Daniel Ketchelos—Staff Writer
House of Gucci, directed by Ridley Scott, explores the dark conflict between the founding family members of the Gucci brand. The dramatic retelling of Gucci’s history makes for an intriguing film that explores how greed, manipulation, and money tore a family’s legacy apart.
House of Gucci follows the man that revolutionized the Gucci brand, Maurizio Gucci, and dramatizes the dark and conflicted family issues that affected the Italian luxury fashion house. The film shows Maurizio’s growth from a young lawyer uninterested in the brand to a businessman who systematically overtakes the family’s empire.
This film is successful in creating dark crime drama and showing complex family relationships. Ridley Scott’s directing deftly adapts its source material and its historical events. While House of Gucci is nowhere near the level of Ridley Scott’s most critically acclaimed works, such as Blade Runner, his pacing and direction of actors help form this piece into something substantial. The overall tone, camera direction, and direction of actors creates a worthwhile viewing experience.
House of Gucci features a cast of well-known actors. The cast members include Adam Driver (Maurizio Gucci), Lady Gaga (Patrizia Reggiani), Al Pacino (Aldo Gucci), and Jared Leto (Paolo Gucci). Overall, the actors portray their roles believably and work well together. While overacting is always a concern in film, House of Gucci’s newer actors, such as Lady Gaga, don’t provide distracting performances. Adam Driver also forms an excellent character for his role. His shift from a youthful young man uninterested in the legacy of Gucci into an empire-seeking ruler of the family felt strong and believable.
The direction, pacing, and acting of House of Gucci works well, but the music did not mesh with the film. It’s needle-drops included pop-culture songs such as an Italian adaptation of “I’m a Believer” by The Monkees. These detracted from the viewing experience and created more cheesy sections in an otherwise dark and dramatic piece. If these scores were substituted with more suitable pieces, the overall film would appear more cohesive and maintain a consistently dark tone. Pop-culture music used incorrectly can wreck an otherwise brilliant film, and with House of Gucci, pop-culture music detracts from the piece.
The storyline of House of Gucci is based on the historical events of the founding members of Gucci. The screenplay is also an adaptation from the novel, The House of Gucci: A Sensational Story of Murder, Madness, Glamour, and Greed written by Sara Gay Forden. The film adaptation works well and is an accurate representation of historical events.
House of Gucci offers insight into what a life of greed and manipulation will do to the legacy of a family. The key force driving the plot is the internal change of characters based on external forces. These include wants from romantic partners, money, political pressure, and family pressure. It serves as a cautionary tale, warning how easily a family can be torn apart.
A central theme found in House of Gucci is the reliance on family. Throughout the film, characters reference the reason for their actions as being ‘for the best of the family.’ Despite this claim, the external forces eventually permeate the characters and cause the downfall of the family.
Overall House of Gucci is an enjoyable viewing experience and shows how easily greed can overtake individuals. Overall rating: 3.5/5.