Upon coming out of Grizzly Man, with my friend, I couldn't help noticing my own face in the reflection of the lobby mirrors... my face was completely blank. I looked over at my friend, and noticed she was merely staring down at her shoes and scratching her nose. Exiting out onto the street, joining the rest of the crowd as we all search for our cars, I couldn't help but believe I was still staring into the lobby mirrors... nearly every head was shaking, and every expression blank.
I now believe I will never know how I feel about Timothy Treadwell. A boy who accidentally grew into a man.
Grizzly Man immediately opens with the facts surrounding Timothy Treadwell and his girlfriend Amie Huguenard's death. These facts will stay inside you as you grow acquainted with Timothy and the animals surrounding his demise. Sadly, Amie Huguenard remains a faceless mystery.
Werner Herzog's soul remains intact, as he gently disassembles the matter of Timothy Treadwell's. Failed actor? Inveterate liar? Misguided Mercenary? Was Timothy Treadwell merely playing out the part of some great Discovery Channel episode in his head? We watch and listen as a lonely Timothy walks and talks into his only companion, a MiniDV camera, about his female problems, drug problems, memories and most importantly his love of animals.
Bears and Foxes in particular. There is one thing you could never doubt about this man, and that is of his love for Bears. "I love you, I love you..." We constantly hear him saying to the Bear's and Foxes that had become his "friends" over the years. And through Herzog's direction it is impossible to miss the beauty in this.
Timothy Treadwell's photography in this film is absolutely extraordinary. And Mr. Herzog did an extraordinary job putting it all together. In my opinion, this is his best film since Little Dieter Needs To Fly. (Un) fortunately, I cannot stop thinking about it. I cannot stop wondering who this man was... He wrapped himself in bandana's, claimed to be a "Peaceful Warrior", there to protect the Bears. But from what? The arguments were made that acquainting himself with them, he was doing much more harm then good. Why should they get to know a human? How could this help them in the future? And we know how it ended for him...
How can you just sit there and watch one mans whole life be wrapped up in a two hour film? And then declare his work meaningless? You can't. Was he just a suicidal man, playing one big act? Was he truly some feral warrior, bringing awareness and the importance of Bear protection and safety to light? Was he a directionless maniac who ultimately got an innocent girl killed?
The duality of Timothy Treadwell is merely one more example of the duality of mankind. And the mirror in which I had been looking into had, in fact, been the movie screen itself. Unfortunately, it appears as though he believed the Bears surrounding him shared this depth. And who am I to tell you they don't?