mapol (mapol) wrote in westsidestory,

West Side Story: A great movie/musical Classic that has everything:

While there are other movies that express various emotions at different times, West Side Story has an intensity about it that makes it very special, both on screen and on stage. West Side Story is about love, romance and beauty, which, unfortunately, can be, and, in this case is, destroyed by the animosity of the Jets and Sharks towards each other. The romance between Tony and Maria produces hope, in that it proves that people of different backgrounds can and do fall in love (which often happens in real life.), date and even marry, despite difficulties.

There is also much black comedy in West Side Story as well, especially in the stage version; the Officer Krupke scene, in which the Jets lampoon Ofcr Krupke as soon as he departs after he and Lt. Schrank visiting the Jets and warning them not to cause any trouble. As for the song "America", that, too has a streak of black comedy in it, for it's both funny and black at the same time, if one gets the drift. It's got sarcasm in it, and yet one has to wonder if "America" is just a playful but sarcastic argument that the Sharks and their girls get into about the so-called virtues of the United States of America, after the hard times they're facing as immigrants, or if it's a genuine liking of America by the Shark girls despite the difficulties that they face as immigrants, if one gets the drift.

Cool has a sort of a black comedy to it, in a way, at least in the stage version of West Side Story, because it comes prior to the rumble, as opposed to after the rumble, as it does in the film version of WSS. In the film version, the "Cool" scene takes on a much darker, more serious meaning, due to the fact that the Jets and their girls are now in hiding from the cops, and there's much more tension there.

The War Council, which follows "America", which in turn, follows "Dance at the Gym", is also marked with a great deal of tension, and evokes much interest as well.

The pre-rumble Quintet/Ensemble is also quite tense, because it, too, predicts what will come, and the rumble itself is quite intense. I find myself wanting everybody in the film to survive, to have the rumble, and, maybe, hopefully, that will be the catalyst for unity and redemption among people, if one gets the drift. It, too, is a particularly tense section of West Side Story.

There are, of course, a number of scenes/songs in West Side Story that make me smile, and/or even laugh out loud; The American scene, despite sarcasm, the part where Riff says "Because your ma's hot for me." when Tony asks him why he doesn't "pack up his gear and move out", and the part where Anita says to Chino "We won't bite you...til we know you better.", when Chino says "But this is a shop for ladies."

"Dance at the Gym", despite being a pre-cursor of what's to come later that night, also makes me smile, as do the America, the Jet Song/Prologue, Officer Krupke, and the Cool scenes. The "One Hand, One Heart" scene is also quite exuberant, as Tony and Maria are staging a mock wedding in the Bridal Shop where Maria and Anita both work, to pledge their love.

So, all told, as I pointed out, West Side Story has everything; Some parts are dark and intense, and keep one on the edge of his/her seat, other parts are funny, causing people to smile and even laugh out loud, while other parts are quite sad and make many people cry, or at least tear up, such as the deaths of Riff, Bernardo and Tony during the rumble.

West Side Story is a movie that goes from light to dark (figuratively, as well as literally), and begins to become light again towards the end, when there's a hint of possible reconciliation between the Jets and Sharks as several members of each gang come together to carry off Tony's body after he's shot to death after the rumble. It's also a matter of chasing rainbows, even though a damper has been put down due to everything that has gone wrong. West Side Story provides a message of hope and reconciliation, despite being about a love and romance that takes root, only to be destroyed by conflict. All told, West Side Story is a beautiful film. I wish they'd show it even more often in the movie theatres.

  • (no subject)

    Happy Birthday to ozma914. Best wishes for a wonderful day today and an even better year ahead.

  • (no subject)

    Happy Birthday to Arthur Laurents

  • (no subject)

    I've been reading The Leonard Bernstein Letters and while there really isn't much in letter form due to the fact that the foursome worked together…

  • Post a new comment


    Comments allowed for members only

    Anonymous comments are disabled in this journal

    default userpic

    Your reply will be screened