“House of Gucci”: reality and fiction in the scandalous film by Ridley Scott
Country: USA, Canada
Genre: biography, drama, crime, thriller
Year of production: 2021
Directed by: Ridley Scott
Actors: Adam Driver, Jared Leto, Jeremy Irons, Jack Huston, Lady Gaga
Tagline: A deadly legacy
Awards and Nominations: The film was nominated for an Oscar for Best Makeup and Hair.
Ridley Scott’s film “House of Gucci” (House of Gucci) received a very mixed assessment: critics found the picture superficial and meaningless, and some members of the Gucci family were even offended.
However, it was no coincidence that the master marked “inspired by”: his picture (quite simple, without any hidden meaning) is not a biopic or a fictional documentary investigation. The point of the movie “House of Gucci” is that money and power corrupt anyone. Well, the one who has always been corrupted, they make a monster.
Based on real events
The film “The House of Gucci” is based on the story of the infamous Italian black widow, Patricia Reggiani, who was well known to the public as “the woman who killed Gucci”.
A difficult and tragic story inspired journalist Sara Gay Forden to write a documentary book, which, according to the author, was based on the materials of the investigation.
The plot of the film “House of Gucci” is not based on the real story of Patricia, but on Forden’s book.
Lady Gaga played the title role of Patricia Reggiani. Frame from the film.
What is the movie “House of Gucci” about: truth and fiction
Description of the content of the picture. The action begins in 1978. Patricia Reggiani, an attractive young woman, works as an office manager for a small transport company owned by her stepfather, Fernando Reggiani. Here the first discrepancy with real history is observed: in reality, at that time, Patricia had for several years already bore the name of her husband Maurizio Gucci. She not only never worked for her stepfather, she never worked at all. There was simply no need for this: she already lived luxuriously, not thinking about money.
Patricia was born into a poor family, but one day a successful businessman Fernando Reggiani married Silvana Martinelli, Patricia’s mother. The girl’s life has changed dramatically.
Remembering her almost impoverished childhood, Patricia tried hard to fence herself off from her sad past. Less wealthy people she perceived as something second-rate, not deserving of her attention. In turn, representatives of the elite, the Milanese “patricians”, treated Ms. Reggiani as an upstart who only does what she scatters her stepfather’s money right and left.
To acquire a high status and become “one of them”, Patricia had to marry the heir of a family with a good surname. So the playgirl turned into a gold digger.
Lady Gaga as Patricia and Adam Driver as Maurizio Gucci.
At one of the secular parties, the girl met Maurizio Gucci (in reality, this happened in 1970). Sexy and charming Patricia attracted the attention of a shy and somewhat awkward young man. Maurizio tried to hit on Patricia, but was refused – the girl had no idea who was in front of her, and considered the modestly dressed young man another candidate for admirers. But as soon as she found out that Maurizio was the heir to the Gucci fashion house, she immediately gave him the green light.
Maurizio fell head over heels in love with Patricia and invited her to become his wife already on the second date. Father Maurizio Rodolfo did not like this very much: he immediately realized that he saw a money hunter in front of him. However, Patricia was not only interested in them. She had money anyway. She was much more interested in status.
Maurizio and Patricia played a wedding against the wishes of Rodolfo (in reality, this happened in 1972). The elder Gucci, in a rage, kicked his son out of the house and disowned him. However, this did not upset him at all – despite the fact that everyone urged him to head the family business, he dreamed of becoming a lawyer and doing what, in his opinion, brought real benefits.
Frame from the film.
In reality, it wasn’t quite like that. Maurizio did not intend to be a lawyer – he always wanted to be part of the family business. A quarrel with his father could easily ruin his plans, but his uncle Aldo Gucci came to his aid. He saw potential in the young man that he felt his sons did not have. Aldo invited his nephew to New York and took him under his wing.
Staying in the USA was the happiest period in the couple’s life. The newlyweds led an active social life and threw insanely expensive parties. Patricia finally got what she so passionately desired.
Aldo was a brilliant marketer and was happy to teach Maurizio all the intricacies of this art. Seeing how he grows, Rodolfo offered him peace. After the death of his father, Maurizio inherited his share in the company, became the majority shareholder, and, having felt a taste for the family business, set out to take the company to another level – and change its course.
This greatly displeased his cousins. The most mediocre member of the family, Paolo Gucci, was especially dissatisfied (in reality, Paolo had great talent – he was a bold designer, and he was often called the most creative of Aldo’s children). He was in strong conflict with his father, and in the course of the story was framed by Maurizio and Patricia.
Jared Leto as Paolo Gucci. Frame from the film.
Gradually, Maurizio got rid of all competitors. Alas, he continued to be a creative manager who was very good at intrigues: he never learned how to effectively manage the company.
After becoming the CEO of the company, Maurizio changed its policy. He canceled franchises, closed several stores, and reduced the range of goods by ⅔. His plan to transform the Gucci brand failed. Gradually, the company lost its main source of income.
Having failed, Maurizio, nevertheless, dreamed of opening a casino in Switzerland, but his plans were not destined to come true.
While Maurizio was busy destroying his grandfather’s business, his marriage was also crumbling. Toward the end of the film “House of Gucci”, he packed a small suitcase and told his wife that he was going on a business trip. He never returned home again.
Gucci asked his close friend to drop in on Patricia and tell her that their marriage was dissolved on his initiative. Thinking that he had burned all the bridges, Maurizio found himself a new girlfriend and began to live with her.
In response to this demarche, Patricia turned to the owner of a small pizzeria, who was also bankrupt and in desperate need of money, and “ordered” her husband. At the end of the picture, he was shot dead.
In reality, this happened on March 27, 1995. Four bullets were fired at Maurizio Gucci, who was walking towards his Milan home. The last shot was fatal – the bullet hit the businessman in the temple.
Patricia became one of the main suspects immediately, but the investigation did not have any direct evidence of her involvement. She diligently demonstrated her innocence and attended his funeral. However, having found out all the details of the case, the court sentenced Patricia to 29 years in prison.
The meaning of the ending of the film “House of Gucci” is quite clear: the crime is followed by punishment. Given Patricia’s behavior, the explanation for the ending is that she regretted what happened, but if she had the chance to “roll back”, she would not change anything …
The meaning of the film
The film “House of Gucci” is accused by many of being grotesque, but the deliberate luridity of the picture has a special meaning. Scott’s idea was to use exaggeration as a biting satire: mixing drama with farce, the director told not only the tragic story of an unequal marriage. It is also the story of a fashion revolution, and even a gloomy story about globalization, which is so frightening for everyone.
The main meaning of the “House of Gucci” lies in the analogy of the ugly transformation of the family with the transformation of an original European brand into a global corporation. Total disunity led to irreparable consequences – both there and there.
Particular attention (as always with Ridley Scott) is given to SNG. Patricia is a woman endowed with a lively mind and the very “folk” ingenuity that at all times brought those who were essentially nobody to unprecedented heights. She seems to mirror her husband, the weak-willed Maurizio, and, going towards her goal, confronts real sharks like a man.
But, if in most of the master’s film works such a path of a strong woman is presented in the context of the “struggle of good against evil”, then here we are talking about the gradual transformation of the notorious SNZH into a monster.
“House of Gucci” tells about the detrimental effect of power on people. Family ties, humanity, honor and dignity fly into the abyss under the weight of the financial condition: after all, personal gain for those who are so hungry for money and power is much more important than the feelings of loved ones.
Al Pacino played the role of Aldo Gucci. Frame from the film.
Here are a few pictures that are similar in meaning to the “House of Gucci”:
- “All the money in the world” (USA, UK, Italy, China, 2017). In Rome, the grandson of J.P. Getty, the most famous and richest miser in the world, is kidnapped. Despite the harsh demands of the kidnappers, Getty categorically refused to pay the ransom, and the rescue of the teenager fell on the shoulders of ordinary people;
- “Coco before Chanel” (Belgium, France, 2009). The film tells about the creator of the iconic brand. Bright, passionate, she broke into the “male” world, and proved that she was also worth something;
- “The Wolf of Wall Street” (USA, 2013). In the center of the plot is the fate of Jordan Belfort, who became the real embodiment of the “American dream”.