Nate’s review published on Letterboxd:
Took a while for things to get going, but once it did it started getting good! Loved the color, look and just the whole way it was crafted. The song and dance numbers were good! Gene Kelly really set the standard for song and dance numbers for musicals. So I a problem I have is that I keep comparing them to his musicals which is a little unfair since that bar is high. But they were fine in West Side story!
I also felt there was a little racial undertone to the film. Some of it from the cop, but mainly from the gangs with them being immigrants. It just showed how they got treated. I liked the Shark gang's (Puerto Ricans) song about America. They sang a lot of truths about America, both positive and negative. But this was made in the early 60's so I don't know if that was intentional.
I also liked how this looked at the juvenile delinquent life. It showed what it was like and the Jets song about that was good too.
I feel like this film lost a little momentum after the intermission but this overall is a pretty good musical, and well worth watching!
The ending really surprised me with the death of Tony. Since it's a musical, won Best Picture, and was made in a time where every ending was good ending. I was expecting the ending to be like "Oh he's just injured, he's gonna be ok, there gonna getting married, everyone will get along and happily ever after." But nope. It surprised me in a good way. And made the film that much better!