Movie review: Dallas Buyers Club

A changed man fighting for his life

Sex and drugs. A straight man is tested positive for HIV but denies the sickness because of the homosexual connotations. Yelling at the nurse, Ron Woodroof (Matthew McConaughey) is horrified by his ruined image and 30-day death sentence. The panic of finding drugs to keep himself alive leads to a business and issue he would fight to protect. Dallas Buyers Club illustrates the lifestyle and struggles of the 1980’s and tests the medical boundaries of right and wrong.

The opening scene begins with a scrawny, obviously sick man having intercourse with two women. The film continues to show Ron’s disgusting lifestyle of excessive drug use and sexual activity. The beginning of the movie makes you cringe uncomfortably and compels the audience to rethink their movie choice, but the film soon takes a turn for the better.

When Ron comes to the realization one can get HIV and AIDS from unprotected sex, he is forced to accept the disease at hand. The acceptance is the start of Ron’s maturity. When his friends and family learn about his sickness, Ron is shunned because of the implications of being gay. The movie displays the hostility around homosexuals in this time. McConaughey portrays the social destruction of being diagnosed with AIDS and his character changes his perspective on stereotypes.

Desperate and alone, Ron needs medication fast, but none are available. The FDA needs to run trials before a promising drug is accessible to the public, which requires some people to be given a placebo while others are being treated somewhat effectively. The public is outraged once this is revealed. Dying people just want a chance to live.

For Dallas residents, Mexico is an easy option for medicine the FDA won’t allow. Ron starts a business to sell drugs and medicine to people with AIDS from drugs he smuggles from all over the world. At first it was about the money for Ron, but as his business gets bigger and his relationship with his partner, who is a transsexual, grows, he starts fighting for these people, too.

Ron’s partner, Rayon (Jared Leo), opens his eyes to a different side of gays. Becoming friends with Rayon and working with him everyday shows Ron that homosexuals are no different from other people; they were just born different from most. Ron’s maturity is mirrored in his acceptance of Rayon. As he starts to grow up and stops with the heavy drug use, Ron and Rayon look after each other.

The storyline was intriguing and was shown well. Nominations for best picture, best lead role and best supporting actor are all well deserved. Leto stood out the most with an outstanding performance. McConaughey also does a great job of showing the change in his character from a homophobic pig to a man with a purpose. The only thing I would criticize would be the shown nudity and sex scenes that didn’t need to be as vulgar and graphic. This movie is definitely in the running for best picture in my mind.

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About Jessamine Von Arx

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