tribal tribune | The “House of Gucci” falls flat
I would like to ask at least a few dollars of my money. I’ve seen my share of disappointing movies in my life but Gucci House is pretty high on my list of movies I don’t want to see again. Maybe I wouldn’t have been so disappointed if my expectations hadn’t been so high. But a Ridley Scott-directed movie starring Adam Driver, Lady Gaga, and Al Pacino should be amazing. And, despite the positive reviews from the public, it is quite short.
The film begins with our maybe protagonist, Maurizio Gucci, played by Adam Driver, riding his bike through the streets of Milan, Italy. However, he quickly flashes back to the 1970s, when Gucci met his future wife Patrizia Reggiani, played by Lady Gaga, at a house party. While it doesn’t take young Maurizio long to fall in love with Patrizia, his father Rodolfo (Jeremy Irons) disapproves, saying she’s only interested in the fortune and fame of being married to Gucci, one of the most prestigious fashion brands. in the world at the time.
The young Gucci, trapped by lust towards Patrizia and a mild resentment towards his father, is shunned by his father and expelled. Eventually he marries Patrizia and they have a daughter together. Despite the lack of communication with his father, Maurizio’s uncle Aldo helps the two reconcile before the elder Gucci dies. With the approval of his father, Maurizio takes control of half of the Gucci company. When money hits, Patrizia hits harder.
Lavish spending, several houses, a daughter and a husband. It’s just not enough for Patrizia, who wants more and more. Manipulating her way through a family with already high tensions, a change in her appears. Or, maybe, it’s always been there and only once she’s in a place of power does she have the ability to act on it. Bad deals, twisted deals and the power of Patrizia lead to divorce, murder and the implosion of the Gucci house from within.
With such an intense and crazy plot, it should be pretty easy to make a quality movie. Ridley Scott apparently took this as a challenge. Two and a half long, winding and confusing hours culminated in an end that I saw coming from about an hour drive. The film failed to set a consistent tone throughout the screening, as I was unsure if I was watching a soap opera, drama, or tragedy.
Additionally, Jared Leto was cast. That in itself automatically lowers the movie a few points. His character, Paolo, was an extremely unsuccessful and unintelligent family member, and Aldo’s son. Buried under layers of latex, Leto’s character looked so comical and over the top that I couldn’t take any of his scenes seriously. And neither does Leto. The flapping arms, a caricature-like accent, and the constant need to own every scene honestly ruined the movie for me from the moment they introduced Paolo. I don’t think I’ll ever direct a major movie, but know that Jared Leto won’t be included if I do.
There were a few positives in the film. Adam Driver and Lady Gaga had stellar performances, even though Patrizia sounded more Russian than Italian. Italy is of course beautiful on its own, but almost every scene was surrounded by brilliant architecture, picturesque landscapes, and camera angles showing the beauty of Italy. And for the most part, the movie was really informative. I had heard of Gucci and seen their products before of course, but had no idea what to expect in terms of what happened to the family. I’m a sucker for intertitles, so when a short edit played at the end showing what happened to each of the family members, I was ecstatic. Intertitles are essential for any film based on true stories. And, as I mentioned earlier, it was a very interesting plot. The story was absolutely insane and while the production, casting and plot coherence weren’t great, the events that unfolded were exciting enough to warrant my attention when everything else in the movie couldn’t. not.
At the end of the second hour, I wanted to leave. It’s never a good sign. But since I paid for the two and a half hours, I felt compelled to stay. Casting Jared Leto, maybe I can forgive that if the movie is good enough. Same thing with bad accents or confusing plots or bad soundtracks or transparent endings. The problem is that I cannot forgive all of these qualities at once. I beg Ridley Scott to make another movie. You are 84 years old and approaching the end of your career. Please don’t leave Gucci House be your last movie. Thank you. You are better than that.