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The murder of Gianni Versace: recap of American Crime Story: Season 1, Episode 1

Before we begin our recap trip for The murder of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story let's be explicit about some points. The Versace family has published a statement in opposition to the television program, which is based on the book Vulgar Favors by Maureen Orth, and calls it a "work of fiction". So I'm going to recapitulate this as a work of fiction; The people I will discuss will be characters, based on the description of the series of people in real life. I'm seeing this as a television show loosely based on real events, as a piece of entertainment, and not as history. All right?

Immediately, Murphy is doing what he does best with AGV : we open with a wide baroque string score, and a shot by Gianni Versace (Édgar Ramírez) waking up in his golden palace, sliding his feet in slippers and sliding down his ornate house to a balcony from where he looks at Miami Beach like a king.

Down by the water, Andrew Cunanan (Darren Criss) wears a red hat, with a backpack beside him that contains a copy of The man who was fashionable and a gun.

Tension increases: Versace takes a pill; Cunanan screams in the ocean. Versace leaves his house and someone shouts his name, but it's only the tourists who want an autograph, who politely rejects it; Cunanan vomits in a toilet; and Versace continues its slide to a newsstand to pick up copies of magazines. We already know that the intersection of these two men feels viscerally wrong; it is as if they lived in different galaxies, or in completely different parallel universes.

But then it happens. While Versace re-enters the doors of his house, Cunanan sees his opportunity. Cunanan walks towards him, arm stretched and shoots. There is our introduction.

The episode immediately repeats itself with Cunanan jumping into a bed where two of his friends are sleeping, presuming to meet Versace. It takes a few seconds to register that it is a flashback, now we are in 1990, in San Francisco, and it only takes a few seconds to realize what kind of person Cunanan is. The real work in this scene is done by the actress Annaleigh Ashford, whose polite smiles and subtle head inclinations completely encapsulate a friend who is a little fed up with that friend who is too much.

Cunanan states that he met Gianni Versace for the last time at night, and his friends humor him. He describes a scenario where Versace approached him and rejected him with a perfectly flirtatious replica. As an audience, we have access to the real scene: Cunanan found Versace in the VIP section of a nightclub and spoke his way, pretending they had met before, mentioning his mother's Italian heritage. This scene works on two levels: first, establishing that Cunanan really knew Versace, and second, establishing Cunanan as a liar, with delusions of grandeur and a relentless way of ignoring the truth.

Our opinion of Cunanan is confirmed when we see him in conversation with another friend who calls him: Cunanan has lied about being Jewish, tells his heterosexual friends that he is heterosexual and that his gay friends are homosexual. He lies so often that we are not even sure if he is telling the truth when he claims that Versace invited him to the opera, for which Versace designed the costumes. Andrew is there, in the next scene, but it is possible that the opera is a place he manipulated without a real invitation. Maybe he just bought his own ticket.

But no, at the end of the opera, Versace is there, not surprised to see Andrew Cunanan. Their behavior is flirtatious, and it is implied that their relationship could have become sexual. Obviously, there are no witnesses here, and there is no way to confirm whether that happened or not, so the program provides a plausible denial.

Back in the present (or rather, in the present of 1996), we receive treatment of some of the beautiful, slightly extra symbolism that is so exquisitely felt by Ryan Murphy: a bloody pigeon, also shot; the tourist who had asked for the autograph of Versace running beyond the police barricade to get his blood on the page of his magazine (win a signature!); the doctors cutting the logo of the Versace jellyfish on his shirt in the hospital.

Cunanan gets scared for a while in his car, and then pulls out a clean shirt; This was clearly a premeditated murder, not just a shot impulse. The police know that the suspect is in the parking lot, and whether they have been planned or lucky, they end up tracking and boarding a stranger in an identical red shirt.

From the identification information of the car, the police can identify the suspect as Andrew Cunanan, already wanted for the murder of which he stole the van. We know that Cunanan has already killed four people, but apparently the FBI had done an atrocious job of trying to locate him. No sign came out with his face on them. A woman who ran a pawnshop had informed her that she had sold something a week before the Versace shooting (using her real name and her real ID) and no one followed him. It is disgustingly obvious that if anyone had paid attention, Cunanan could have been arrested before his most famous murder.

Within the walls of the Versace complex, Gianni's sister, Donatella (Penelope Cruz) arrives to establish the domain of the Versace empire. The FBI has been questioning Versace's longtime partner, Antonio D & # 39; Amico (Ricky Martin), trying to change the conversation to frame him as a pimp or a cheat, and not as a boyfriend. It is true that D & # 39; Amico brought men to Gianni to sleep, and his home inspired by the Greco-Roman style was the place of all kinds of debauchery, but D & # 39; Amico tries to make it clear that he was different from the others. the rest. They lived together for 14 years.

Donatella is obviously not a fan of D & # 39; Amico. He symbolically extends his hand towards her; she rejects it And when she enters a board meeting to talk about the future of the brand, she closes the door behind her, leaving D & # 39; Amico in the hallway. She does not see him as a member of the family, and because the brand is Versace, it is no longer relevant, especially because, in his opinion, he could not fulfill his only task of keeping Gianni safe.

The FBI manage to find Cunanan's motel room, but when they burst, smoke and guns, it's not Cunanan in bed but a nervous junkie named Ronnie.

And there we have it: a pilot who puts all the pieces in motion and promises many more hours of fashion, intrigue and stylized blood spattered.

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