It’s been a while since it came out, I know, and usually this would have been the kind of movie I should have watched instantly, just because Jared Leto is in it, and I will be the first to admit, I am a huge fan of 30 Seconds to Mars, (his band.) Not to mention, he plays a girl in this movie. Awesomeness, right?
Not so much, to be honest. I never really liked those AIDS movies, where you knew it would end badly for any homosexual that ever came across the screen. Which is why I haven’t watched it until now.
The main character, Ron, is to be honest, a very unlikable character. Portrayed as a rodeo rider, and a homophobic prick, I kind of hated him right from the get go, and if I hadn’t known Jared would show up at some point, I would have stopped watching it then and there. I will never understand the whole rodeo scene, how it can be cool to torture animals like that… even for the making of a movie… Anyway…
Ron is diagnosed with HIV and is told he is going to die within a month. I will admit, this movie does have some fairly great scenes. When he comes to ask to be included in an experimental drug trial, he is offered to join a support group instead. It does feel utterly insane, to offer a dying man a support group, rather than to just let him have whatever drug he wants’ to try, that may or may not, save or prolong his life. Also, the prospect of joining the test group, and may be given the placebo pill, does raise some really horrible questions.
Of course we all understand the reasons why some must be given a placebo pill and some not, to test if it truly is the drug that is working, but imagine if it was you, dying, and you may be given a sugar pill instead of a drug that could potentially save your life? I don’t know. I wouldn’t want to be part of any study, I’d fricking want the medicine…
Which is what Ron wants as well, and so he goes about getting it his own way, starting up the Dallas Buyers Club with Rayon, who he meets at the hospital.
First off, Jared is amazing in this movie. He plays Rayon so well, it had me thinking more than once, why people would even notice that he was a boy… Maybe that is just me. His body language is brilliant, even his voice, which I have listened to endlessly through his music, I swear I wouldn’t have recognized it.
So, Rayon is HIV positive as well, and she does manage to make Ron a more likable character, as he comes to accept her for being a woman, despite the way she was born. He even stands up for her, against one of his old friends once.
It’s a pretty simple movie, really, about being stuck in the system, with everything to lose. I wish I would have liked the main character more, then I may have liked the movie more. And I wish Rayon hadn’t died, like homosexuals always do in AIDS movies, (and I know, true story and all, but sigh…) but aside from that, well…
It wouldn’t hurt anyone to watch it, simply because a lot of the questions it raises are still valid today. If you were dying, would you be concerned about the long term effects of a drug that could potentially prolong your life? And if everyone was allowed to get treatment, how would a cure ever be discovered? How do you pick who gets to be treated and who doesn’t? And lastly, why is it that the big medicine companies gets to pick and chose what drugs they can make a profit from, and which they can’t, regardless of the human losses involved?