Spencer’s review published on Letterboxd:
Took a long time after years of hearing people to tell me to watch this. Finally, I’ve seen it and now understand all the hype. The first 20 minutes nobody spoke and two gangs did really strange choreographed dance numbers like a ballet, which at first was so odd but after a few scenes I found myself really getting into it.
Performances were excellent all around. The dances, singing, acting, and choreography were fantastic. On technical terms, it’s also extremely impressive what they pulled off with the directing and cinematography. It’s a beautifully shot film with a lot of unique transitions and editing tricks. I was in awe for a lot of this movie, but i did have some minor issues.
Pacing. It was 2hr30min, a runtime that I’m pretty accustomed too, but this didn’t have to be this long for the story that was told. Not to mention the first 7 minutes is a colored screen with lines representing New York. I literally thought my TV was broken. Can anyone explain the point of that to me?
Regardless, this is a great movie and it was better than I thought it was going to be. The length and pacing bothered me slightly, but overall West Side Story lived up to the hype surrounding it and it’s an absolute must watch for fans of musicals.