I like musicals, I like Shakespeare inspired pop-culture and I thought this movie would be perfect for that. And it kinda was? Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed West Side Story, it was very well made, the actors were amazing, it looked and sounded great. But it also was somewhat annoying … I watched it with my brother and he summarized it quite well:
Well made cinematography and a great cast can’t hide that the base material is at least 60 years old. So this movie is basically a 60 year old carcass put in nice new clothes but those can’t hide that underneath is a thing that did not change a bit while everything around it has changed a lot.My brother, who likes neither musicals nor Shakespeare all that much (but is very right in this case)
And I wholeheartedly agree with my brother. Yes, West Side Story was a really well made piece of cinematography but at its core is a almost seventy years old story, inspired by one that is several centuries older and while one might argue that Shakespeare is timeless, I’d say you still have to put it into contemporary contexts to work – and the movie did not do that. The musical did that but, again, that was several decades ago. Thus, a lot about the movie feels very, very dated and just in a vintage-nostalgia way but also in a „it’s 2022, shouldn’t we know better by now?“ way.