Dallas Buyers Club (2013)

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Well, Dallas Buyers Club has been on festival and award pitch for a long time. Yet, I have just got a chance to watch it in the cinema this weekend. Just a moment before Oscar awards its two actors.

Matthew McConaughey as Ron Woodroof

Dallas Buyers Club is certainly a movie about struggle (although it doesn’t look so initially). Our soon-to-be savior is Ron Woodroof (brilliantly portrayed by Matthew McConaughey–who eventually wins Oscar’s best actor in a leading role); he’s an electrician and occasional rodeo bull rider. His live deeply dives in heavy smoking, drinking, drug use, en passant sex, and “part-time” homophobia.

When it rains, it really pours. True. While in the hospital on a work related injury, doctor discovers that he is HIV+ and verdicts that Woodroof won’t survive more than 30 days. During the 80’s, research about HIV/AIDS  is portrayed to have not advanced like it is nowadays–HIV is also stereotyped as a disease that only “faggots” have. Meanwhile, legal drugs have no wide distribution–Woodroof has only limited options.

He begins to seek experimental drugs and alternative treatment, roams Mexico to buy illegal drugs known as a most effective cure that he finally distributes to HIV/AIDS patients. His goal is no longer prolonging his life–but life of others, the members of his “Buyers Club”–those who suffer the same suffering.

Dallas Buyers Club is definitely astonishing because of the casts. McConaughey, who portrays the main douchebag-turns-savior Ron Woodroof gets the spotlight. He becomes as bony as the dead, just to totally be in-character with his Woodroof–a stereotyped homophobic who turns into a solace to the people he abhors. Yet, he’s not alone. He has Rayon (another newly Oscar winner, Jared Leto), a sympathetic yet sassy transgender who helps Woodroof reach his patients in gay community but constantly disputes Woodroof’s perception of homosexuality. He also has Dr. Eve (Jennifer Garner, through her comeback), whose sentiment falters between her conscience or her code ethics. What an antithesis of how struggle should be.

Cinematically, Dallas Buyers Club has its avant garde touch like a DIY project. Yet, deep inside… it’s a poignant character study which is difficult to follow but interesting. How each of character has their own background and dilemma–and how they deal with them feels so fascinating, with McConaughey’s character as the most quirky, yet touching one. All of them makes the story seems and feels humane–thanks to the director Vallée.

3 Oscar winnings–each for Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role for Matthew McConaughey, Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role for Jared Leto, and Best Achievement in Makeup and Hairstyling for Adruitha Lee and Robin Mathews–are not exaggerating since those three are interrelated. Both actors deserve an Oscar (although I actually pick for Leo in the first position of Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role) judging from their transformation–physically and mentally towards their character which is supported by the astonishing make up and hairstyling. As for Leto, I believe that he will still win the Oscar even if someone puts him to Best Actress nomination.

Well… Rest in peace, the real Ron Woodroof. And as for you, McConaughey and Leto… congratulations.

Dallas Buyers Club (2013) — 
Biopic, Drama Directing: Jean-Marc Vallée Writing: Craig Borten, Melisa Wallack Cinematography: Yves Bélanger Editing: Martin Pensa, Jean-Marc Vallée Production Design: John Paino Art Direction: Javiera Varas Set Decoration: Robert Covelman Costume: Kurt and Bart Casts: Matthew McConaughey, Jared Leto, Jennifer Garner
IMDB | Official Site

5 thoughts on “Dallas Buyers Club (2013)

  1. Keren, bagaimana sebuah penyakit bisa menjadikan seorang yg menyebalkan menjadi pahlawan dan mengubah sifat homophobic-nya.

    Tapi ada yg aneh di film ini, bersetting tahun 1980-an tapi kenapa bisa ada poster lamborghini aventador? Aneh.

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