Korean drama viewers must be familiar with the term makjang. A genre full of exaggeration, which is good at raising the blood pressure of the audience (example: Sky Castle, The World of the Married, Penthouse). Different caste love, extraordinarily rich family (usually has a dictator father and one of his children is useless), lavish setting, convoluted conspiracies, corruption, infidelity, murder, to name a few of his signature elements. Execution tends to be over-the-top. Too much.
House of Gucci has all of the above elements, but Ridley Scott clearly never watches makjang. Adapting the book The House of Gucci: A Sensational Story of Murder, Madness, Glamor, and Greed by Sara Gay Forden, the script by Becky Johnston and Roberto Bentivegna is full of shocking events, but Scott is giddy, tossed between understanding how campy is the story, with the ambition to speak elegantly. Top Movie Site
The look of the House of Gucci is definitely elegant. Luxurious. Expensive. From the selection of sets, props, costumes, as well as how Dariusz Wolski emphasizes the grandiose feel through his camera lens. Her outer skin should be like that, considering her character comes from a family that used to make and rule the famous fashion brand, Gucci.
In 1978, Maurizio Gucci (Adam Driver), heir to 50% of Gucci’s shares owned by his father, Rodolfo Gucci (Jeremy Irons), met Patrizia Reggiani (Lady Gaga) at a party. They fell in love, even though Rodolfo (and I think many in the audience too) doubted Patrizia. Is he sincere, or is he just after Maurizio’s treasure?
The question kept spinning throughout the duration, but not because the script was complex. On the other hand, the House of Gucci script failed to delve deeply into the character’s internals. Unlike other members of the Gucci family, Maurizio is not obsessed with money. At one point he was even willing to give up everything, working as a truck washer in Patrizia’s father’s company, in order to marry the girl he loved, whom Rodolfo didn’t approve of. Patrizia is happy.
Does that mean he’s sincere, or is he playing a trick? If you are “playing”, the game is really smooth. But why did the smoothness disappear after the two got married? Patrizia begins to pit all parties against each other, from Maurizio’s uncle, Aldo (Al Pacino), to Paolo (Jared Leto), Aldo’s son who is eccentric and ambitious to start his own line of business even though he is not talented. Or does the script want to show the process of changing humans due to the power of property? If so, the script fails to delve into the details of the transformation (note, “transformation”, not about greed in general).
Maybe because the script itself is struggling to summarize the 400 pages of the book, because the flow of the plot is often not smooth. Rough jumps full of the impression of “sudden” occur frequently, which is more pronounced when Scott moves the film at a fast tempo. There are still points that are conveyed strongly, namely the question of “Which party is right?”. Best Movie
The answer is “no”. All wrong. Everyone is entangled in greed, so they betray each other. Stab each other. The House of Gucci is a tragedy about mutual destruction based on greed, which ends up destroying everything. It’s dark, and this is where the main problem of House of Gucci begins: tone inconsistency.
I can imagine how Scott and the team looked at the material and said, “Wow, this is absurd”. Tragic, dark, but absurd. Instead of choosing, Scott actually merged the two sides that were like water and oil. Serious scenes, plus “cold” color grading, wrap up silly moments, say Patrizia’s meeting with a psychic named Pina (Salma Hayek), who in addition to predicting the future, also sends magic spells for Maurizio. Out of sync.
Driver, Gaga, Irons, Pacino, Leto, all played well, but each character seemed to come from a different movie. Maurizio is from a serious biopic reminiscent of Michael Corleone’s “good-boy-turns-bad” journey in The Godfather series, while Gaga and Leto have fun showing off their eccentricities.
Confusing. Inconsistent. At least, Scott’s fast pacing, despite sacrificing the solidity of the narrative, makes the 157 minute duration less tiring. And no matter how hard Scott tries to suppress the absurd side of his film to make it look elegant, basically House of Gucci has been blessed with colorful material that is interesting to follow. If only Ridley Scott had watched Makjang before making this film. Movie Review