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House Of Gucci, A Love Story Gone Horribly Wrong
House Of Gucci (Amazon Prime video)
Rating: *** ½
House Of Gucci: The Gucci brand is not half as enticing as the people behind it. Like all billion-dollar empires this one too was built on blood, sweat, tears, lust and distrust. The House Of Gucci captures all of the excitement and heartbreak, sometime together, often times apart. The passion underlining the fashion is never on ration.
Emotions flow freely and occasionally deeply into the fabulous pop-epic , a work of naked splendour. Director Ridley Scott who is now 84 and who directed two big-screen epic stories The Last Duel and The House Of Gucci in 2021, is not so much interested in truth, as in what lies beneath. I am not saying the Gucci saga as told by Scott is untruthful. However these are characters who lie all the time: to themselves and to others.
How do we know the feisty Patrizia(Lady Gaga, superb once again after A Star Is Born) didn’t marry Maurizio(a strangely listless Adam Driver) for his money. Maurizio’s father( a rousing performance by Jeremy Irons) seems to think she did. But when Maurizio shows up at her doorstep disinherited and penniless she agrees to marry him.
Was this decision a part of a much much larger plan? The way Lady Gaga plays her role of the supportive provocative pushy wife , she is party Lady Macbeth and partly Virna Lisi in How To Murder Your Wife. She pursues Maurizio with a stalker’s single mindedness. Once they are married she gets down to rescuing the family business from Maurizio’s uncle Aldo(Al Pacino, habitually brilliant) and Aldo’s witness borderline-dumb balding son Paolo( an unrecognizable Jared Lato).
Suffused with a strong sense of satire , House Of Gucci occasionally jumps ahead of itself. We are not always sure if the intended tone is facetious or tragic. But these are minor hiccups. Seen in the larger picture the love-gone-fugitive (Prem Rogue??) theme is handled with an intuitive coherence and a spot-on sardonicism.
Driver and Gaga work well as a couple . They work even better when they hate one another. There is a brilliantly shot sequence outside his apartment building where she tries every trick in the book to get him back.When all fails…we all know what scorned woman can do. Lady Gaga never plays the wife for sympathy.
The narrative is never short of breath even as it staggers through years of misadventure in the Gucci family. It’s all here, captured for posterity in a delectable demonstration of public tantrums and private betrayals. Some would say that Ridley Scott and his writers have forfeited authenticity in pursuit of an engaging narrative.
No worries. The Gucci family loves fireworks. This film delivers it in abundance