HOUSE OF GUCCI REVEALS LIFE AMONG THE ULTRARICH
Directed by Ridley Scott, House of Gucci is a window into the rise and fall of the Gucci “dynasty,” based on the 2001 book The House of Gucci: A Sensational Story of Murder, Madness, Glamour, and Greed by Sara Gay Forden. Guccio, the founder of the company, which began in 1921. He had two sons, Aldo (played by Al Pacino) and Rodolfo (Jeremy Irons) grew up in Tuscany. Today, Aldo manages the business, Rodolfo is lost in his past as a famous actor. They had two sons: Maurizio (Adam Driver) was Aldo’s. The other son was Paolo (Jared Leto), whom his father Aldo despised for his mediocre designs. When the film begins, in Milan of 1978, the fathers live with their sons; no mothers exist. They live in what appear to be palaces at various locations throughout Italy and even the USA.
The focus is primarily on Maurizio, who is studying to be a lawyer and pretending not be from a rich family. One night he meets the daughter of a truckdriving business owner, Patrizia Reggiani (Lady Gaga), at a dance bar, who makes such a successful pitch to his ego that he falls in love and marries over the objections of his father, who disowns him. He then lives with his spouse’s family, cleans trucks for a living, but soon his uncle Aldo brings him back into the company anyway, thanks to scheming by Patrizia, who steers her husband to become the indispensable CEO.
Meanwhile, the Gucci business is not doing well. Copies of Gucci bags are selling at bargain rates in the open market. Company revenue is not keeping up with personal and residential expenses, so tax fraud results, and Maurizio escapes arrest in Italy by motorbiking to his family’s estate in Switzerland. Paolo develops a clothing line and advertises inferior products with the Gucci name, further complicating the business. Patrizia is also nagging Maurizio on what to do, gradually destroying his respect for her.
Along comes a bullet-headed financier, Nemir Kirdar (Youssef Kerkour), who buys failing businesses and resells them when they are reorganized. He first acquires half of the shares from Aldo and Rodolfo, and then comes for the other half from Maurizio, who is unwilling to sell because he develops a new semi-salacious line with a Texan, Tom Ford (Reeve Carney), and expects the business to bounce back in time. Patrizia then seeks revenge because Maurizio has shut her out of his life while living with a much less attractive but milder woman, Paola Franchi (Camille Cottin).
Spoiler alert norms prevent disclosure of further details of the plot, but the ending is not a happy one until justice emerges in court, if then. The costumes, dialog, props, scenery, and movie superstars are the real attraction.
Meanwhile, the Gucci name lives on as a subsidiary of the French luxury group Kering. Just visit Gucci Waikīkī and see! MH