An electrician in Dallas is diagnosed with HIV and is given an expected lifetime of 30 more days. They try to lure him into making him join the candidates for testing an HIV antivirus AZT which he later comes to know to be a counter-productive drug through an unorthodox Mexican doctor. He gets treated by the doctor for some days & tries to stealthily carry the medicines across the border to set up a Buyers club and gradually, in partnership with a fellow HIV patient, gets relentless in stepping up the revolution against the state & FDA’s exploitation of patients through their administering AZT for business reasons.
Running Time:
117 mins
Release date:
22 November 2013
Directed by:
Jean-Marc Vallée
Produced by:
Robbie Brenner
Nathan Ross
Rachel Rothman
Written by:
Craig Borten
Melisa Wallack
Matthew McConaughey
Jennifer Garner
Jared Leto
Denis O’Hare
Steve Zahn
Michael O’Neill
Shot by:
Yves Bélanger
Editing by:
Martin Pensa
John Mac McMurphy

What’s Hot

  • The film creates a deep emotional connect with the viewer thanks to the direction of Jean-Marc Vallée & the infectious screenplay of Craig Borten & Melisa Wallack. We are initially made to believe the protagonist to be a junkie but his character is built cohesively over the course of the film and that makes us feel for him later on.
  • Matthew McConaughey comes up with the performance of a lifetime as Ron Woodroof. In the way he has transformed his physical self to get a HIV patient on screen & in the way he presents his agony, his lack of belief in the American healthcare system, his resolve & confidence as a businessman who dares to go against the FDA, he shines making him the top favourite for the Best Actor Academy award for the year!
  • Jared Leto, in a completely different role from what his reputation would make him seem, comes up with a great show! The scenes involving him & McConaughey – when McConaughey snides him for what he is are comical crackers and later, when he respects, protects him & feels for him are emotionally hard-hitting.
  • The film’s editing & dialogues deserve a special mention. It is quite challenging to present stuff when different types of events happen around the protagonist but the slick & seamless editing of Martin Pensa takes care of overcoming that challenge.
  • The camerawork suits the film’s theme and pace & so do the non-chaotic soundtracks. The friends & the doctor who doesn’t shy away from asking her bosses the tough questions are practically sketched and add to the authenticity of the presentation.
  • The climax stands out & the note at the end of the film is inspiring given what is shown is based on a true story.

What’s Not

  • More than not being hot, this is a guidance warning. A film that deals with a HIV patient cannot be without a few scenes to show us why he got it. This one too has a few.
  • The film is not for people wanting to see super fast high octane stuff.



Verdict Stamp

With a good mix of comedy & emotions and performances of a lifetime from two of its lead actors, the film has everything in it to be an inspiring tale of how a man on his death bed fought against a wrong system.