What to Watch: Mapplethorpe – Director’s Cut

This new version of the 2017 festival hit arrives on streaming services this week and, in a similar vein to Zack Snyder’s Justice League, proves once again that producers should let a director tell a story, rather than a committee. 

Mapplethorpe: The Director’s Cut elevates the material from a mediocre biopic to a compelling and challenging vision of a man driven to near madness by his own contradictions…not to mention everyone else around him. This new cut of the film delves more into Mapplethorpe’s troubled Catholic upbringing, and how his attraction to the subtle sexuality of Catholic imagery sparked his interest in BDSM.

The film also deepens his relationship with musician Patti Smith, as possibly the only person Mapplethorpe could let down his guard around. Matt Smith makes the title role into a character as brilliant as he is infuriating: his Robert Mapplethorpe seems to inject BDSM into every aspect of his life wittingly or not. He’s not a likable person, but still a fascinating one.

Along with a much clearer and nuanced narrative, Mapplethorpe: The Director’s Cut also features no shortage of full-frontal male nudity and scenes of intense gay sex. To paraphrase Boogie Nights, come for the sexy stuff, stay for the story.

Streams On Demand today, April 2.

Via Queerty

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