I have felt this before, this feel of being taken aback seated speechless for a moment after witnessing something epic. It took me a while but then it dawned upon me that this is what I felt when I first watched Daniel Day-Lewis portray the Academy Award Winning role in LINCOLN. Undoubtedly in the most outstanding performances of their careers Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto are my favorites thus far for bringing home the goods at the Oscars for the nominations of Best Performance of an Actor in a Leading role and supporting roles respectively in the bio-drama DALLAS BUYERS CLUB.

 

If you had suddenly being told that you have only 30 days to live and that you have to make peace with this information how would you react? Rodeo bull rider Ron Woodroof (McConaughey) wakes up in hospital to this news which is shared with him by his attending physician. Woodroof who has been diagnosed positive of the HIV virus reacts to this revelation in anger. In fact it is this anger that fuels him to the distances that he reaches out for survival.  Woodroof who was initially treated with the drug stated AZT did not respond positively to them. Instead the needle happy bull rider tried experimenting with medications and drugs to concoct his own special brew of HIV anti bodies, Strangely these events did lead him to certain discoveries that attracted the attention of the legal system whose waking wish was to shut him down. May it be money, may it be his human instinct to live, Woodroof along with Rayon (Jared Leto) did not give up which invariably resulted in the opening of the  DALLAS BUYERS CLUB ; a business that dealt the FDA unapproved medication to HIV patients.

 

Canadian director Jean-Marc Vallee has difficulty in controlling the rhythm of the screenplay and is wobbly at first. Trailer trash sex scenes and orgies and drugs engross the first hour of the movie which although has relevance to what Woodroof is all about did not contribute much to what the movie is entirely discussing about. Once Jean gets his feet firmly on the ground for a good 45 minutes with the actual matter the screenplay derails yet again when the battle between life and death becomes a political tussle in between Woodroof and the government. For starters the entire political involvement is abruptly handled with I would say less than 5 minutes of screen time and top of that to the audience it breaks rhythm and direction of the true struggle of Woodroof and Rayon.

 

What keep this loosely driven motion picture in balance are its two lead performers. The weight losses alone show the commitment and the help of makeup and hairstyling simple accentuates the entire performance even further. It’s been sometime since a movie of this caliber has been in our midst. There is no room for excessive CGI. No room for artificial imagery and what we see is pretty much what goes on in front of the lens.

 

Verdict

 

Exquisite work on the part of the leading men. McConaughey and Leto are on a whole new level. It’s a slow paced bio-pic so don’t expect intensity instead expect detailing and finesse. A movie only for the lovers of the genre. I repeat only for the lovers of the genre.

 

Nominations

 

-Best Motion Picture of the Year

-Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role

-Best Performance by and Actor in a Supporting Role

-Best Achievement in Film Editing

-Best Achievement in Makeup and Hairstyling

-Best Writing, Original Screenplay

 

Did you also know?

 

-It is said Matthew McConaughey was on a diet of Chicken, 2 Egg Whites, a Small Pudding and 2 Diet Cokes daily for 4 months.

–     McConaughey and Leto respectively won the awards for Best Actor/ Supporting Actor at the 2014 Golden Globe Awards.

 

TITLE: DALLAS BUYERS CLUB

DIRECTED BY: JEAN-MARC VALLÉÉ

STARRING: MATTHEW MCCONAUGHEY, JARED LETO &JENNIFER GARNER

RATED: R

RATING:07/10

RUNTIME: 117 MINUTES