One of Label’s editors, Sonia Bolla, gives us an amazing review of the hit TV show American Crime Story, The assassination of Gianni Versace.
The story of Gianni Versace’s death follows the critically acclaimed ‘The People vs. OJ Simpson,’ the previous season of American Crime Story. The fashion designer’s assassination is well-known within popular culture, however this series delves deeper into the moments leading up to his death, as well as the aftermath, and provides a perfect insight into his killer – Andrew Cunanan.
Although the show has a title focusing on Gianni Versace, the show is predominately about Andrew Cunanan and his 5 victims. The show manages to keep you engaged through the lack of chronological order in terms of events, with just one episode flicking back and forth between months and years. Through this, its director, Ryan Murphy, tells a story of ambition, lies and apathy.
Consisting of 9 episodes, the series features an ensemble cast who all contribute perfectly to the show. The cast consists of: Penélope Cruz as Donatella Versace, Edgar Ramírez as Gianni Versace, and others such as Ricky Martin, Judith Light and Max Greenfield. Perhaps the most memorable cast member is Darren Criss, as Cunanan. Criss does a remarkable job of portraying Andrew as what he is – a terrifying serial killer. This is a career-defining performance by Criss, and he does just the right amount to humanise Cunanan. The desired effect is to watch Cunanan’s criminality unfold slowly, and for us to see the origins of a psychopathic killer.
The portrayal of events has been criticised by the Versace family, mostly due to their lack of involvement with the creation of the show. However, Murphy describes the portrayal as ‘a work of non-fiction obviously with docudrama elements’ which is clear through the sheer intensity of watching the show. Though this is a show predominately based on true events, the dramatization of the narrative should still be taken with a grain of salt.
The Assassination of Gianni Versace – American Crime Story continues on BBC2, Wednesdays at 9pm. Or, you can catch up with the first few episodes on BBC iPlayer.
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