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  • Damaris Chanza

House of Gucci Baffles as Much as it Entertains

I didn't know what I was getting into when watching House of Gucci, but wow, it wasn't that.

Directed by Ridley Scott, House of Gucci was released in theatres in late 2021 and became available to stream this past February. Lady Gaga, Adam Driver, Jared Leto, Jeremy Irons, Salma Hayek, and Al Pacino star in this telling of the real-life checkered past of the Gucci family.

Let me start by saying I knew nothing of the Gucci family before watching this film. I didn't know much about the movie, except that Lady Gaga spoke with an Italian accent even when the camera was off. When I pressed play, it was without expectations. Now reading up on it, I'm not surprised the movie has mixed reviews.

It starts very slow with Lady Gaga's character, Patrizia Reggiani, narrating the allure and curse of the Gucci name. Soon you're thrust into the whirlwind romance between Patrizia Reggiani and Maurizio Gucci.

The drama is mostly through quick snippets of conversations with supposed nuance. Jumps are made assuming that the viewer already knows the family's history. Frankly, Patrizia seemed genuinely shocked when she learned she had met a Gucci, leading an uninformed viewer like me to think the film would portray a classic love story. Instead, the love story is a short montage, and the more significant crime story is drawn out and unexciting until the demise of the central relationship.

When an Italian version of the Shrek famous "I'm A Believer" played during a work montage, I was confused at how serious this movie was taking itself. Then opera music playing during a particularly odd sex scene between the main characters was one of the first reminders this is a movie about an Italian family made by Americans. Another glaring reminder was the accents. Presumably, because of her constant practice, Gaga's accent remained consistent, but the same cannot be said about the other American actors. Adam Driver's accent was ever-changing, and Jared Leto's accent sounded like an Italian caricature., only getting more animated as the film continued.

The small thin white font used to date the scenes was not enough. I could only follow how much time had passed by, seeing how much their daughter had grown. Everything built and fell so quickly as if the two and half hour movie didn't take place within two decades. After a lengthy build-up to what I now know was a scandalous trial in the late 90s, all we get of it are a short clip and the confirmation that despite her actions, Patrizia still considers herself a Gucci. This is after multiple characters' constant reminders that she is "not a real Gucci."

One thing that was done impeccably well was the cinematography and the costumes. Maybe it was because it was set in an affluent area of Italy, but practically every scene was beautiful. The costumes were exquisite, with Gaga's wedding dress and white suit being the most memorable. The extravagant scenery and luxurious costumes elevated what could've been a flop for many big-time actors.

After two and half hours of movie watching, a deep dive through the Google wormhole of links related to this movie, and writing an entire article analyzing it, I still can't tell you if I liked it. I guess the movie wasn't bad. Watching Lady Gaga and Salma Hayek order a hit on someone or hearing strudel used during a thinly veiled threat were unexpected. Despite its award-winning cast and director, gorgeous sets, and outstanding costuming, ultimately, House of Gucci baffles just as much as it entertains.

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