By Diego Olivares
“Dallas Buyers Club” is an unblinking look at the intolerance and irresponsible behavior placed on those who suffered heavily during the 1980s AIDS era. This is brought about through its powerful lead performances, naturalistic style and its uncompromising subject matter.
Based off a true story, the film follows the life of Ron Woodroof, played by Matthew McConaughey, a homophobic, drug-and-sex addict who is diagnosed with HIV. Shortly after this grim discovery, he gets his hands on an experimental drug from the FDA.
Hoping that the medication could help him, Woodroof becomes more seriously ill due to its life-threatening side effects. In addition to this, he becomes alienated from his so-called friends and co-workers due his diagnosis and their homophobia.
Feed-up with the medical system, Woodroof decides to take matters in his own hands. With the aid of a transgender patient named Rayon, played by Jared Leto, Woodroof gets access to antiviral medication from other parts of the world, much of the medication not FDA approved.
The two then start an independent club that sells the medication to other HIV-affected patients, pre-longing their dying time span. While successful, this gets the attention of the FDA and medication companies who want to shut the club down.
“Dallas Buyers Club” is a work of art that manages to stay true to the very subjects it’s portraying without sugarcoating it. As in the case of many biographical films and social dramas that try to soften the subject matter without being honest.
The film deals with the nature of life in Texas during the AIDS era. The film portrays the discrimination towards gays, transgender and AIDS patients by the narrow-minded supporting characters with a sad, yet harsh realism.
The audiences really connect to the lead characters dealing with the discrimination caused by this hateful outlook. There is a real sympathy created for these lead characters and others dealing with life in this harsh world.
The same kind of realism is also placed upon the irresponsibly of the medical companies who foolishly give patients harmful medications to help them cope. Nothing in this film is softening for the stake of mass appeal. Everything is presented with a harsh realism that gives the film real honestly.
Matthew McConaughey continues to rain of delivery strong performances. With his role of Ron Woodroof, McConaughey gives an extremely powerful performance, possibly the best of his career.
In addition, Jared Leto makes a strong acting comeback. Having been out of acting for four years, Leto is very convicting performance as Rayon, Woodroof’s fellow AIDS patient. At times, he would completely disappear in the role that audiences would forget it was him. Leto truly gets into his role.
The film as a wonderful style is extremely naturalistic. Much of the film’s style almost comes off as documentary like. The colors of the visual design are very natural and strong. The style really adds to the realism of the film.
The fact of story is based off a true story; the documentary style of the film is the best way to approach the way film’s presented. It really couldn’t have been down any other way.
“Dallas Buyers Club” is a great piece of cinematic art. Strong leading performances, a naturalistic, documentary style, and unsoften subject matter help give the film it artistic greatness.
“Dallas Buyers Club” is rated R for pervasive language, some strong sexual content, nudity and drug use