DVD Review: Grizzly Man

Watching a slow motion train wreck.

Have you ever watched something simultaneously fascinating and aggravating at the same time? Well look no further, that is exactly how I felt watching the documentary Grizzly Man

Film maker Werner Herzog follows the flight of glorified bear enthusiast Timothy Treadwell. Treadwell spent a lot of time in national parks "bonding" with grizzly bears. In 2003, he and his girlfriend Amie were killed by the same bears he thought had accepted him. In fact, audio of the attack was recorded. We don't hear it, but in one bizarre scene, Herzog actually listens to the audio and describes part of it in front of one Treadwell's ex-girlfriend. 

I almost felt bad watching this. In my opinion, Treadwell seemed mentally ill. This man needed help. The way he communicated with the animals started off kind of cute, but then it just got to the point where it was tragic, delusional, and a little bit disturbing. I know you can't force adults to really do anything, but the fact that he was a lonely alcoholic that went off to "find himself" with bears, with seemingly little to no intervention is kind of surprising. (I don't know his entire familys' story, this is just from observing the doc.)

I think Herzog attempted to show a fair portrait of Timothy, but I think even he thought Timothy was a little batshit towards the end. It's almost like Timothy turned into a villain. Like he started out as Dr. Jekyll, then morphed into Mr. Hyde with his outbursts towards the park staff and the many interviews of people saying Treadwell did more harm than good.

That being said, the film is still fascinating. It's just very tragic and hard to watch at times.

Recommended: Yes

Grade: B

Memorable Quote: "I will die for these animals." - Timothy Treadwell. 

8 comments:

  1. Great review. I remember watching the film a while back and was totally mesmerized by it. It has moments that make you smile but with a tragic ending you almost feel guilty about those. It's heartwarming, but also depressing. I'm just glad they didn't play the recording of the bear attack to sensationalize the film.

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    1. Yeah, that definitely would've been too much. Hell, I think Herzog listening to it in front of that woman was a little much as well.

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  2. Fascinating. I'm gonna check this one out.

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    1. It really is. I'd love to see your review of it.

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  3. I have been very interested in watching this. It is terrible and yet a fascinating story. It reminds me just a little bit of Steve Irwin. Of course Steve understood the wild and that it wasn't safe but yet still tempted it.

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    1. Yeah, Steve at least had a clue about what he was doing. The way Tim interacted with animals was scary at times.

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  4. It was a fascinating documentary. Timothy was completely nutballs. These are wild animals. But then you watch these people on 'Fatal Attractions' on Animal Planet. They have the same issues. They don't have a healthy respect and fear of nature. I felt bad for him when Herzog listened to the recording. You could see just how disturbing it must have been to listen to such a thing. I have to commend Herzog for not putting the audio in the documentary.

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    1. Oh Fatal Attractions is a good comparison! I binge watched that on Netflix. I'm kind of surprised Herzog didn't include it. That's always tough about documentaries like this. I know a complaint I saw frequently about Blackfish was that they didn't include the video of Dawn's death. (It wasn't released to the public) or any kind of computer recreation. It's a hard debate between curiosity and respect for the victims' families.

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