West Side : Film Review Essay

West Side : Film Review Essay

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The film West Side takes place in New York City where a Polish- American gang, referred to as the Jets, competes against a Puerto Rican gang, the Sharks, to own the neighborhood streets. The central theme of this film is passionate love that defies friendships, family and other factors. To add to that, the dominating genre of the film is a musical involving drama and romance.
To begin with, in this film, Richard Beymer (Tony) is the former leader of the jet that lives with Riff, works at Docs store and is in love with Maria. Natalie Wood (Maria) is the sister of Bernado who works at the bridal store and is in love with Tony. Rita Moreno (Anita) is Bernardo’s girlfriend that works in the bridal store. Tony Mordente (Action) is the most aggressive member of the jets. Ben Gerard (Chino) is Bernardo best friend who is engaged to Maria. Finally, Simon Oakland (Lt. Shrank) is the detective for the police that stirs trouble between the two gangs.
However, in this film, both the jets and sharks play the antagonist and protagonist. The leader of the jets was Russ Tamblyn (Riff) and the opposing leader was George Chakiris (Bernado). The young men that’s associated with the jets all came from broken homes. For example, in front of Doc store, they stated in their song that their mothers are all drunkies and their fathers are all drunks. Therefore, this causes them to be troubled young men that constantly roams the street. On the other hand, the sharks are individuals that moved from Puerto Rico to America for better opportunities. Unfortunately, Bernado doesn’t like it in America because of the prejudice and disrespect they face in America. Also, Bernado is very over protective of his sister Maria because he feels that Tony kind only want...


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... was proven by him wanting to attack Lt. Schrank. The film, also has great music that tells the stories of the sharks and jets and it express feelings. Overall, West Side story shows how the love of a young Puerto Rican female and a young American boy leads to horrific and shocking ending.
In conclusion, this film was outstanding and it made me sad at times, but the story was eye-captivating. It was extremely hurtful to watch the ending and I wished that it could’ve of ended in a more positive way. However, the music in the film was outstanding and all of the songs told a story. The film opened my eyes to see exactly what the Puerto Ricans had to face when coming to America. On the other hand, it showed me that the Jets were young men in need of encouragement to change their lives and positive role models. Overall, the theme of the film complemented the story well.

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