Dallas Buyers Club (2013)
Yes I have finally caught the height of the McConaissance which was a build up to a well deserved Oscar win for Dallas Buyers Club (2013), after years of poor rom-coms behind him Matthew McConaughey finally has been coming good in recent years, its safe to say this is continuing with Interstellar (2014). He can just do no wrong really at the moment.
It’s a subject that has always been swept under the carpet, anything associated with homosexuality has been mocked, never really taken seriously until that disease took its first few victims including Rock Hudson where the film starts, the disease is at the forefront of this film and we are not allowed to forget it, rightly so too. We meet electrician Ron Woodrow (McConaughey), who loves his women, drink and drugs, loves lives when all said and done, an opportunist you could say. Whose life is about to change in ways he never thought possible when he is diagnosed as HIV positive, before it develops into Aids. A disease at the time that was defined those who caught it, homosexuals, a stigma that has only started to fall away as more people contracted the disease. With increased awareness and education of the disease. Woodrow is given thirty days to live after his initial diagnosis, which he is not wiling to accept with his boots off. You have to admire that kind of bravery, to be diagnosed with a horrible disease that changes your life drastically, cutting your life span by more than half (at the time of the film) and stick his middle finger up to the doctors.
There’s talk of a drugs trial that could potentially protects other blood cells from becoming infected, being a trial there are always strings attached, one being that Woodrow is not eligible unlike unlikely friend Rayon (Jared Leto) a gay transvestite who has been on the trial. Woodrow learns his options are small for drugs, which have to be FDA (Food and Drug Association) approved. The ones he’s after, which could improve his quality of live, even extend it aren’t which frustrates him, the law is stopping him do what he wants, to live. Leaving for Mexico where he meets unlicensed doctor Dr. Vass (Griffin Dunne) who gives him the cocktail that improves his quality of life and the first batch of drugs that could improve the lives of hundreds of sufferers.
And so begins the film really, Woodrow’s journey really from selfish electrician to an expert (of sorts) on drugs to improve the lives of others who have contracted the disease. Teaming up with Rayon, taking a 25% cut in the buyers group that targets their audience with a package which comes with a price, its kind of insurance you could say that allows a steady supply of drugs to ease the pain. The kind of drugs that are otherwise restricted to the public who need them.
The main relationship between Ron and Rayon is very rough around the edges, both needing the other to live. Rayon’s presence begins to wear down Ron’s homophobia down to something he can deal with. No longer a fear more of an annoyance. This relationship is a great product of the service that is delivered in the film. Both actors Leto and McConaughey underwent massive transformation for the film shedding the pounds to become these believable men who suffer and find the strength to carry on. Just incredible really and added up to awards glory too. With Jennifer Garner in a role that really feels right for her, I can take her seriously now> Its like she’s made it into grown-up films now.
Woodrow takes on the country and shakes it up in hopes that is wakes up to the situation on the ground, men and women were dying, suffering when there are drugs out there that are crying out to be bought and used that can improves and extend lives. There will always be a fight between governments and drug companies as to which drugs they buy. Just recently a number companies had five minutes each to prove why the N.H.S. should spend money on their cancer drug. I wouldn’t like to have made that decision, which to turn down and to accept. Even harder when you can see the benefit of drugs in another country not available in your own. It could be argued there is an agenda behind this film, and there is, looser drug regulation for prescription drugs.
Ok with that agenda identified I can wrap up Dallas Buyers Club as a deep film that can take is self both seriously and not, Ron clearly can. There are laughs and all in tone with the material as he comes to accept his lot in life. Fighting back at his old friends who soon turned against him. For trailer trash he certainly has a head on him to get things going in the direction he wants. The determination to overlook preconceptions to help others and make some money. Taking on the system and shaking it up, something we all want to do at times.
- Dallas Buyers Club (2013) (thefictionalhangout.blogspot.co.uk)
- Dallas Buyers Club (2013) (stanleyrogouski.wordpress.com)