Grizzly Man

"Excellent"

Grizzly Man Review


Some of the most interesting documentaries of recent years have starred weird men consumed with their obsessions. Werner Herzog's entertaining, engrossing, tragic, and occasionally hilarious Grizzly Man is perhaps the first about a weird man who was literally consumed by his passion.

Timothy Treadwell, the title subject, spent 13 summers frolicking with Alaska's grizzly bears and other wildlife. As far removed from reality as he was from civilization, he believed himself to be a student and protector of the bears. But late one season, he and his girlfriend became a grisly lunch.

While Treadwell shot close to 100 hours of footage in the wilderness, his primary subjects were himself and his own relationship to the wild. Herzog utilizes the footage exactly as Treadwell had intended, crafting a movie about a childish drunk and pathological liar who thought he had found salvation among another species.

Throughout the source footage and the film, Treadwell observes, with Geraldo-style narration, the feeding and fighting habits of the grizzlies. But Treadwell is no dispassionate nature photog; he often finds himself interacting with the bears and their leavings. And he's not your typical mountain man, either; with a blond Prince Valiant hairdo and a penchant for saying "I love you" to every creature he meets, Treadwell comes across like a kiddie show host on Ecstasy.

In turns tragic and hilarious, Grizzly Man flows like snowmelt due to Herzog's opinionated narration and dramatic interviews with Treadwell's friends and family. Herzog clearly admires yet deeply disapproves of his subject; Treadwell consistently rationalized his annual bear treks as "protection," although the animals were hardly threatened in a national park, and his own interaction with the bears may have done more damage than any poachers could have.

In fact, Treadwell doesn't seem to get nature at all. When he comes upon a half-eaten fox in the woods, he mourns its death as some kind of cosmic injustice, and Herzog's not afraid to point out Treadwell's hypocrisy. (Try not to laugh too hard when the Herzog responds, "I believe the common character of the universe is not harmony, but hostility, chaos, and murder." In his heavy German accent, it's unintentional comedy gold.)

Through the remarkable footage - often done with multiple takes, costume changes, and free license with the facts - it becomes obvious that Treadwell came to view the certainty of his own death in the wilderness as preferable to the burden of civilized humanity. He got his wish, and everyone interviewed seems to think he had it coming (but they pity his mysterious girlfriend).

Timothy Treadwell wanted to be a grizzly bear, but instead he was a narcissistic, self-aggrandizing schizoid. With the help of Herzog, Treadwell demonstrates that even on the Alaskan plains one's humanity is inescapable.



Grizzly Man

Facts and Figures

Run time: 103 mins

In Theaters: Thursday 27th October 2005

Box Office USA: $2.9M

Distributed by: Lions Gate Releasing

Production compaines: Discovery Docs

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 4 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 93%
Fresh: 126 Rotten: 10

IMDB: 7.8 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Starring: as Himself, Kathleen Parker as Herself, Warren Queeney as Himself, Willy Fulton as Himself, Sam Egli as Himself

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

The BFG Movie Review

The BFG Movie Review

For his adaptation of the Roald Dahl classic, Steven Spielberg reunited with screenwriter Melissa Mathison,...

Finding Dory Movie Review

Finding Dory Movie Review

It's been 13 years since the release of the Disney/Pixar hit Finding Nemo, and filmmaker...

Star Trek Beyond Movie Review

Star Trek Beyond Movie Review

This is where the Star Trek franchise officially shifts from thoughtful drama into thunderous action....

Ice Age: Collision Course Movie Review

Ice Age: Collision Course Movie Review

With its fifth feature-length adventure, this franchise continues its preposterous journey at full tilt. As...

Keanu Movie Review

Keanu Movie Review

An entertaining hybrid of satirical comedy and action thriller, this madcap adventure swerves wildly between...

Ghostbusters Movie Review

Ghostbusters Movie Review

It's been more than 30 years since the Ghostbusters first hit the big screen with...

Now You See Me 2 Movie Review

Now You See Me 2 Movie Review

While the original 2013 magical caper was a big hit, it's style-over-substance approach didn't exactly...

Advertisement
The Legend of Tarzan Movie Review

The Legend of Tarzan Movie Review

It's been nearly 30 years since the last live-action Tarzan movie, and yet it still...

Maggie's Plan Movie Review

Maggie's Plan Movie Review

A New York comedy with vivid characters and a contrived plot, this feels rather a...

Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie Movie Review

Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie Movie Review

Nearly 25 years after the sitcom debuted, Edina and Patsy arrive on the big screen...

Central Intelligence Movie Review

Central Intelligence Movie Review

After teaming up with Will Ferrell for Get Hard and Ice Cube for two Ride...

The Colony [Colonia] Movie Review

The Colony [Colonia] Movie Review

Based on a true story, this Chilean drama has a chilling edge to it that's...

Independence Day: Resurgence Movie Review

Independence Day: Resurgence Movie Review

Two decades is a long time to wait for a sequel, especially one starring much...

Elvis & Nixon Movie Review

Elvis & Nixon Movie Review

This movie is based on a real meeting between Elvis Presley and Richard Nixon in...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.