West Side Story ★★★★

Expected La La Land, got Romeo and Juliet in the New York slums.

Before I start rambling, I've got to say, that prologue scene might be one of the most smoothest, charming, and stylish openings to a film that I've ever seen. With virtually no dialogue at all, relying purely on the fantastic camerawork, excellent choreography, and flawless direction in a potent setting that is ever so full of life, this opening perfectly sets up the mood and premise. This opening scene alone earns the 4 stars.

Oh, and everything else is pretty good too I guess. The film, of course, soars whenever it's in a musical number. Characters were cute albeit sappy but what do you expect, I enjoy the R&J story so narratively nothing bothered me much. Absolutely love the setting, something about it just feels so full of life. The social commentary and messages brought up, especially with the Puerto Rican Sharks gang, were surprisingly thoughtful considering that this film was released in 1961. Maybe, it's a little long? I can't think of much that I dislike about this. West Side Story is a cute movie.

I can see why Michael Bay loves it so much.