Mapplethorpe (2018) Movie Review


Director: Ondi Timoner

Writer: Ondi Timoner, Mikko Alanne (Screenplay)

Starring: Matt Smith, Marianne Rendon, John Benjamin Hickey, Brandon Sklenar, Tina Benko, Mark Moses

Plot: A look at the life of photographer Robert Mapplethorpe from his rise to fame in the 1970s to his untimely death in 1989.

Runtime: 1 Hour 42 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: Mapplethorpe starts as we meet the artist Robert Mapplethorpe (Smtih) who has always been looking for something that will make him stand out, he meets Patti Smith (Rendon) in the middle of Central park, which will lead to their whirlwind romance, as well as continuing work.

After Robert meets Sandy Daley (Benko), he discovers photography, looking to get into a more forbidden style of photography that catches the eye of Sam Wagstaff (Hickey) leading to his rise in stardom through the 1970s.

Thoughts on Mapplethorpe

ThoughtsMapplethorpe is a look at the rise of fame of edgy photographer Robert Mapplethorpe who will look to break down the barriers in the world of art to bring explicit photos never bought to the mainstream before. Robert also had to balance his own sexuality as the world that will push him towards exploring his homosexual side, all while trying to keep this life secret from his parents who he knows would never approve of his edgier side. Robert is not portrayed as a very nice persons, he comes off as selfish, never caring about the people around him. It might well have become a tragic life of never being allowed to fit in, but he never seems to make an attempt to fit in or be accepted. Matt Smith in the leading role does well without needing to hit the heights of his ability, while the support cast all play well off him through the film.

Final Thoughts Mapplethorpe shows an edgy photographers life in a world where he wanted to be accepted, by never tried to fit in.

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