House Of Gucci Scribe Roberto Bentivenga On The Key Revelation That Shaped His Ending

Some might consider watching biopics and other "based on a true story" movies to have a built-in downside, given that we generally know the ins and outs of these infamous stories and how they're fated to end. These individuals, sadly, are missing out on gems like the Pablo Larraín's Princess Diana film "Spencer" and, most recently, Ridley Scott's "House of Gucci." Chronicling the story of the absurdly rich Gucci family and the empire they built selling designer fashion, Scott and screenwriters Roberto Bentivegna and Becky Johnston found an immensely entertaining way to bring audiences into the privileged life of Maurizio Gucci (Adam Driver) and his troubled marriage to Lady Gaga's Patrizia. With their honeymoon period curdling into something more closely resembling "Macbeth," "House of Gucci" faced added pressure to make the ending of the film measure up to the two-plus hours that preceded it. According to writer Roberto Bentivegna, one crucial change in perspective allowed the inevitable conclusion of this story to hit as hard as it does.

Major spoilers for "House of Gucci" (and, well, the decades-old true story of the Gucci family as well) follow.

"It's Actually Two Deaths"

Those who've been following along know that Ridley Scott's "House of Gucci" has only one possible conclusion, which is made clear (in retrospect, at least) right from the opening moments of the film: the murder of Maurizio Gucci at the hands of hitmen, hired by ex-wife Patrizia. Knowing about the real-world events that took place and getting into the headspace of these larger-than-life individuals, however, proved to be two very different things. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, writer Roberto Bentivegna opened up about how he approached the crucial murder sequence. The key, as he tells it, had to do with juxtaposing Adam Driver's doomed Maurizio with the private moments of a conflicted Patrizia:

"I thought it was a death, but it's actually two deaths. When Patrizia knows that Maurizio is about to die, I think she dies a little bit inside, too. I always imagined it as an intercutting between those two moments: Maurizio being murdered and Patrizia in the bathtub, discovering what she'd done and not being able to turn back."

As captured by Ridley Scott and director of photography Dariusz Wolski in the film, this sequence cuts between Patrizia submerged underwater in her bathtub and Maurizio blithely going about his day in peace. Bentivegna reveals that Scott made the "incredibly powerful" decision to set these moments to an instrumental score, opting for a devastatingly quiet and subdued atmosphere in light of the violence that is to come.

Though I preferred Scott's "The Last Duel" over the sometimes hard-to-stomach excess of "House of Gucci," it's hard to argue with the results (which you can read more about in Chris Evangelista's review). "House of Gucci" is currently playing in theaters.