Matthew McConaughey is developing himself into becoming the consumate actor. He may have launched this career development with DALLAS BUYERS CLUB. Undoubted, cinema buffs will agree, his role in this move was performed outstandingly. He portrays real life rodeo celebrity, Ron Woodroof, a man who many viewers would feel lacked scruples, morals and integrity. McConaughey plays the role with consummate acting skill consolidating his acclaim as being an outstanding actor, one who deserves more than just nominations for the Oscars.
Woodroof, rodeo star, real life dog ??
In Dallas Buyers Club, McConaughey plays the role of Ron Woodroof, a star on the Texas rodeo circuit and a star with the women of questionable moral integrity. Woodroof doesn’t question these women, he just beds them, stands them, couches them and even stockyard corrals them. With so many bedmates, it is understandable how he contracts HIV and soon after is given a prognosis of 30 days to live because his AIDS is so advanced.
Hospital treatment is a guarantee of premature death
Woodroof first balks at the diagnosis, but eventually once he accepts reality and recognizes that the standard medical treatments of that time are ineffectual, if not outright death sentences for the patients being treated.
Pharm – government conspiracy
Soon, Woodroof searches out alternate methods of treatment, some legal, some not, but his selected methods of treatment as found by his own world wide searches, prove to be much more effective in staving off the inevitable than acceptable medical practices and protocols of that period. In fact, when his self-treatment becomes successful, he organizes a means of getting the treatment to others turning this into a profitable revenue earner for himself but pitting him against the big pharma and the US government federal drug authorities.
If you believe in the possibility of conspiracies, and I do, the profit orientation of large pharma corporations seems to be directed at profit gain rather than patient care. This possibly cynical view may be even more negative if you believe that federal government agencies are collaborative allies of these pharm giants. Consider for just a moment the loss in revenue that would be experienced by medical institutions and drug corporations as cures for cancer might be found.
“Thirty days to live…bull shit!” would be Woodroof words
Woodroof extends his 30 day death sentence into a near 10 year extension. One’s conviction that established powers are not always right in what they do and do not always have the average citizen’s best interest in mind is challenged here. Drug producing corporations are portrayed as being ceaselessly concerned with profit generation and the evil of this financial philosophy pervades even hospitals which are supposedly dedicated to proper and safe patient care. However perhaps once the apple of temptation has been bitten it is an insurmountable challenge not to bed the devil on an ongoing basis.
Summation of the movie
McConaughey is positively brilliant in the role. Believably gaunt, in fact, near deathly in appearance at times, his portrayal of a recluse, devil may care, the hell with authority attitude easily causes movie viewers to cheer him on with their support as he seems on the verge of succeeding in proving the medical conspiracy theory. Even if his moral and ethical deviance are contrary to their commonly accepted beliefs, McConaughey’s acting persuades movie viewers in supporting his role’s stance. It is almost a position which is almost universally accepted, support of the underdog by the masses when authorities seem blatantly wrong. You root for him. You wish him success. You want him to win even if you cannot completely agree with his methods and means of pursuing his goal of living.
Other outstanding acting portrayals
The other actor of the movie who deserves praise for his role is Jared Leto who plays Rayon, the gay rebel who also fights authority when and wherever he can. How homophobic Woodroof and the antithesis of anyone he could ever possible befriend, Rayon, become heart close partners is a gem of movie script development. Rayon is a charmer who easily wins support of most viewers of this movie. I cheered for him and his ultimate death from AIDS saddened me too.
The other actors seem to have fulfilled what they needed to do to earn their actor’s paycheques. Jennifer Garner, usually a strong cast member, seemed to play her role like an automaton, going through the motions, repetitively relying on clichéd acting methods such as being doe-eyed at seemingly sad moments, staring off into the distance at moment of deep thought, and quizzical eyes open looks at times when she was questioning her movie role’s next decision. Unfortunately, her acting just didn’t click for me.
Would I recommend the movie?
I would recommend seeing this movie unequivocally and without reservation for a number of reasons.
McConaughey’s acting is superb, believable in every scene.
The movie’s underlying theme and plot of a government conspiracy which is an alliance with big corporations smacks of solid possibility and real believability in my eyes.
More importantly, the movie is a watershed point in cinematographic history. Homosexuals are real people, can become close and loved friends even if they have conflicting philosophies with others. Other movies were milestones in cinema history for the causes they promoted: Midnight Cowboy for the loyalty and love between recluses; Milk for the depiction of a homosexual as a capable professional who can earn political support from those who might even be homophobes; One flew over the cuckoos nest for the depiction of the horrors of institution care when mismanaged by persons in authority; Brokeback Mountain for portrayal of homosexual love as being as authentic and sincere as any other. Arguably, there may be other movies which are movie milestones, but these are the great ones which I see and DALLAS BUYERS CLUB should be included as being one of them, in my books.