Grizzly Man Reviews
Herzog:"I believe the common denominator of the universe is not harmony, but chaos, hostility, and murder."
Though Grizzly Man is a very different film in the technical sense, the same themes of Into the Wild are present here. We follow the tragic story of Timothy Treadwell who spends months living alone with bears in the wilderness until he is finally killed and eaten by one. Similar to McCandless (the protagonist in "Into the Wild"), Treadwell sees nature as the harmonious counterpart to chaotic society. In fact, it seems that Treadwell loses himself in the bear-world, wishing he could become one to fully integrate. Like McCandless Treadwell has a hard time unifying his view of the bear world with its harsh reality. And just like him, he invents his own persona to redefine himself in the new world. Whether Treadwell ultimately accepts the harsh truth of nature's reality remains unknown.
I found Treadwell to be much less accessible and identifiable than McCandless. Nevertheless, I felt that I understood Treadwell, and the inner battle he was facing. Not being able to integrate into society, he flees into the nature world, and slowly starts turning the human world against him. His self-centeredness is surely sometimes hard to digest. At the same time, it gives us insight into his most inner troubles.
Filmwise, I found Grizzly Man the more difficult movie to watch. This is partly due to Treadwell's self-centered ramblings, the almost cartoon-like characters that are interviewed, or Herzog's trademark occasional commentary about the mundane. Still, the movie sparks a great deal of discussion, and after some digestion forces you to think more deeply about it. I would highly recommend watching it for some of the memorable scenes alone. As always, Herzog manages to capture a dark, spooky and chaotic world. He engages the viewer and starts a dialog with Treadwell on his videos.