Rayon’s story from Dallas Buyers Club was able to start conversations about HIV and the LGBTQIA+ community.
Movies have the ability to impact the audience and the way they see things. This is the greatest plus of films which makes the whole movie-watching experience so worthy. Including a proper representation of various communities from society and holding space to talk about their problems and issues is so important. And while there have been many movies over the years that tried to include the LGBTQIA+ community and create conversations around them, Dallas Buyers Club is a movie that touched upon two of the most crucial aspects of society and in an incredible way. Today, with #KetchupCut, we’re discussing one of the most impactful scenes from the movie.
While the story revolves around Ron and his system, the real prize of the story has to be Rayon. Although the character is fictional and was made up for the movie, she added her own depth to the storyline making it more meaningful and adorning. Today we’re talking about the scene when she meets with her father to ask for his help.
About the movie:
Director – Jean-Marc Vallée
Cast – Matthew McConaughey, Jennifer Garner, Jared Leto
Writer – Craig Borten, Melisa Wallack
Where to watch – Netflix
A story about Ron Woodroof (Matthew McConaughey) who is diagnosed with HIV and is given 30 days to live by the doctors, Dallas Buyers Club then dives into how Ron sets up a system to help AIDS patients get a drug that is actually banned but helps the patients survive longer.
Rayon is a transgender who has been portrayed exceptionally by Jared Leto in this movie. While there are very few notable transgender roles that have been written into movies with a meaty character arc, Rayon undoubtedly belongs to the list. Her character is like the character of Bon Bon (one of Johnny Depp‘s notable characters) from the 2000 movie, Before Night Falls. While the character has a smaller role, the impact was big enough for it to be remembered forever.
The audience gets to meet Rayon in the hospital where she instantly becomes everyone’s favorite with her enigmatic personality. She is Ron’s fellow patient in the same ward, diagnosed with the same virus as him. She is cast out by her family and the people she knew of because she chose to be her true self. Rayon has her struggles but makes sure to only showcase the more pleasant and silly side of her. It’s after meeting with her that Ron realizes about the banned drug that can help the patients live longer. And it’s also because of her that Ron becomes more sympathetic to the people of the community.
There are bits and small nuances from the movie that hits us hard and one of them has to be the scene where Rayon meets with her father to ask for his help. The scene gives the audience a glimpse into what life for a transwoman was like in the 80s. The mere fact that she borrows a suit from Ron and dresses up as a man to meet with her father is heartbreaking enough. The idea that her father never truly accepted her for who she was despite the love that he had for her shows us the unsaid story of the community. Rayon is fully aware of the disappointment and embarrassment that her father feels about her, but the helplessness of her situation drives her to do everything that would make her father approve of her so she would show her friend the gratitude of loving her for who she is.
Rayon is the silly, sassy transgender suffering from AIDS who meets with Ron who is depicted in the movie as a homophobe. Whilst the movie is said to be based on the true-life story of Ron Woodroof, he, in fact, was not a homophobe and might’ve been bisexual. But Rayon’s character was written into the storyline that fits the ‘movie paradox’ so it meets with its theme of a homophobic man realizing that people from the community are humans too. The makers decided to cast a cisgender male to play the character of a transwoman. We’re not questioning Jared’s acting abilities, but the maker’s choice of casting. Despite the brilliant intention that the makers had behind producing the movie, there are very less and accurate details that were talked about regarding the LGBTQIA+ community. Maybe years from now, people may find Dallas Buyers Club, a movie that received accolades, cringy considering the original story of Ron and how this movie didn’t have the right representation. But one can’t deny that this movie was able to start a conversation for and about the community and that seems like success itself.
About the movie:
While talking about the movie and the character, Jared Leto said in an interview with RogerEbert.com, “There is a great lesson learned here. A reminder in this film. That the impossible is possible. And a small group of people can do really amazing things. And it’s interesting to go back in time and remember when AIDS was a death sentence. As far as the character goes, I hope people get to know someone and they have a little more understanding and empathy. We all know there are a lot of Rons out there. They may see the movie and change their minds.”
The movie is based on the true story of Ron Woodroof who was given 30 days to live after being diagnosed with HIV in 1985.
The actors lost several pounds before filming the movie with the help of doctors supervision for the roles.
Jared stayed in character throughout the filming of the movie. He worked on his voice and also met with the director as Rayon.
Jared was busy being and writer/director and musician and wasn’t going to return to acting but the character of Rayon made him want to be part of the film.
Awards and recognition:
- Academy Awards nomination for Best Picture, Best Original Screenplay, Best Film Editing and Won for – Best Actor for McConaughey, Best Supporting Actor for Leto, Best Makeup and Hairstyling
- Screen Actors Guild Awards – Won Best Actor (McConaughey) and Best Supporting Actor (Leto); Nominated for Best Cast.
- Golden Globe Awards – Won Best Actor – Motion Picture – Drama and Best Supporting Actor – Motion Picture
- Writers Guild of America Awards – Nominated for Best Original Screenplay
- Leto won various critics awards, including the New York Film Critics Circle and the Los Angeles Film Critics Association.
- This film was also named one of the top ten independent films of 2013 by The National Board of Review
Have you watched the movie yet? Tell us your favorite moment from the movie in the comments below.
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