Saturday, November 23, 2013

Dallas Buyers Club: Movie Review

A character with conflicting ideals provides a drama with charm and humour.
Ron Woodroof (Matthew McConaughey) has been diagnosed with AIDS in 1985. But surely that’s a mistake because he “ain’t no homo”. “Dallas Buyers Club” does a good job of establishing the character of Ron Woodroof with that of what he needs to do to survive. He lives in Dallas, lives a very disgusting lifestyle and should be close to dead. But he also likes making money and disregarding authority. 2013

Directed by: Jean-Marc Vallée

Screenplay by: Craig Borten, Melisa Wallack

Starring: Matthew McConaughey, Jared Leto and Jennifer Garner

Photos courtesy of Remstar Medias.
McConaughey, as only he is able to do, imbibes Mr. Woodroof with enough charm and likability that we care to follow him. He's a smooth talking cowboy that plays up his minimal charms and lives life to its fullest – this includes lots of drugs and skanky women. The faster we get past his less charming moments the better. The film hits its stride when we meet Rayon (Jared Leto), a transsexual also suffering from AIDS/HIV, and when we travel to Mexico to secure drugs otherwise unavailable in the United States. Rayon is clearly damaged and a fairly gentle woman but can hold her own against McConaughey's Woodroof.

Dallas Buyers Club is a bordering-on-illegal club that Woodroof sets up to sell drugs to fellow sufferers. It serves a dual purpose of providing needed care to a disenfranchised community of society and making Mr. Woodroof more money. He’s this AIDs patient / cowboy / business man that really is pretty amusing. Along with the Texas accent and swagger, it’s the type of mix that only McConaughey can pull off.

Rayon and Woodroof have an interesting relationship in the beginning. The homophobic Woodroof can’t stand the transsexual Rayon but Rayon can put him in touch with the homosexual community which has the money and need to buy life-saving drugs. Woodroof has to face the conundrum of money versus homophobia. He chooses money. A choice which really cements the film as a touching, emotional drama. At least it started with humour.

That early comedy moves into drama as we learn more of Rayon’s life, which is not a happy one. But Woodroof continues with this Texan swagger as he attempts to win over Eve (Jennifer Garner), a doctor in charge of the HIV drug trials and who prefers to do things according to protocol. Woodroof, of course, does not like doing things according to protocol.

“Dallas Buyers Club” does mostly follow protocol but it was the many light and humorous moments of the movie that are most memorable, and it's still a pretty affecting drama of tragedy and triumph.
Best of 2013