⚠️Warning — Spoilers Ahead!
House of Gucci is essentially a true-to-life, though aberrant, Cinderella story with a twisted, tragic end. Patrizia Reggiani, portrayed by the alluring Lady Gaga, comes from a mundane family. During a party in Milan in 1970, she meets the tall and awkward prince of the Gucci Dynasty, Maurizio Gucci, portrayed by Adam Driver. Thus marks the beginning of their tumultuous love story that will eventually meet its fatal end.
Thrust into the life of glamour and high fashion, Patrizia and Mauricio realises quickly that their romance is no fairytale. Mauricio’s father, Rodolfo (portrayed by Jeremy Irons), did not approve of their relationship, fearing that Patrizia was a gold digger. Threatening to disinherit his son if he continues to pursue this romance, Mauricio left and lived with the Reggianis. Years flew by, Rodolfo’s health worsened, Patrizia and Mauricio, now married, were once again pulled back into the Gucci’s family drama. Mauricio’s uncle, Aldo Gucci (portrayed by Al Pacino), tries to convince Mauricio to run the family business after his father. His son Paulo Gucci (portrayed by Jared Leto), was an eccentric and quirky artist, who has dreams and bold design ideas for Gucci, but is often rejected and dismissed as an abnormal imbecile.
Everyone looked to Mauricio as the next head of Gucci. Encouraged by his wife, Mauricio agrees. As they become entangled with the family business, power, lust and jealousy complicates their marriage, eventually leading to a messy divorce, which turned Patrizia scornful. Mauricio moved on in his life with his mistress but his bliss was cut short when his exuberant spending and choices led him to lose his family’s empire. Meanwhile, a vengeful Patrizia concocts plans to murder her husband. The film ends in one of the darkest moment in fashion history, Mauricio’s death and the high-profile trial of Patrizia’s Gucci.
The Black Widow: A Scorned Woman
Exploring Patrizia’s life in the world of Gucci showcases the endeavours women face in a man’s world. We see how a powerful woman like Patrizia is, who bears leadership traits, is overshadowed by her husband. The saying goes, “Behind every great man there is a great woman.” This best summarises Patrizia as a wife and the force behind Mauricio Gucci’s success. She is portrayed as a forceful and commanding woman, which juxtaposes Mauricio’s timid and awkward demeanour. Arguably it’s her assertiveness, boldness and tenacity are what pushes Mauricio to lead Gucci and gain control over their family business. The film exemplifies how a boss lady like Patrizia can be vilified. She was rarely praised for her efforts. Her own father-in-law commended her husband for the birth of her daughter and in spite of her best efforts of keeping her family and life together, her husband’s rejection gave her no choice but to give into the dark side. Despite having good intentions for her family and their business, she is perceived as calculated and manipulative.
Nevertheless, with Lady Gaga’s talented efforts in bringing the Black Widow of Gucci to the silver screen with such vitality and vigour, Mrs. Gucci is yet to be one of her most iconic characters she has played.
Whether the film is accurate in the depiction of the Gucci family’s darkest moments in on the table, especially with the real family’s negative reaction towards Ridley’s film. They felt offended that the film as well as the actors have falsely portrayed their empire as chauvinistic when in fact they claimed to be inclusive. Despite their criticism towards the film, there are some merits in Ridley’s reenactment of one of fashion’s darkest moments.
To begin with, Lady Gaga, who has Italian roots, and Adam Driver were befitting to portray the central couple. Together with the formidable costuming and make-up, they were able to loosely mirror the real Reggiani and Gucci. However, it is their chemistry and dynamic that really sold their character. Both Gaga and Driver have yet again proven their acting prowess in this film.
In regards to transformation, Jared Leto’s metamorphosis into Paulo Gucci was incredibly drastic that he was unrecognisable. In addition to his acting, it is hard to believe that the same actor played Joker in Suicide Squad. That being said, Leto’s rendition of Paulo was extremely comical, from the accent to the quirkiness of his character’s physicality, that it seemed like he was performing in a skit.
In a movie about fashion, it is hard to ignore the costumes that have taken the spotlight themselves. From the luxe red dress Patrizia wore during the party where she met Mauricio to the ski chic outfits and the sophisticated suits, costume designer Janty Yates did a phenomenal job. According to Elle, she utilised pieces, in addition from the Gucci Archive and even Gaga’s personal collection to put together the glamorous outfits you see in the film. We’re hoping that she will receive an Oscar nomination for the costuming!
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Photo Source: House of Gucci. Ridley Scott. Universal Pictures, 2021. Film.
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