Back in the early to mid-1980’s AIDS became a paranoid subject. An unknown disease for which there was no known cure caused world-wide ramifications still being felt. Based on true events, ‘Dallas Buyers Club’ explores a person’s response to the crisis. Like many stories based around AIDS it’s one of struggle and determination to maintain dignity whilst battling the spectre of death.
In 1985 electrician and rodeo rider Rod Woodroof (Matthew McConaughey) lives life to the max. A racist homophobe continually drive his narrow world-view. When in hospital for a work injury he is diagnosed as HIV positive. Shocked, he tries to find a cure. He thinks he finds it in a new drug only on sale in Mexico. Appalled at the strict rules applied by the American medical profession, he aims to help others in similar circumstances by any illegal means possible.
As clichéd as it sounds, ‘Dallas Buyers Club’ is a classic example of someone’s ‘journey’. Beginning from a point of uninformed ignorance, Woodroof eventually has his eyes opened in unimagined ways. His friendship with fellow sufferer Raymond (Jared Leto), a transgendered woman and sympathetic Doctor Eve (Jennifer Garner) forces him to confront his past behaviour. Whilst his opportunism initially sees him providing aid at a price, it’s his dogged resolve that ultimately defines him.
Director Jean-Marc Vallee presents these strands in a straight-forward manner free of sentiment. Whilst often resembling a potted lecture of medical procedures of the era, the screenplay ensures you care about its characters. Due to McConaughey’s solid performance you gain a begrudging respect for Woodroof despite his early nastiness. Leto and Garner give fine support as people reminding Woodroof that compassion and resilience can be found anywhere.
Whilst ‘Dallas Buyers Club’ may have the ingredients needed to capture award voter’s attentions, it maintains its sense of humanity. It was the early work of Woodroof which gave hope to many AIDS victims with his legacy towards a permanent cure one never forgotten.
Movie Review Rating out of 10: 7
Movie Review by Patrick Moore
Agree with Patrick's Movie Review? Then please use the comment box.
Patrick Moore's Movie Review is an alternative look at movie releases in Australia.