“Dallas Buyers Club” may contain Matthew McConaughey’s best performance to date as well as Jared Leto’s. McConaughey has the tough task of playing an arrogant and unsympathetic person who contracts HIV. This is Ron Woodroof, a Texas cowboy who prides himself in being homophobic. He spends his days riding bulls and his nights drinking and having orgies. When a doctor tells him he has aids, he initially refuse the diagnosis until he recalls having unprotected sex with a drug user.
Ron Woodroof was a real person. When faced with the reality that he could die in a month, he began seeking other forms of medication as he wasn’t impressed with the one’s he was receiving at the local hospital. He went down to Mexico and received organic medications and amazing finds his health improves greatly. Three months later he is still alive and feeling better. He begins selling these drugs on the street which leads to forming the Dallas Buyers Club. His clients can pay a monthly membership fee of 400$ and get access to as many of the drugs as they need. This is when he meets Rayon, a transexual and HIV carrier, played by Jared Leto.
At first he is hostile towards Rayon but eventually begins to respect him and think of him as a friend. Their friendship becomes the heart of the movie.
Eventually the Buyers Club has pressure put on it by the FDA for their spreading of unapproved drugs. Corporations are trying to market their supposed HIV cure that is actually poisonous. This was the drug Woodroof was taking initially that caused his health to deteriorate. His battle with the FDA eventually hits the courts where he unsuccessfully tries to sue the FDA. Even the judge is sensitive to Woodroof’s stance and seems shocked that the laws are the way they are as he enforces them reluctantly.
The director is Canadian Jean Marc-Vallee whose work I am not familiar with. Based on this film I was impressed with his closely he stuck to his characters. He fearlessly followed them during their lows and highs. He resisted the temptation to make this in to a melodrama by keeping the characters true to themselves.
As Ron Woodroof, McConaughey had to drop a lot of weight. He looks as sick as his character was, with eyes sunk into his skull and his figure almost nothing but one. He also makes Woodroof a hard guy to like. Woodroof sticks to his views almost all the way through until gradually becoming more accepting of people that are not like him.