THEATRICAL REVIEW: Star-studded House Of Gucci a messy tale soaked in excess and camp

The story of the fashion icon Gucci family is a larger-than-life tale, and powerhouse Ridley Scott treats the material with the verve and unhinged energy it requires.

Some of the biggest detractors of this one either say it went too far or it didn’t go far enough, a hilarious dichotomy that proves one thing – This film demands to be seen, even if just to take in every moment of spectacle.

Mine is just one in a sea of opinions, but House Of Gucci, like the three bears’ porridge, was juuuust right. It was off-the-wall and zany, and featured some of the best performances of the year.

But it was also just grounded enough to give a little credence to the important story of how a powerful Italian family gained and lost a fortune. At its heart, this tale of greed, betrayal and family drama follows Patrizia Reggiani, who marries into the family and lets her ambition pull the family apart.

Director Ridley Scott has made two entirely different films this year in The Last Duel – swords-and-sandals toxic masculinity epic – and this gonzo satire. But if pressed, I’d say House Of Gucci is incredible based on the performances alone.

Lady Gaga is an absolute revelation as Patrizia, cold-hearted and constantly pushing for the interests of herself and her meek husband Maurizio above all else. She is Oscar-worthy, and it’s the best performance in the film.

Jared Leto, for his part, completely and entirely transforms as elder, balding, seam-bursting Paolo Gucci, the flamboyant designer with big ideas and no real style or taste. Leto is given a license to ham it up here, and chews the scenery like no other. He and Pacino – who plays his father – embody the most entertaining, mesmerizing portions of the film.

With stalwarts Jeremy Irons, Jack Huston and Salma Hayek, it’s one hell of a cast. Adam Driver is a fantastic calm, quiet foil to everyone else. It isn’t a showy role, but it’s immensely important to have a straight man in this loony, eclectic cast.

House Of Gucci is raunchy, over-the-top and has B-movie stylings with an A-list cast. Though the plot can sometimes be messy and is less than methodical, the film is anything but ordinary.

It has a satirical wit and intensely comedic streak that provided the most fun I’ve had at a theatre in 24 months. At this time, enjoying a film for every unhinged, stark-raving moment was exactly what I needed, and House Of Gucci will give everything – and more – than you could expect, for better or worse.

4/5 Stars

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