House of Gucci (2021) Review

 House of Gucci (2021) Review

Groovy Gucci Goodness

So the next flick on my watch list is House of Gucci. Hearing that Ridley Scott would be the one directing this is very interesting, considering his more sci-fi works such as Alien, Blade Runner, The Martian – you get the idea. Many people recommended I watch this film (and not just for Adam Driver and Lady Gaga) so I thought why not I’ll give it a watch. And to my surprise, it was actually really decent. House of Gucci, as its name suggests, is about the brand Gucci, the family behind it, and a particular story that involves Power, Fame and Grudges.

I confess that I am very little interested and almost completely ignorant in terms of fashion and big fashion houses (as someone who will most likely never afford anything Gucci nor will buy anything Gucci, though I do admire its status). My interest in this film was more swaying towards the actors, the timeline, and the narrative, considering Ridley is the writer. So, let’s see what I thought of this film. 

The Plot, The Fashion & The Direction

House of Gucci tells the tale of Patrizia Reggiani, an outsider from humble beginnings, who marries the Gucci family to Marazzi Gucci. Her unbridled ambition begins to unravel the family legacy and triggers a reckless spiral of betrayal, decadence, revenge, and ultimately…murder.

Ridley Scott knows how to bring complex stories to screen and to nail in chairs his spectators in movies that last more than two and a half hours. House of Gucci is fluent whilst cinematic, with everything about this movie being just that much over the top as it should be; the set design, cinematography, the cast, all of it. The Gucci wardrobe is outrageous and divine for a movie set in an era where clothes were actually fashionable. It’s ironic that Gucci clothes back in the 1980’s look better than what they are today (because who’s wants to pay £1000 for a see-through plastic jacket?).

The Italian scenery and the costumes are truly stunning though, and the camerawork is similarly sumptuous. Scott’s direction is uneven dramatically but is very impressive on a technical level, especially in his use of multiple cameras (which must make it easy for actors to know where to look). The soundtrack is also wonderful and beautifully operatic in scope, though not always well placed. From a standalone point of view, there are no complaints here.

The Actors & The Acting

Lady Gaga – her performance had your liking, disliking and feeling sympathy for her all at once. Does her character slope into the trope of wanting to be wealthy and powerful and infiltrating a rich family that has the status to do so? Yeah, yeah it does, though for a brand like Gucci it might be worth it. Aside from the fuck me eyes and loving and caring wife gestures, it becomes pretty clear from the start that Patrizia wants it all (who can blame her?) and Lady Gaga absolutely kills. Her character is interesting and well fleshed out character here, bringing charm, effortless charisma and menace. Adam Driver is a good deal more understated, one of the few in the cast to play it very straight, but he is also compelling and his character growth/decent is believable. They have great chemistry together on-screen, too!

The supporting cast on the whole support them well – Pacino coming off best having a whale of a time as Aldo (because it’s Al Pacino after all, he makes any role enjoyable). Jeremy Irons (who I was excited to see on the big screen again) brings vulnerability and authority to patriarch Rodolfo, and really cements the father type role. I really adored chemistry on the whole between Lady Gaga and Adam Driver – they are great together. Now as much as his makeup was incredibly well done for the role, and it’s well known he is a motivated method actor in his field of work, Jared Leto’s performance was a little weird, to say the least. Yes, the film is very over the top in tone, but Leto’s performance veered on excess and was too much of a Super Mario Brothers caricature.

The Film’s Flaws 

So there were a few things that really nagged at me throughout this film, slowly grinding my gears a little bit – not saying they ruined the film completely, but it’s just some smaller things that could’ve been rectified. Starting off with is the film fact or fiction? I had no idea about the true story of the Gucci family, so I accepted everything I watched, though I knew not all of it would be 100% accurate.

I did some digging afterwards. Though a lot of the stuff they got right, to my surprise (sarcasm), there were a few holes in the accuracy of this tumultuous story. The tax evasion & copyright scenes are a bit flaky, as is the period leading up to the assassination, feels very cheesy. As for the complete suggestion that they only had one child, I’m at a loss to understand that!

I understand if the Italian accents will throw you off – a bit, or even more than that. Also, quite the clichés at the beginning of the movie, that might make you sick or at least annoyed, but once you get through that, the movie really is personal and quite addictive in its depiction of the people involved…but still. Tonally, House of Gucci is messy, the comedy going for the campy approach that goes too far into pantomime in the second half and some of the serious moments being too melodramatic.

And then there’s the ending, which I feel is very rushed and anti-climactic handled with too much of an indifferent shrug. After spending so long on the family stuff (and not developing that enough) and the increasingly uneasy spurts of comedy, the event that caused such a sensation is just too throwaway in treatment.

My Overall Thoughts on House of Gucci 

This film is a lot more than just a bunch of angry rich Italians screaming and shouting at each other over some leather bags (that I personally wouldn’t buy, nor could afford to buy). Despite being over two and a half hours long, from midpoint onwards, it felt a bit like certain events were rushed and skimmed over – when in fact they could have been shown in better detail. However, with that said, the cast was amazing, the story was interesting, and this movie will surely be a cult classic for fashion, murder and family drama.

Looking for more film reviews? Why not have a read of my 50th Article Special, where I list my top-rated films of 2021, from films like Cruella to Halloween Kills (massive genre gaps I know – it’s nice to enjoy different things!). And for those of you who want something a little more specific, why not give my review for Disney’s Encanto a read – you won’t regret it!

And if you enjoy reading my articles (which I hope you do) you can support me by buying me a coffee on kofi!

Andrew Campbell

A book worm and film enthusiast, looking for more ways to make an impact within the creative industry. Andrew has gained experience through copywriting, blog writing, social media marketing and developing video trailers.

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