House of Gucci is a difficult animal. It enjoys a terrific cast, but some characters are so obnoxious and difficult to figure out that it makes it difficult to watch till the end.
Let’s begin with Maurizio Gucci, the son of Rodolfo (Jeremy Irons), who would rather pursue a career in law than the mantle of a global fashion empire.
His mind starts slowly shifting when he meets Patrizia Reggiani, played by Lady Gaga, the singer, songwriter, a postmodern diva, who made her acting debut in Machete Kills in 2013.
Patrizia is the major problem of the story: she’s too overwhelming. And then, somehow, the plot points and the underlying engine of the movie, attempt to make her a better person than she really is. This reviewer doesn’t like it.
It’s also hard to figure out Driver’s performance as Maurizio. In Finnish terms, he is a lapanen. (Straight translation: a mitten. A mitten hardly does justice to the Finnish meaning, which means something like a guy who doesn’t know who he is, or thinks he knows, or maybe not.)
Ok. So, here’s the synopsis without revealing any spoilers:
House of Gucci is a thrilling exploration of three decades in the tangled history of the multi-generational Gucci family, a tale of ambition, greed, betrayal and murder.
That’s copy-pasted straight from the production notes.
“Thrilling” is a word too big to describe the story as it’s pulled together by director Ridley Scott (All the Money in the World, The Martian, Gladiator) two screenwriters and a storywriter, while based on the titular book by Sara Gay Forden.
“Upsetting” would describe the exploration more accurately.
What about the good parts, then?
Two words: Al Pacino! (No need to put a summary of his performances here, don’t you think?)
He is the best part as Aldo Gucci, in his own words: the man who created the fashion empire.
“Without me, you would still be shoveling cow shit in Sicily,” he says to his relatives at one point.
Too bad that the viewer has to shovel the shit to find the pearl in this 164-minute-long kind of an enjoyable mess.
‘House of Gucci’ premieres in cinemas in Finland on December 3.