Saturday, March 1, 2014

Dallas Buyers Club: The Re(al)-view

Dr. Eve Saks: None of those drugs have been approved by the FDA.
Ron Woodroof: Screw the FDA. I'm gonna be DOA.
Matthew McConaughey has sure come a long way in his career; 10 years ago he was that toned guy that only acted romantic comedies, with one or two action movies on the side; now he's switched to roles that's gradually propelling him into acting icon. Yes, I said it ... Icon. The buzz around Dallas Buyers Club (DBC) was Jared Leto playing a transgender woman, and when you're done with DBC, you would understand why between McConaughey and Leto, they have won nearly 50 accolades.

DBC's based on the true life story of Ron Woodroof, a moustashioed electrician, cowboy, homophobe, druggie and AIDS patient, whose struggles with his discovery of the disease leads him onto a path of smuggling, with some quite brilliant schemes in the mix, to street saviour for AIDS patients - as the pharmaceutical companies and hospitals seem to be less efficient in administering the right drug. Woodroof's take on tackling the disease, from becoming a smuggler clad in priest robes to forming an exclusive club for AIDS patients is raw, because for starters he knows what each of his clients/potential clients feels, and he won't let bureaucratic goons - cue in the Food Drug Administration - get in his way. Thus, a man given 30 days to live rather turned things around, by bending the rules, and added an extra 7 years to his life expectancy.
Denis O'Hare as Dr Sevard
The plot for DBC is quite powerful, we see bonds form between doctor and patient, friendships that transcends sexual orientation (because what does it matter when survival is involved); and most importantly, one man's personal growth from rough tough cowboy - cum - international drug (AIDS medication) smuggler to a man (leading a minority of mostly society's ostracised) who's fighting two difficult battles, against AIDS and the FDA. Both of which are seemingly impossible for him to overcome ... though he fought with everything he had.
Woodroof did not achieve this on his own, he had an amazing set of co-conspirators and villains on his side to make the story worth every minute of viewing. From Jared Leto's Oscar worthy performance of Rayon, a transgender HIV positive patient, later colleague and friend of McConaughey's Woodroof; a performance that let's you question Leto's gender and introduces a softer side of Woodroof's somewhat rugged persona. Jennifer Garner's character - Dr. Eve Saks brings out the most delighting quality of Woodroof (in my opinion) ... that cowboy swagger. McConaughey's take of Woodroof's romantic side is somewhat amusing yet ballsy, as he owns his really emaciated appearance, and seizes the day.
The villains in Denis O'Hare's Dr Sevard and Michael O'Neill's FDA goon Richard Barkley really complimented the plot, as their efforts to bring down Woodroof apparently made him more human in the eyes of this viewer and his fellow HIV/AIDS infected compatriots, that causes him to emerge at the very end of the movie a hero. A memorable scene can be seen at the court, where a somewhat defeated Woodroof is seen begging for his right to survival.

Touching.

Opened: November 22, 2013 Runtime: 1 hr. 57 min. Genre: Biography, Drama Rated: 15

If McConaughey doesn't win the Oscar for Actor - in a Leading Role, (coming from a HUGE DiCaprio fan) then ... *smh*