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The Dallas Buyers Club (2013)

The Dallas Buyers Club movie review
Photo Credit : The Dallas Buyers Club / Focus Features
I'm not sure which is a bigger force of nature in The Dallas Buyers Club; Matthew McConaughey or his character Ron Woodroof, Jared Leto or his character Rayon, the story or the direction. This is the type of movie that I always strive to see in theaters or hunt for on television; it's confrontational, haunting, and lifelike. It's something so immersive you don't necessarily feel like you're watching a movies representation of someone's life but someone's life truthHomophobicold.

Homphobic electrician Ron Woodroof is a hotheaded combative Texan. What he knows about homosexuality is that Hollywood actor Rock Hudson passed away from it when he could have been chasing all the female tail he wanted. Woodroof's life revolves around gambling, sleeping around with various women, and shooting up drugs. When an on-the-job accident rushes him to the hospital, where he is diagnosed with HIV - the onset virus to AIDS, he goes into full-blown denial. Stone cold reality is brought up to him on a silver platter by doctors who have little compassion or understanding and serve him a life sentence of 30 days - Max.

Bursting out of the hospital, Woodroof lets Day 1 come and go retreating back to his trailer for a night booze and women with his equally bigoted friends. It's their proven statistic that he is going to die yet Woodroof does not make the cut for their placebo testing drug called AZT.

With an expiration date over his head, he refuses to go quietly in to the night. As Woodroof feels his body shutting down, it's a combination of McConaughey's transformation and the direction that immerses you into his disease. His weight is 30 to 50 lbs lesser than how we see his usual shirtless visage in romantic comedies. The audio kicks out so we hear the exact ringing in the ears as he does. It's impossible not to watch The Dallas Buyers Club and feel the story surround you. Scene after scene as Woodroof collapses under his own body and then manages to prevail is almost an addiction to watch fail and triumph.

As the days tick down, Woodroof hunts down answers outside the U.S. for other treatments. Lightyears beyond the United States own stalled and politically tied cures, Woodroof reverts back to his dealing days. The bevy of proteins, vitamins and minerals - things we now regularly use today like aloe vera and zinc aren't illegal - merely unapproved.

Rayon - a transgendered man and one of the few who are actively being prescribed AZT - is the only in Woodroof has to selling his ignored treatments. Their friendship is tough-edged at the beginning because of Woodroof's roughhoused bigotry. She is the antithesis of everything Woodroof stands for and believes in about masculinity and sexuality. When they start obtainining  international cures and selling them out of a motel room aptly called The Dallas Buyers Club, it's a complete 180 to see Woodroof turn from homophobic monster to a father figure.

Matthew McConaughey has endless energy. From his performance in this film and Mud, this year has been one of proud moments as a long time fan who has waited for him to surpass the stereotypical roles i.e. his shirtless romantic comedies and go for broke with more dramatic roles that bring out his talent. All the years of pent-up talent comes bursting forth in a steadfast and passionate performance.

Equally remarkable is Jared Leto as Rayon. Magnificently delicate as the Southern sweetheart yet verbally biting, he offers a sugary sweet counterpart to Woodoff. For both entertainers that have long impressed fans, they both bring break-out performances that bound to amaze and break your hearts.

Directed by Jean-Marc Vallée, his 2013 film reverberates performances and history. The movie not only speaks about an actors transformation but also the hot button issue of government and healthcare. AIDS affected at one point massively ignored a group of individuals. As new healthcare reform has arrived, there is no hidden subtext about Woodroof's battle to care for his own body without outside interference that matches the healthcare politics the world is facing today.

Woodroof holds a lot of similarities to the bull riding passion he holds. Like the cattle that is reigned into its stall and hauled up for another ride, Woodroof is forced again and again into the hospital. Having numerous hospital patients drop the toxic AZT trial for his proven natural treatments that balances their symptoms, he becomes the target of multiple FDA attacks. Every time they try to seize his business, Woodroof laces up his boots and keeps fighting back - not only for himself but for all the people he treats.

In the similar way Philadelphia shined light on the ignorance to the homosexual community through the voice and perspective of a homosexual man diagnosed with AIDS, The Dallas Buyers Club brings the same transfixing and and heartbreaking perspective. With a different voice the movie is about one solid figure who integrates himself into a community. For a man who couldn't see passed his own life and how he lived it, he becomes the father figure to a culture of people left without hope and choices to live. Hold onto the reigns, and ride the lightning because it is quite a motion picture. Everything about it is going to stick with you for a long time.

Rating: ★★★
Have you seen The Dallas Buyers Club? What did you think?

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