MOVIE REVIEW – The House of Gucci is like a posh and sophisticated fashion haven from a bygone era: at once ostentatious, kitschy and at the same time tiresomely dull. It’s a shame, but Ridley Scott, the filmmaking genius, has once again tackled an exciting subject and directed some great stars.
It’s hard to know what kind of film Ridley Scott really wanted to make. Although the film is about the Italian fashion dictator family, the house of Gucci and the murder case linked to the family, he has managed to produce a movie that is at once confusing, chaotic and incredibly boring. The two stars cannot save it in the lead roles: Lady Gaga and Adam Driver, either.
A dark past – in a boring presentation
And yet, the excellent source material made for a promising film, as the Gucci name is still associated with immense luxury, and the story of the original Gucci family (including the murder of Maurizio Gucci, which shocked the world in 1995) is also fascinating. Unfortunately, Ridley Scott’s film is anything but fascinating.
While Ridley Scott’s extremely varied film repertoire boasts classics such as Alien, Blade Runner and Gladiator, The House of Gucci is unfortunately not even on the level of a mediocre soap opera. Perhaps the fundamental problem is that the relatively well-known story is told in a too plain fashion, unlike The Last Duel, for example, where you can learn the same medieval story from several angles.
However, in this film, the director has not used any particularly creative solutions to a story that we have seen every aspect of a thousand times before in soap operas such as Dallas or Dynasty.
He was only after the money
The film stars Patrizia Reggiani (Lady Gaga) as a highly energetic and pretty young Italian girl whose father is the head of a trucking empire. At a party in the early 1970s, Patrizia meets Maurizio Gucci (Adam Driver), a sari already a lawyer in training for a prestigious fashion house. The highly aggressive Patrizia (obviously after money at first) does everything she can to ensnare the rather dowdy Maurizio, and her seduction is quickly crowned with success.
Maurizio falls in love with Patrizia and insists on marrying her even though his father (who sees through the sieve), Rodolfo Gucci (Jeremy Irons), will disinherit his son from his fortune. However, everything turns out ‘well’ in the end, after Aldo (Al Pacino), Rodolfo’s brother supports the newlyweds and Patrizia gives birth to a child with Maurizio. But the drama of family intrigues, betrayals, deceit, betrayals and jealousies, and finally murder only begins…
A tabloid story
Although the film wants to paint a fascinating picture and character sketches of many things: racketeering, power arrogance, arrogance, the puffing of mediocre and boring clichés and clichés, and the occasional raunchy performances, unfortunately, spoil the final result. The two main characters do their duty, but the rest of the stars are not up to it. For Al Pacino, this is probably one of the weakest performances of his life, even though he tried to use his character from The Godfather for a scene or two. His son, Paolo, who his father calls an idiot, is played by Jared Leto, masked as unrecognisable, with his usual over-the-top snarl. Apart from being irritating, Paolo is in no way an enjoyable or memorable character.
There was a lot of potential in this story, but sadly all we got was a painfully mediocre and, until the murder part, a decidedly dull piece of work. For me, this is somewhat incomprehensible, especially after Scott’s aforementioned The Last Duel. Perhaps he should have been a little more aggressive with the script by Becky Johnston and Roberto Bentivegna (who adapted Sara Gay Forden’s 2001 book The House of Gucci: A Sensational Story of Murder, Madness, Glamour, and Greed) and not told a cliché-laden story in a linear, boring way.