Dallas Buyers Club – Review
Dallas Buyers Club – Movie Review
Dallas Buyers Club is a gritty drama which boldly tackles the issue of homosexuality in 1980’s America. There is little else to say other than this film is a great piece of art which should most definitely be in contention for Academy Awards.
The story revolves around the protagonist Ron Woodroof who is diagnosed with HIV in a time where there is little treatment given to those who have the illness. He overcomes the prejudice surrounding HIV and the matter of homosexual intercourse and the character grows throughout the film, like most people in Dallas he abhors “faggots” but he befriends Raymon (Jared Leto) who is a a transgender woman also infected with HIV. They both make a living out of smuggling drugs into the USA and distributing them to those infected as they believe the hospitals are ineffective at doing their jobs.
The plot is simple, yet the characters are complicated and so interesting to watch on the screen. After having seen all of the films nominated for best actor, bar ‘Nebraska’, I can say that Matthew McConaughey is by far the most deserving of this accolade. He is electric in his role, he combines edgy humor with an aura of arrogance to create an incredibly likable protagonist. In terms of method acting, Bale’s weight gain for “American Hustle” is nothing in comparison to McConaughey’s. He dropped an immense amount of weight to fully submerse himself into the role of this HIV infected, homophobic male. As I mentioned before, what is so endearing about this character is his progression throughout the movie. From a homophobic sex addicted crackhead, to a sympathetic all loving male who wished to help all that he can. The evolution of the character is what makes the film so pleasant. Jared Leto is phenomenal in his role as Raymon and his chemistry with McConaughey is evident on the screen. Both bounce of each other in sometimes an emotional yet humorous way. With this being said, his performance doesn’t quite match up to McConaughey’s and isn’t as deserving to win best supporting actor. Despite this, it is still a fantastic performance.
Dallas Buyers Club is a daring film, it promulgates the prejudice homosexuals faced in 1980’s America and specifically Dallas. There’s derogatory language, crude references and inhumane treatment towards the homosexual minority. The film is not shy of showing any of this and it serves as a reminder to us all that help should be given, not based on your sexual orientation, but moreover on the basis that you are a human. As well it’s controversial theme of homosexuality, the film places a heavy emphasis on the issue of mortality. One scene shows Ron fearing for his imminent death, praying as a form of desperation and salvation. The film raises issues about freedom and how free we actually are. My single minor gripe with this film is its sometimes tonal inconsistency. Their seems to be this unrealistic romance with Jennifer Garner’s character which you don’t quite buy and I don’t believe the romantic side of their relationship was at all necessary. Alongside this, surprisingly the film is funny in places. But I felt the humor was wedged in a couple of times just to energize the plot, whilst this is welcome I do think the dark sad tone of the movie was superior to its comedic parts. This is a small gripe and it does not detract from the experience of the film and the issue is not constant, it only appears throughout a couple of scenes and therefore is forgettable.
This film is a must-see for the acting alone, it’s an important story to tell which has human warmth behind it. Whilst it may not be the best film in the category of Best Picture, it stands out from the rest and tells a character driven story that constantly develops.