The column inches devoted to Matthew McConaughy’s weight loss in his latest film Dallas Buyers Club, in many ways threaten to distract from one of the many messages in this great film. A lot of articles have heralded this weight loss as amazing as an actor suffering for his art. None of this is incorrect nor is it not admirable to see an actor fully engage in the role. The real story is how this actor, who is experiencing a great run of form (everyone has also mentioned that ALOT) in his roles , walked a mile in the shoes of those suffering from a terrible disease.
Walking in the shoes of others is central to what Dallas Buyers Club is about. Ron Woodruff starts put as a homophobic, misogynistic redneck with the same stereotypical 80s hang ups surrounding HIV as many of his friends. It is only once diagnosed with HIV himself and his drive for self-preservation that he encounters members of the gay community suffering from the same illness and through the Dallas Buyers Club starts to help.
The stand out moment for me was when he finds himself in a room filled with butterflies. This for me symbolised his metamorphosis from the person he once was into the newly created person he has become.
In many ways I can relate to this character, the people I encounter, the things I have been through have all wounded, healed and scarred me. Every challenge I have encountered has changed me. Whether the change is for the better is may to some be up for debate.
We can not go through life and remain the same, we must experience life, we must allow ourselves to be hurt, to be wrong, be challenged. We must grow, help those we can and keep moving in a constant state of metamorphosis.
There was a time when a good old fashioned popcorn guzzling romp of a film was enough for me. However I think I may have changed.
I have just finished watching Dredd and during the course of the film I began to ponder why exactly I was not engaging as much as I used to with this type of film. It is after all a Friday night. An action film on a Friday night is a perfect fit after a working week right??
Well yes it is, let me be clear Dredd is not a terrible film but its just a very nothing film. When I mentioned I was going to watch it a couple of film friends on Twitter how great it was and how much I would enjoy it. So why did I not?
To be honest as I type I’m coming to the conclusion that meaningless action fodder is no longer for me. I can appreciate the cinematography and the direction in Dredd on a visceral level but that for me is all it holds. Its point and shoot rhetoric holds no draw for me. I spent a lot of time thinking it was comparable to The Raid with the main difference being guns instead of fists.
I didn’t enjoy The Raid particularly either I found it repetitive with its endless kick punch in a room to get the end of level storyline. My needs have changed. I want to be challenged. I want depth. I don’t want to watch something which is essentially an Xbox game played out in ‘real life’ that’s why I have an Xbox!
If it sounds like film snobbery its really not meant to be. What I’m trying to say is much like my journey of faith my ‘needs’ are now different and things have changed for me. The authors I read and listen to, the way I look at the Bible is totally different to how it was several years ago. My views on certain things have in some cases had a complete turnaround. I want more, I want to go deeper, I want to be challenged.
I’m not saying Dredd or films like it are terrible at all. I am not a film snob (although I’m aware it sounds a lot like I am in this post). I’m just looking to better my diet.