Jean-Marc Vallee's Dallas Buyers Club tells the true story of Ron Woodroof, a stereotypical macho Texas cowboy, whose free-spirited life style is flipped upside down when he is diagnosed as HIV-positive and told he has roughly 30 days to live. With the lack government-approved effective medicines, Ron takes matters into his own hands, tracking down alternate treatments all over the world and establishing the "Dallas Buyers Club". Serving others like him, this "buyers club" aims to aid these individuals as opposed to the FDA which is just as concerned with monetary gains. The Dallas Buyers Club is a strong piece of dramatic filmmaking that is only made stronger with two great performances by Jared Leto and Matthew McConaughey. The film is a rather scathing commentary on the way the FDA is run, showing it as an organization more concerned with commerce than the lives of the many people it is supposed to aid. The beginning of the film sets out to establish Ron's free-wheeling lifestyle using great use of fragmented editing and quick segments which effectively capture the vapid and directionless nature of Ron's life. Taking place in 1985, these are the old days of the AIDs epidemic, with the US politics being divided on how to handle the virus and most common people viewing the problem as something which only inflicted homosexuals. The film captures the time quite well, with the fear-mongering and misunderstandings much of these people had with AIDS. I particularly liked how Ron's own friends quickly ostracize him, treating him like a rabid dog. Throughout the story the filmmakers never forget Ron is still dealing with the virus, constantly showing the wear and tear it has on his body - the loss of energy, problems with dementia, etc. Jean-Marc Vallee's Dallas Buyers Club does a wonderful job at capturing this time in America while simultaneously capturing the bigotry and greed which encapsulated the war for the lives of HIV victims.
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