Dallas Buyers Club (Jean-Marc Vallée, 2013)

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Exquisitely targeting a key benefactor during the AIDS epidemic of the mid-1980s, Dallas Buyers Club revolves around one Ron Woodroof’s (Matthew McConaughey) resilience in the face of certain death following his own diagnosis. As disbelief, drug abuse and homophobia evolves into self-education and maturation, startling discoveries involving the AZT-heavy treatment of AIDS patients prompt Ron to seek out better medicinal alternatives. Upon doing so and establishing the profitable titular drug racket, he and transsexual business partner Rayon (Jared Leto) frequently combat the advances of the FDA – an administration that time and again fails to acknowledge the helpful validity of Ron’s extensive research.

For starters, Dallas Buyers Club doesn’t particularly shed any new light on the harsh realities AIDS victims suffered through at the height of the chosen time period. For all intents and purposes, homophobia ran rampant and the syndrome was frighteningly unprecedented in its onset and continuing symptoms, therefore the focus on AZT as an initial treatment strategy is necessary as Ron’s primary impetus and nothing more. This in mind, the film solely triumphs in its depiction of the central character, chronicling Mr. Woodroof’s transition in as compelling a manner as one could hope, crippling blemishes and all.

As a predictably structured biopic, Leto and McConaughey’s combined conviction are what benchmark an ordinary if agreeably enlightening trudge through the remaining months and years of these individuals’ lives. Banking on the inherent emotionality and intrigue surrounding the inception of Buyers Clubs throughout America, Vallée’s handling of the material lays the sympathy on thick, effectively transforming Dallas Buyers Club from merely informative to touching and appealingly, moreover appropriately unflinching in its depiction of Ron Woodroof’s evolving role.

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