I thought that all characters were very well casted. The chemistry between the actors makes them seem as if they are truly related, although I am still a little confused as to why Ridley Scott (the director) wanted all of the them to fake an Italian accent. Al Pacino does an excellent job portraying Aldo Gucci, an Italian patriarch. It was so on point I felt like I was watching my own dad on screen. The passion and dedication men of that time period display and their misogynistic view of women as weak is well portrayed in the movie.
The story is based on real events but is infused with personal interpretations of how things may have happened. It is unclear whose version of the tale is being depicted in this movie. Overall, it was really engaging and I loved the selection of 80’s songs that they peppered throughout the movie.
This is a modern day fable, a cautionary tale with quite a few lessons to be learned about marriage, gender roles and family dynamics. The first lesson is about naivety and bringing the wrong person into your family through marriage. When we first see young Maurizio Gucci, played by Adam Driver, he is a bookish, awkward introvert. Patrizia, played by Lady Gaga, hails from a blue collar background and desiring a better life, manipulates and seduces her way into a relationship with the wealthy Maurizio. After casually meeting at a party, she launches a campaign to ensure he notices her. Maurizio finds her to be outgoing, fun, and strong minded. She brings excitement and an opportunity to rebel from his father’s grip. Maurizio had to fight his family from day one to be with this woman. As romantic as it may seem, this tension proves to be the theme of their relationship, where he constantly has to choose between her and his family. I will not spoil it for you but the evolution of the Gucci brand and empire, rested solely on the whims of an uneducated gold digger with a talent for sucking at the right moment in all the right places.
The second lesson is related to family dynamics. When Maurizio’s father, Rodolfo (played by Jeremy Irons) refused to give his blessing for their marriage and threatened to cut him off from the family, he hoped to break up the relationship. Unfortunately, his plan backfired and pushed young and naïve Maurizio to become closer with Patrizia’s family as he was used to belonging to a clan. This fable talks about the importance of not cutting children off from the family when they make decisions that don’t align with our values. Rodolfo’s tactic only serves to teach Maurizio that love is conditional and that he can be discarded when he doesn’t comply. Not to mention that it threw him right into the hands of those who wanted to take advantage of him. At the same time, Aldo Gucci (Maurizio’ uncle) was fighting his own battle with his son Paolo (played by Jared Leto). He repeatedly diminished him, called him useless and cut him off from the family business. This situation is played skillfully by Patrizia who is good at reading people and persuading disgruntled family members to join her quest for power. The main message is, do not diminish family members only because they are not like you, it is disrespectful, cruel and it hurts!
The third lesson here refers to stereotypical gender roles. Society views women as the emotional, weak and impulsive, a view that played on Patrizia’s favor. In other words, they let her into the family secrets and nobody saw her coming as a threat. She is portrayed as a cold blooded calculating gold digger who turns utterly emotional when things don’t go her way. However, I want to point out how much emotion the men show in this movie. One example is the passion that carried the family tradition through generations that led to deep disagreements between the men of the family; The love that led Aldo and Guccio to take care of their sons, try to protect them at any cost and to forgive them despite their doings against the family. Additionally, most of the decisions made by men in this movie are emotional and not rational. It is not very often that an American movie shows men as real people with strong feelings just like those of women. Kudos to the director and screenwriters!
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