Arts & Entertainment

REVIEW: ‘Dallas Buyers Club’ is an emotional rollercoaster ride

In Dallas Buyers Club, you watch an AIDS patient come to terms with his diagnosis and find new meaning in his life

By Brittany Hale

A lot of people have probably heard of Dallas Buyers Club. The film took home two Golden Globes, after all. Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto both won big: McConaughey brought home an award for best actor while Leto won for best supporting actor. Both gave amazing performances, but that is only one reason why you should see Dallas Buyers Club.

There are so many amazing, inspirational components to the story, it’s hard to know where to start. On one hand, you see a man come to grips with his own mortality and a new lifestyle that is devoid of human contact. On another, there is the breaking down of prejudice and bias that is focused on the gay community. Then, there is the story of the fight against the Food and Drug Administration to gain access to experimental medicines and hope.

Let’s start here: Dallas Buyers Club follows the story of Ron Woodruf,  played by McConaughey.  A bad boy and bull rider, Woodruf lives on the edge. A constant drinker and womanizer, he finds himself being diagnosed with AIDS and is given thirty days to live.

The movie counts down the days as Woodruf tries to deal with his diagnosis. You watch him go through the motions of coping with his illness. First he drinks, then he does drugs (lots), and finally he’s forced to face his situation. He begins researching alternative medicines and ultimately sets out to prolong his life

One of the most endearing aspects of the movie is Woodruf’s friendship with a transsexual named Rayon, played by Jared Leto. After starting off the movie homophobic, Woodruf learns tolerance and the truth of the AIDS virus: it can infect anyone. He actually finds himself ostracized by his friends who assume that he’s been sleeping with men because of his diagnosis.

The main gist of the story revolves around Woodruf’s battle with the Food and Drug Administration. You see, it’s 1985 and the FDA is refusing to allow new AIDS treatments. Instead, they insist on using a medication that has little positive effect on patients and ends up further deteriorating their health.

I don’t want to ruin the story, but Woodruf devotes himself to providing care to others infected with AIDS. In the process, he becomes a key part of the community by giving individuals hope where there previously was none.

Dallas Buyers Club is an amazing movie.  It’s sad, funny, and inspiring all at the same time. If you have an opportunity to see it in theaters, it’s definitely worth paying for.