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Dallas Buyers Club:Rating: * * * ½ Enterprising even in the face of certain death, this film’s hero is a path-breaker in more terms than one. And lead Mathew Mc Connaughey takes performance to new heights.
English Film Review
Film: Dallas Buyers Club
Director: Jean-Marc Vallée
Rating: * * * ½
Running Time: 117 min.
Synopsis:Matthew McConaughey headlines director Jean-Marc Vallée's biographical drama centering on the story of Ron Woodroof, a Texas electrician who was diagnosed as HIV-positive in 1986, and who subsequently devoted his life to providing fellow HIV patients with non-FDA-approved drugs and supplements during an era when doctors were still struggling to understand the devastating disease. Defying his surprise death sentence, Woodroof set out to procure any and all non-toxic alternative HIV treatments available, and established a "buyers club" to provide the treatments to others afflicted with the disease. But that mission quickly made him a target for both the U.S. medical establishment and the pharmaceutical industry, both of which resented his defiance of government sanctions, and joined forces to shut down his operation by any means necessary.
The film begins in the mid-eighties, a period that is assumed to ne the height of the AIDS crisis in the US. Ron Woodroof(Mc Caunnaughey) is a real life figure who became a hero of sorts for thousands of AIDS patients who were facing certain death. He helped give their post-AIDS life a little more meaning and a qualitative extension, which was otherwise unavailable from traditional overly toxic treatments offered by the legally recognized medical profession.
Woodroof was the hard partying, on-the-make cowboy who on discovering he had HIV and was soon to be dearly departed, aggressively pursued alternative treatment methods once he realized that most AIDS patients were being given highly toxic drugs which killed not only infected cells but healthy cells as well. The screenplay by Craig Borten and Melisa Wallack highlights the desperation and daring entrepreneurship innolved in procuring non-toxic medication in large numbers and the process of dispersion through an innovative buyers club.
Woodroof was a bigoted redneck, a homophobic abuser who never failed to look down on his fellow man. So the film is not only about Woodroof’s fight against the FDA, the Big Pharma and other Institutions who kept potentially life-saving drugs from the general public- it’s also about his own growth as a human being who with his ongoing enterprise and developing friendship with flamboyant transsexual Rayon(a stunning Jared Leto) shows us how desperation and the urge to fight against the dehumanizing system can make one a better human after all!
The treatment is matter-of-fact documentary style without much room for heavy emotion of high velocity drama. In fact everything rests on the two principal stars playing the central roles and both make such stunning turns that it’s simply breath-taking! But while it highlights performances by both (as Woodroof) and (as the wily, poignant transsexual Rayon) lose so much weight and mannerisms that their real personas are just not visible beneath the many depths and layers of their immaculate performances. If anyone deserves to win all the awards this season, it’s these two!
The many moments in ‘Dallas buyers club’ combined with Valee’s energetic tenor and deliberately dry treatment makes for involved viewing. It may not get you crying but this fable about a reprobate redeemed and a band of outsiders struggling against the entrenched establishment, will definitely would carve a patch on your soul!