Astrology: Film: ‘Dallas Buyers Club’ (2013)

Focus Features

Focus Features

When we first set eyes on Ron Woodroof during the opening moments of Dallas Buyers Club, a film directed by Jean-Marc Vallée that was inspired by Woodroof’s true story, he’s immediately recognizable as a freedom-loving and non-mainstream figure who’s Uranian to the core. He’s got a druggie tryst happening with two women during a rodeo interlude, prior to his chance at hanging on for dear life on a bull that’s got no instinct other than throwing its rider. Little does Woodroof (Matthew McConaughey) know that, from those moments on, the rest of his life will be about trying to stay atop another type of beast – HIV and AIDS – hellbent on decimating him.

Uranus rules electricity and Woodroof, an electrician by trade, crackles. Having ingested his fair share of drugs and enjoyed unprotected sex with women, he’s still shocked when, in 1985, as a proclaimed heterosexual and homophobe, he receives a 30-days-to-live AIDS diagnosis. And suddenly this arrogantly braggart Texan, who had telegraphed he was nothing but a dim bulb for having made such foolish life choices, digs deep and resurrects some massive brain wattage.

Faced with dealing with strictly-by-the-book Dr. Sevard (Denis O’Hare) and a much kinder and sympathetic physician, Eve Saks (Jennifer Garner), Woodroof starts to separate medical truth from fiction related to AIDS and the medications used in its treatment.

In short order, he conducts research online – Uranus rules computers – and zeros in on some promising drugs which haven’t yet been approved by the U.S. government. Eager to get his hands on them, Woodroof goes to Mexico where he meets up with another rogue – an American doctor (Griffin Dunne) whose license but not smarts has been revoked – and brings the stuff into this country. Eventually, to provide these medications to more patients, he starts the Dallas Buyers Club whose monthly subscription payments guarantee as many drugs as the subscriber-patients need. Key figures during Woodroof’s dynamic evolution include Rayon (Jared Leto), a sylph-life transgender drug-addicted woman, and a lawyer (Dallas Roberts).

One of the great pleasures of Dallas Buyers Club is its gracefully executed archetypal continuity  which reaches a transcendent pitch. The Uranian “outlaw” quality of Woodroof’s earlier-life escapades transforms into a higher-minded Uranus-inspired revolutionary, eager to provide a meds- and information-centric freedom to those in the grip of a fatal epidemic.

Woodroof, who evokes the mythic Uranian figure Prometheus who defiantly gifted humanity with fire, outlived his fatal diagnosis by seven years. He stayed on that bull.

Astrology Film Rating: ♅ (Uranus)

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