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House of Dysfunction, House of Gucci

All-star cast headed by Lady Gaga takes the helm in Ridley Scott’s new House of Gucci film, showcasing the dysfunction behind the world-famous fashion brand. Gabriel from 1079 Life went to see the film rumoured to be up for Oscar’s contention. All opinions are his own.

Now I confess I know next to nothing about fashion. I know of the fashion brand Gucci but never have bought anything from them. I definitely didn’t know about the company’s story. So when I saw the promo for House of Gucci, the new film by director Ridley Scott, I wasn’t particularly interested.

But hey, during a time of Covid there is little in the form of things to do so I picked myself up New Years Day and dragged myself to the cinema to see the film while promising to keep an open mind.

House of Gucci depicts the relationship between one Patrizia Reggiani (played by Lady Gaga) and the heir to the Gucci line, Maurizio Gucci (played by Adam Driver). It starts off like a typical girl meets guy and then quickly veers into dysfunction and decay. For the House of Gucci is filled with people with big egos and very big ambitions. And none have either traits bigger than Patrizia Reggiani.

Adam Driver and Lady Gaga as Maurizio Gucci and Patrizia Reggiani

Without going into too many details, Patrizia sets her mind to control Gucci. A daughter of a father who owns a trucking company (with possible links to the mafia), Patrizia sees the relationship between Maurizio Gucci as a way to move up in the world. To be seen, to be noticed, and to be adored.

And she is not the type of lady to take no for an answer.

The rest of the Gucci clan is made up of brothers and co-owners Rodolfo Gucci (played by Jeremy Irons) and Aldo Gucci (played by Al Pacino). Aldo’s son Paolo Gucci (played by Jared Leto) is another player within the Gucci clan, though with far less clout and is often seen as the black sheep of the family. The three characters’ personalities range from conservative and boring, to eccentric and bonkers.

Now in terms of production quality, the film is top tier. From the settings to the costumes you can really tell that the production team really put a lot of effort into making the film as authentically true as possible to the time in which the film is set. The cast themselves look quite similar to their real-life counterparts.

However, the biggest problem with House of Gucci is that, despite the high profile cast, director, and top-tier production values, the film is boring. And when a film is over two and a half hours long then you got problems.

The characters, with the arguable exception of Lady Gaga’s Patrizia, are one-dimensional cutouts with absolutely no character arc or depth to them.

Jeremy Irons looks as bored as hell throughout the entire film (which makes his character’s death oddly convenient for both the viewer and arguably the actor). Al Pacino’s character is as forgettable as the final season of Game of Thrones. Jared Leto’s character comes across as the incompetent dreamer and I am not surprised he is the least trusted family member when it comes to business matters.

I wouldn’t trust the guy to run a school canteen.

Jared Leto as Paolo Gucci

Adam Driver’s Maurizio seems to follow in his dad’s footsteps in being absolutely boring. With his wife stirring up conflict within the family and basically performing a one-woman coup on the family company you would think Maurizio would be enraged. Indeed he is, but you would be forgiven to miss it.

Instead, Driver comes across as a man doing his time before something more interesting comes along.

As for Lady Gaga, this was the first film I have actually seen her in. Now singers turned actors and actors turned singers don’t always turn out well. But Lady Gaga has already proven she can hold her own and in this film, she does just that.

In saying that her Patrizia completely lacks anything redeemable. Her courting of Maurizio is supposed to be cute and endearing I assume but comes across as stalkerish (is that even a word) and obsessional. Throughout the entire film, the character completely fails to elicit any real sympathy, and even when she does try to do what’s good for the family and the Gucci company it seems fake and contrived.

Now all the cast mentioned are decent actors. Several, including Lady Gaga, Jeremy Irons, and Al Pacino are award-winning actors. So, in my opinion, the problem lies more with the film’s script rather than the actors themselves.

It is also possible to argue that the cast has been miscast. That the director and production team decided to go with star power to help sell an arguably unknown story rather than ensuring the actors matched their given role.

Overall House of Gucci is a film that tries to tell a story of a dysfunctional family trying to run a high-end fashion label that ultimately fails to be anything more than a very long and very tedious soap opera filled with unrelatable characters.

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