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.