Thursday, September 4, 2014

Dallas Buyers Club - Movie Review

Another movie made on a real life story. I always knew that - truth is stranger than fiction so why waste time trying to create something new when all the best stories are around you. But this story of rodeo cowboy Ron Woodroof from Dallas, Texas who was diagnosed with AIDS in 1985 (when everyone cringed at the word) and how he lived on for 7 years using his own treatments when he was given 30 days to live, required some doing. For one, its an old story, then it takes on the pharma giants and lastly the way the movie takes off on the FDA and the medicare system against maverick patients like Woodroof.

Mathew McConaughey plays Ron Woodroof and does a great job of playing the boozing, cocaine and sex addicted electrician who discovers one day that he has AIDS. He abuses the doctor who says he has 30 days to live and walks off and starts living it up again. But the fear gets to him and he doe some research on his own to try and cut his risks. Since the trials of AZT, an experimental drug are in early stages he bribes an attendant and steals some. Though the AZT, alcohol and cocaine prescription fails, he finds hope in a Mexican doctor who asks him to take vitamins and minerals and stay away from AZT. Woodroof finds good results and brings back this stuff into the USA and starts giving it out to AIDS patients through e membership scheme called the Dallas Buyers Club. The FDA disapproves and runs into him but Ron keeps finding ways of beating the system and helping AIDS victims with his vitamins and minerals along with his two friends, Rayon, a cross dresser and Dr. Eve. Ron drags the FDA to court and though he loses the case earns sympathy of the court and gets the FDA a reprimand in overstepping its line. Ron finally die sin 1992, a full seven years after he is diagnosed. As he says - if I stayed in the hospital I' have been dead by now.

It's a movie that makes you think about many things. I am glad they made the movie. Mathew McConaugney and Jared Leto won Academy Awards for their performances - best actor and best supporting actor. One wonders about the profit-driven medical system and whether it is really in our best interests at all.

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