HOUSE OF GUCCI” SOAP OPERA

 

HOUSE OF GUCCI” Rated R Glamour, greed, decadence, betrayal, deceit and ambition are all on florid display in the soap opera drama “House of Gucci,” a turbulent saga about the Italian fashion empire of great wealth that was not spared a scandalous crime.Some may enter the cinema aware of a sordid wrongdoing that roiled the Gucci family. On the other hand, what I and probably many others know about this Italian company are the famous double G logo and the replica handbags sold to the unsuspecting at flea markets.What matters in this Ridley Scott directed film based on real life events is how the story moves from bickering Gucci family members to a Gucci empire no longer in the hands of a family member.

Maurizio Gucci (Adam Driver), son of Rodolfo Gucci (Jeremy Irons), a former actor and dilettante who appears not as connected to the business as his brother Aldo (Al Pacino), is a law student when he meets Patrizia Reggiani (Lady Gaga) at a party.Patrizia, who works as secretary in her father’s trucking company, mistakes Maurizio for a bartender, and he charms her by saying she looks like Elizabeth Taylor, or maybe he should have said Sophia Loren. The two fall in love and decide to marry, much to the chagrin of papa Rodolfo, who believes she’s a social climber and gold digger. He’s not far off the mark, but Patrizia turns out to be much more than that.

As the story spins into a reckless spiral of revenge that leads to murder, “House of Gucci” is riveting for the solid performances primarily by Lady Gaga, Adam Driver, Al Pacino and a goofy Jared Leto. Where Maurizio seems quiet and a bit passive, Patrizia is bold and assertive, pushing him to his rightful place in the Gucci empire. They soon take up residence in New York and go to work with Aldo at the flagship store in Manhattan.Aldo thinks of his own son Paolo (Jared Leto), who has no talent for business or fashion, as an idiot, and this, of course, becomes another source of tension in Gucci world.

Meanwhile, the marriage sours when Maurizio reconnects with old flame Paola (Camille Cottin) and dispatches his sidekick to inform Patrizia that their marital bond is over. As the story spins into a reckless spiral of revenge that leads to murder, “House of Gucci” is riveting for the solid performances primarily by Lady Gaga, Adam Driver, Al Pacino and a goofy Jared Leto.