Grizzly Man (15)

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The ViewLondon Review

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Review byMatthew Turner01/02/2006

Four out of Five stars
Running time: 103 mins

Fascinating documentary about obsession, insanity and, well, bears, this is by turns moving, disturbing and laugh-out-loud funny.

What's it all about?
Werner Herzog's strange film tells the tale of Timothy Treadwell, a young man whose obsession with living amongst bears led to the untimely deaths of both himself and his girlfriend, Aime Huguenard. Herzog seems to have, rather ghoulishly, become involved after the fact - having edited the film together from footage shot by Treadwell himself.

The Good
As the film progresses, lots of weird things come to the surface and Treadwell delivers many insightful monologues on how alone he feels. It's also suggested that in some way, Treadwell actually wanted to be eaten by bears.

It also turns out that he originally went to California to become an actor (Treadwell isn't his real name) and that he was allegedly depressed after losing out on the part of Woody in Cheers to Woody Harrelson. At times it's fairly clear that Treadwell was insane and during a particularly crazy on-camera rant, Herzog astutely points out that "the actor has taken over from the film-maker".

The Great
Treadwell's relationship with the camera is at least as interesting as his relationship with the bears. Sometimes he's trying to make political statements, sometimes he's running around filming an action movie (that's all in his head) and sometimes he uses it as a bizarre confessional.

Worth seeing?
Grizzly Man is a thoroughly entertaining documentary with several terrific scenes. You'll laugh, you'll cry and you'll gain new respect for bears. Recommended.

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Content updated: 20/08/2014 13:40

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