House of Gucci
Based on the tragic true story of the Gucci dynasty, Ridley Scott directs the highly anticipated release starring Lady Gaga and Adam Driver, House of Gucci. The film recounts the personal affairs of the family behind the world-famous fashion brand, as detailed in Sara Gay Forden’s 2001 book of the same name. The stellar cast and glamorous elements of the production have already drawn plenty of attention, and although the movie is imperfect in many ways, it has a unique pull that will likely ensure its success.
Socialite Patrizia Reggiani (Lady Gaga) turns up at a party in Milan where she meets the reserved, elegant and somewhat awkward Maurizio Gucci (Adam Driver), a law student set to inherit his family’s fashion empire. Although mismatched in character and social background (Patrizia works as a secretary at her father’s truck business), the two soon fall in love. Their union causes a rift between Maurizio and his father Rodolfo (Jeremy Irons), but Patrizia slowly wins the family’s trust and even begins to get involved in their business affairs. With Maurizio’s uncle Aldo (Al Pacino) and cousin Paolo (Jared Leto) on her side, Patrizia gains more confidence and power. Unfortunately, dark times await the company, and when her position is threatened Patrizia resorts to extreme measures.
A tale of ambition, greed and cynicism, House of Gucci brilliantly captures the superficiality and deep dissatisfaction that governs the world it depicts. While it doesn’t stir the heart or awaken the audience’s compassion for the characters, it does give a clear sense of the dysfunctions and dangers of high society. It also visually matches the flamboyance of that social scene and the eccentricity of the characters with larger-than-life costumes, scenery and mannerisms.
Lady Gaga fits the role of Patrizia perfectly, and her onscreen presence is magnetising. Her character’s eagerness for success is visible in her eyes, not just in her actions. The woman becomes so enmeshed in her identity as a Gucci family member that she equates the prospect of losing her status as a kind of personal death – a fate she cannot accept. The transition from excitement to ambition, then greed and finally hysteria is well portrayed and fascinating to behold. Adam Driver is equally convincing as the demure Maurizio, a character whose inner turmoil is palpable beneath his discrete ways.
At times reminiscent of The Godfather saga in the way it depicts family intrigue, the film is at its weakest when the portrayals border on caricature and the depiction of Italian culture feels a little contrived. Nevertheless, House of Gucci throws in so much in the mix that some alchemical reaction does occur and ignite a bright spark.
House of Gucci is released nationwide on 26th November 2021.
Watch the trailer for House of Gucci here: