WEST SIDE STORY (2021)*CUT TO THE CHASE*
NOTE: This spoiler was submitted by Jeremy
The film opens in New York City in the ’50’s. The Caucasian street gang known as the Jets are gathering paint from their hideout. Led by Riff (Mike Faist), they go around town harassing other residents (“Prologue”) before making their way down to the Puerto Rican neighborhood where they find a giant spray-painted Puerto Rican flag. The Jets begin to throw paint onto the walls before the Puerto Rican gang, the Sharks, led by Bernardo (David Alvarez), come to fight off the Jets. The brawl involves one Jet swinging a paint can at a Shark’s head while a Jet named Baby John (Patrick Higgins) gets a nail in his ear.
The fight is broken up by Sgt. Krupke (Brian d’Arcy James) and Lt. Schrank (Corey Stoll). While the officers break up the conflict, it is clear that they are still more prejudiced toward the Puerto Rican residents. Bernardo leads the Sharks out while singing a prideful song (“La Boriqueña”). Schrank also warns Riff that they need to vacate the turf that they currently occupy, or he will find himself in jail. Riff tells the other Jets that they will eventually get back at the Sharks, and he wants fellow Jet Tony (Ansel Elgort), to join them, but the other Jets know Tony is on parole after being released from prison after a year. Riff then reiterates to the gang why being a Jet is the best (“Jet Song”).
Riff goes to the shop where Tony works for a woman named Valentina (Rita Moreno). He tries to get Tony to join him and the other Jets at a dance mixer at the community center later that night, but Tony declines because of his parole. Riff leaves the shop angry at Tony, and he talks to Valentina, who looks out for him and wants to be careful. He doesn’t want to be part of the gang life anymore, but he eventually comes around to the idea of going to the dance (“Something’s Coming”).
Elsewhere in the city lives Bernardo’s sister Maria (Rachel Zegler) and his girlfriend Anita (Ariana DeBose). Anita helps Maria get ready for the dance, while Bernardo brings Maria’s date, a timid young man called Chino (Josh Andres Rivera). Bernardo vows to fight any “gringos” that dare to go near Maria.
Everyone gathers at the mixer, and even Tony shows up. While both Jets and Sharks try to dance with their dates (“The Dance at the Gym”), things eventually escalate into a fight when the gangsters keep bumping into each other, but Krupke and other authorities break up the fight and get them to be civilized. Bernardo and Anita show off their dance moves, while Chino gets in a few moves himself. Maria and Tony then find each other under the bleachers, where they share a brief dance. They quickly become smitten with one another and even share a kiss. Anita finds them and orders Maria to get out before Bernardo sees her. He eventually sees Tony getting out of the bleachers and figures he was with Maria, so he begins to antagonize Tony until they are separated again.
The Jets and Sharks meet in the bathroom, with Riff and Bernardo agreeing to a “rumble” for the following night by the docks. They attempt to agree to only using their fists, but both sides know that the other will be bringing weapons.
While everyone returns home, Tony finds himself head-over-heels in love with Maria (“Maria”). He goes over to her neighborhood and calls her name until he finds her standing outside her balcony. She tells him he needs to leave, but he climbs up the fire escape and woos her (“Tonight”). Maria finds herself in love with Tony as well. She learns that his name is derived from “Anton”, so she tells him, “Te adoro, Anton”. He still leaves before Anita and Bernardo find them together, but he and Maria agree to meet the following day.
The next day, Bernardo tells Maria that he forbids her from seeing Tony, but she declares that she doesn’t care what he wants from her. Anita and her friends do their daily chores while she argues with Bernardo over why their lives are better or worse where they live now. Anita thinks they have better privileges, but Bernardo reminds them that they still face scrutiny for their race (“America”).
Tony and Maria meet for a date and take the train. Maria wants to be cautious because she knows that her family will be angry if they know she is with him. While out together, Tony admits to Maria that They go to a church where Tony tries speaking Spanish to Maria after getting pointers from Valentina. They sit together and say some vows (“One Heart, One Hand”).
At the police station, Krupke is questioning the Jets since the police found out about the rumble. None of the Jets will say a word, and a transgender member named Anybodys (Iris Menas) gets into an altercation with one of the Jets, which escalates into them fighting cops and running away. With the Jets unguarded, they sit around and mock Krupke and the public’s perception of them (“Gee, Officer Krupke”). They trash the station and flee once Krupke returns.
Riff and the Jets meet with a guy at the local bar to acquire a gun in anticipation of the Sharks bringing their own weaponry. Tony later meets with the guys and finds that Riff has a gun. He doesn’t want there to be any violence or bloodshed, so he attempts to fight Riff for the gun (“Cool”). Riff eventually nabs the gun out of Tony’s hands and makes it clear he is going to go through with the rumble on his own terms.
Everybody in town prepares for the events of the evening (“Tonight (Quintet)”), with the Jets and Sharks all gathering for the rumble while Maria and Anita join their friends for their shift at Gimbel’s. The two gangs meet at the salt warehouse for the rumble. Tony attempts to intervene and explain himself to Bernardo to avoid violence, but Bernardo uses his boxing skills to lay some hits against Tony. He refuses to fight until Bernardo appears to go after Riff. Tony begins landing a few punches, but stops himself short of knocking Bernardo out cold. He refuses to let Tony walk away, so he goes after him, and someone drops a knife. Bernardo grabs his knife while Riff grabs his. After a brief duel (“The Rumble”), Bernardo stabs Riff in the heart. He dies in Tony’s arms, and he takes Riff’s knife to stab Bernardo dead. The gangs flee before the police arrive, but Chino grabs Riff’s gun.
At Gimbel’s, Maria is over the moon about her love for Tony, which she expresses to her coworkers (“I Feel Pretty”). Once their shift is over, Maria spots Chino. He approaches her to tell her that Bernardo is dead and that Tony killed him, and now he is going after Tony. Anita goes to the morgue where she identifies Bernardo’s body.
Tony goes to Maria’s apartment, where she angrily tells him to leave and calls him a killer, but she succumbs to her feelings for him, and they make love. Meanwhile, Valentina learns of Bernardo and Riff’s deaths, and she laments the situation (“Somewhere”).
Anita returns home and enters Maria’s room, where she catches Tony leaving after Maria tells him to stay with Valentina. Anita chastises Maria in anger for sleeping with the man who murdered her brother, but Maria cannot help her feelings for him (“A Boy Like That/I Have A Love”). Anita tells Maria that while she cares for her, she knows that nobody in their neighborhood will forgive Tony, or forgive her for being with him. Anita sends Maria away, but they are first interrogated by Schrank after he learns that Chino took Riff’s gun.
Chino approaches the Sharks at the boxing gym to show them that he has Riff’s gun, and he criticizes Bernardo’s way of thinking and blames him for getting himself killed. Anybodys sees that he has the gun and goes to find the other Jets taking sanctuary at Valentina’s shop as they wait for Tony to emerge. Anita shows up and tries to get Valentina out, but the Jets antagonize her. She tries to leave, but the gang harasses her and nearly rapes her until Valentina comes out and pushes them off of Anita. She calls Valentina a traitor for housing the Jets, and she lies to Valentina, saying that Chino found out about Tony and Maria and shot Maria, killing her, so that she can tell Tony and he will go away. After Anita leaves, Valentina scolds the Jets, saying that she watched them grow from children to rapists. The Jets agree to leave together.
Tony is packing his things with plans to join Maria, but Valentina tells him what Anita told her. Tony runs out into the street and calls out to Chino to get him. Anybodys tries to get Tony out of there, but he wants to die since he believes Maria is dead. To his surprise, Maria comes out running to him, but Chino comes out as well and shoots Tony twice in the back. Maria holds Tony in her arms as he slowly dies. She gets the gun from Chino and threatens him, as well as the emerging Jets and Sharks, saying she will shoot all of them and hopes there will be one bullet left for her. She goes back to Tony’s body and once again tells him, “Te adoro, Anton”.
Although Maria tries to protect Tony’s body, the Jets pick him up, and the Sharks join them to help carry him. Maria follows them while Valentina stays with Chino until the police show up to arrest him.
The Jets are a Caucasian gang in 1950's New York City, finding themselves at odd with the Puerto Rican gang, the Sharks. Complicating matters is that Maria, sister of Sharks leader Bernardo, has fallen in love with Tony, members of the Jets. He falls for her as well, but they must keep their love a secret as both gangs are planning a rumble to settle their rivalry.
Tony and Maria spend a romantic afternoon together, but Tony eventually finds himself at the rumble. Bernardo fights Tony after he admits his love for Maria, but Tony stops himself from really hurting Bernardo. Jets leader Riff engages in a knife fight with Bernardo that ends with Bernardo killing Riff, and Tony killing Bernardo. Although Maria is angry at Tony for killing her brother, she cannot help her feelings for him and plans to join him as he flees from the docks.
Bernardo's friend Chino, who was originally a suitor for Maria, gets Riff's gun and goes after Tony. After Bernardo's girlfriend Anita lies and says that Chino killed Maria, Tony goes out into the street to die, but Maria emerges to run to him, only for Chino to shoot Tony fatally. Maria holds Tony in her arms as he dies, and both Jets and Sharks form a truce of sorts to carry Tony's body away. Chino is arrested shortly after.