Film Review – House Of Gucci (2021)

Superman was questioned if he was a bird, was he a plane? In Ridley Scott‘s House Of Gucci is it a historical drama? 1980’s Dallas style Soap Opera cheesefest? A comedy or simply all of them?

The name Gucci is synomous in the fashion world. An ego centric family who would do anything including stabbing their own family in the back. Even more when they where involved in very own Dallas Style soap opera, the only difference this time , Bobby Ewing or should I say Maurizio Gucci won’t come out the shower alive.

When you are young, some girls dream of wanting to meet a tall, dark and handsome to marry. Patrizia Regginani (Lady Gaga) is no different. When we first meet her she is a sincere, boisterous, ambitious woman who falls for a shy Maurizio Gucci (Adam Driver) at a party. She has no idea who Maurizio is as she’s an outsider. After protestations the pair get married and what starts as love quickly becomes a battle. For control for the Gucci fashion brand as Patrizia’s ambition unravels the legcy, the betrayal, revenge tht leads to murder.

The first question we may ask about House Of Gucci, should we be looking for something serious and melodramatic? Or something that is campy, laughable as well as melodramatic? When it comes to this film it’s hard to tell, many are calling this the weak link of the film. At times House Of Gucci doesn’t know what it wants to be , if anything it wants a little piece of everything. The mix of melodrama,soap opera hijinks is what makes this film laughable in an entertaining way. It makes you wonder if Ridley Scott deliberately took this route?

Scott tries to follow the actual story faithfully as possible. It’ obivious he’s also had to fictionalise some of the story in the name of creativity. Whatever version of House Of Gucci Scott has made, it has clearly angered the living member of the Gucci family.

We cannot deny the Gucci family are a colourful bunch. It doesn’t take long to learn they would do anything if it gave them an advantage. When we first meet Patrizia she wouldn’t rain on anyone’s parade, she was just looking for an handsome man to look after her. Maurizo is that man, it’s when she steps into the Gucci family bubble she gets a taste of power and she likes it. This of course leads her on that path of destruction that ends in murder.

Lady Gaga is the star attraction playing the opptortunistic Patrizia. Charming her way through the family that ends in a power struggle, one that gives her a tighter grip on the families treasure chest. Gaga is fantastic as the gold digger driven by greed. However her Italian accent (real name Stefani Germanotta) was questionable with some critics saying she sounded more Russianthan Italian.

Adam Driver portrays Maurizo, a shy bookish man at one stage seems the sensible member of the family. He wants to be a lawyer rather another cog in the family business. Patrizia is like a parasite that attachs herself to him, coaxing him out of his shell. As the film progresses he transforms into a different person, becoming more aggressive.

Al Pacino is Uncle Aldo who would become the patriarch of the Gucci family. He was the only person to first welcome Patrizia with open arms. Only for her to stab him in the back as she gets more power hungry. Pacino is his usual charming self, extroverted and no fan of the tax man (like several other Gucci’s).

Every family has a black sheep in the House Of Gucci, it’s Paolo Aldo’s son. He wants to embrace the family’s business to be one of their designers, he doesn’t have any talent. Jared Leto is unrecognisable as Paolo under the prosthetics. Wearing his Johnny Morris safari suit with an accent as if he was Super Mario’s long lost brother seperated at birth. Some critics said Leto was another weak link of the film. Depending on your outlook of the film, it’s either cringeworthy or just adds comedic value.

House Of Gucci is laughable, atricous as much as it’s highly entertaining. The faults are endless including a missing pivotal parts of the story (like large parts of the court case). If you embrace those faults, the screen chewing and terrible narrative, you can say Ridley Scott‘s film is a potential cult classic in the future. For now it’s comedic gold.

★★★

Crime, Drama, Biography | UK, 2021 | 15 | Universal Pictures | Dir.Ridley Scott | Lady Gaga, Adam Driver, Jared Leto, Salma Hayek, Jack Huston

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