If there’s one thing I took away from watching Ridley Scott’s ‘House of Gucci’, it would be that Patrizia Reggiani (or Patrizia Gucci, which she prefers to be referred to as) is as ruthless as she is stylish. Based on Sara Gay Forden’s 2001 book titled ‘The House of Gucci: A Sensational Story of Murder, Madness, Glamour and Greed’, ‘House of Gucci’ offers a peek inside the scandalous Gucci household in the 80s and 90s. This biopic focuses on the tumultuous married life of Maurizio Gucci and Patrizia Reggiani which ultimately culminates in murder.
Lady Gaga takes on the role of Patrizia Reggiani, the ambitious daughter of a trucking company owner who becomes a Gucci when she weds Maurizio Gucci (Adam Driver), heir apparent to the fashion house. The movie boasts a star-studded cast, featuring Al Pacino as the shrewd Aldo Gucci, Jared Leto as Aldo’s son Paolo, the untalented black sheep of the family and Salma Hayek as Pina the psychic.
Patrizia isn’t afraid to do whatever it takes to get what she wants, boldly engineering coincidental meetings with Maurizio (and even outright prompting him to ask her out) after she meets him at a party and finds out he hails from the Gucci empire. Although she wins Maurizio’s heart, his disapproving father Rodolfo (Jeremy Irons) looks at Patrizia with disdain, looking down on her middle-class upbringing labelling her as a gold digger. He even threatens to cut Maurizio out of his will should he marry Patrizia.
But Maurizio proceeds anyway. Rodolfo makes good on his word, although Rodolfo’s brother Aldo is much more welcoming to Patrizia. Patrizia quickly cosies up to Aldo, who is more than happy to take them under his wing as they are unlike his dim son Paolo (Jared Leto). Maurizio is generally disinterested in the family business and name, unlike Patrizia who wholeheartedly embraces her newfound identity as Signorina Gucci.
Patrizia eventually decides she and Maurizio must take the reins of Gucci, manipulating Maurizio and stirring the pot to make Aldo and Paolo take each other down so Maurizio – and by extension, Patrizia – gains control of the fashion dynasty.
Along the way, several notable fashion figures make an appearance, from Vogue Editor-in-Chief Anna Wintour and André Leon Talley to Tom Ford, whom we see rising to prominence at Gucci as he becomes the creative director of the Italian fashion house.
The real standout of this movie were its settings and countless costumes. The movie was filmed in various locales in Italy such as Rome, Florence, Lake Como and the breathtaking Italian Alps, showcasing the Guccis’ various residences. And in a movie about a fashion house, the outfits certainly did not disappoint. Gaga’s Patrizia supposedly donned over 60 outfits for the movie, with not a single repeat garment. We see the nuances in Patrizia’s clothing as Gaga adjusts into life in the Gucci household, swapping out modest clothing for ornate coats and impeccably sharp outfits emblazoned with the house’s logos, paired with pieces after pieces of bling. We also spot several iconic Gucci bag styles, from the elegant Sylvie 1969 and Bamboo 1947 top handle styles to the preppy Jackie 1961 hobo bag.
Acting-wise, Gaga and Leto carried the movie, putting on fantastic performances and portraying their frenzied characters perfectly. But aside from the stunning visuals along with Gaga and Leto’s acting, the movie fell flat. The (unintentionally?) comedic moments felt rather out of place for a movie where most viewers were aware of the impending tragic ending. The joke about Aldo ‘dropping the soap’ in prison and Paolo’s scene where his screams were merged with the honk of a car were awkward and disjointed in this crime drama.
Despite the A-list cast, it felt like the movie was droning on and on with the only excitement being the honeymoon phase of Maurizio and Patrizia’s courtship. As for the pacing of the movie, there is a lot to be improved. Considering the movie’s 158-minute-long (!) runtime, you would at least expect a dramatic climax, but Gucci failed to deliver even that. If anything, the climax and ending felt rushed and abrupt – the irony!
Rated 18, House of Gucci is now playing in cinemas.
Watch the trailer here:
Written by: Natalie
Edited by: Jamie