Morgan_Lightle’s review published on Letterboxd:
You can ask almost anyone about Romeo & Juliet, and at least one or several people will argue that it's stupid. Cause young people, feudalism, love-at-first-sight, and ridiculous suicides.
I'm usually a defender of Romeo & Juliet and its actual complexity. One of my arguments is that West Side Story captures what probably made Romeo & Juliet so powerful in Shakespeare's time.
No one today can relate to feudalism and warring houses, but today we can relate to systemic racism and society's dismissal of youth. West Side Story uses the idealism of star-crossed love as a contrast to its cruel society. The fate of Tony and Maria is unfair and crushing because society is. Romeo & Juliet probably captured that same sense of injustice and loss for its time of divisiveness and oppression.
West Side Story modernizes the classic and oft ridiculed play, making it powerful and revolutionary once again.