It’s amazing how a movie based on a musical based on a Shakespeare play managed to win so many Academy Awards, but in this case there’s little surprise, seeing as this film is the film adaptation of ‘West Side Story’, based on the musical of the same name, which was based off the Shakespeare play ‘Romeo & Juliet’
Similar to ‘Romeo & Juliet’, there’s a rivalry between two groups, in R&J, it was between two families in Italy – the Montagues and the Capulets, in WSS, it’s between two teenage gangs – the Jets and the Sharks. However the Jets and Sharks have no women in either groups, although Bernardo (George Chakiris), the leader of the Sharks, is the brother to Maria (Natalie Wood), who Tony (Richard Beymer), a member of the Jets, falls for. The film and musical bare more similarities to ‘Romeo & Juliet’, but in my opinion, if you were to go along ‘West Side Story’, you would spot the similarities between it and ‘Romeo & Juliet’
While neither the film nor musical have a completely original plot, this film takes the musical numbers from the play and makes them more popular around those who have never seen the original musical. The film also features an amazing score, a great visual style, intelligent directing by Robert Wise and Jerome Robbins, some mind-blowing cinematography from Daniel L. Fapp, amazing dance scenes and a talented cast that includes Natalie Wood, Richard Beymer, Rita Moreno, George Chakiris and Russ Tamblyn.
With the cinematography, you look at the overview of Manhattan, New York, and it amazes you how they got those shots. With the dancing, you stare at it and think that these actors have gone through lots of dancing lessons. These actors have also worked really hard to get this far into this acting, in which every single cast member demonstrates how amazing they can get! Listening to the original music, you feel glad that this film had something original to offer! And they did it so well!