– 1st attempt at writing a movie review, read at your own risk! –
– This review is spoiler-free! –
Dallas Buyers Club has recently been one of the most talked-about movies this year, not least because of its Academy Award nominations but also because of its intriguing and heart-breaking plot. In fact it has received so many good reviews that initially, I was quite hesitant to actually watch it because I was afraid it wouldn’t live up to my expectations. Having now seen it, I can now happily say that, that was not the case.
Dallas Buyers Club is partly based on real life events, as it follows the journey of Ron Woodroof; a Texas born electrician and a rodeo cowboy hustler, who lives a free-spirited life until he is blindsided by a H.I.V-positive diagnosis and is given only 30 days to live. The movie depicts how Ron deals with his diagnosis and how he determinedly fights back against the forces of the FDA (Food and Drug Administration). Along the way he also finds unlikely allies in Dr Eve Saks and Rayon; a transsexual who is also suffering from AIDs, who shares not only Ron’s lust for life but also his struggles for dignity and acceptance.
Matthew McConaughey steps into Woodroof’s shoes and gives his best performance till date. Not just because of his weight loss but also because of his determination to be as realistic as possible to his namesake. McConaughey is able to seamlessly bring the character to life in such an extraordinary way that I found myself rooting for him until the very end. Ron’s experience with the disease and how it alters his view of others is represented, in the movie, through the friendship between McConaughey’s character and Rayon’s character, played by Jared Leto.
Rayon is a beautiful character, to say the least. She is so full of life that it is impossible to not love her. Jared Leto’s portrayal of Rayon is for me, one of his best performances ever. Through Rayon’s character, Leto gives us the touch of humour that is definitely needed for such an intense movie. Not only that, I found myself feeling incredibly emotional and sympathetic towards Rayon. Leto’s transformation into Rayon is remarkable and adds to the realism of the movie in general.
Another pivotal character in the movie was Dr Eve Saks, who is portrayed by Jennifer Garner. Although Garner didn’t receive as much recognition as her peers, I feel her character deserved to be recognised. Saks is a character, who I personally believe was placed in Dallas Buyers Club to provide a reflection of what we, the audience are thinking. Throughout the movie, I felt that Saks’ thoughts reflected my own. She questions her beliefs on AIDs and I found myself doing the same. The choices she makes in the movie were right and I knew that if I were ever placed in a situation similar to hers, I would do the same.
What I learnt from watching Dallas Buyers Club was that it does not matter if we are heterosexual, homosexual, bi-sexual or transsexual or if we have cancer, AIDs or some other terrible disease. We as individuals should be accepted for who we are only. The word ‘AIDs’ shouldn’t be treated as something disgusting or degrading. It shouldn’t be portrayed in a negative light and it shouldn’t be considered less of a disease, compared to the others. The underlying message of this movie is that a H.I.V/AIDs sufferer should not be considered an outcast and deserves to be treated in the best way possible, like everyone else.
Essentially, Ron Woodroof is telling us to be ourselves, don’t follow the crowd and stand up for what you believe in. I truly believe that Dallas Buyers Club depicted this beautifully and is a movie that deserves to be seen, heard and recognised.