**A powerful film about the will to survive and the coldness of big pharma**
Matthew McConaughey gives an amazing performance as Ron Woodroof the homophobic, hard partying electrician/rodeo cowboy who becomes HIV positive due to some poor lifestyle choices. Ostracised by his friends for having what was at the time considered a gay disease he goes on a damaging bender before discovering he has full blown AIDS.
When faced with a death sentence and ineffective drugs approved by the FDA, he heads to Mexico to source and import medication not available in the US, and decides to sell it to help himself and others while making a tidy profit.
Jared Leto is magnetic as Rayon, a drug addicted gay man who becomes Woodroof's business partner and eventually his friend. Both actors lost a significant amount of weight for the role, which lends real authenticity and gravity to the film.
Made on a shoestring budget, with little to no special effects, this film is all about the story and the performances. The battles with the FDA trying to circumvent red tape, and get people medication they desperately need is frustrating and all too realistic. Big pharma calls the shots, manipulates data and statistics and keeps peddling their toxic expensive medication, while Woodroof battles for the rights to treat himself with medicine he knows works.
It is a David and Goliath story, a look at an era when AIDS was virtually untreatable and running out of control. One man's battle against bureaucracy told with charm and panache.