie were really smooth and added a lot to it.