“Men become what they dream.” Archie Grey Owl was a man who had a dream. It started out a simple one, of peace and solitude. He lived in the Canadian wilderness as a hunter and trappear. When he died in his early forties in 1938, he was noted as a man ahead of his time. He had become a public figure years earlier, well known in Canada and also in England. His dream grew in scale from a personal one to the importance of the land and the animals who inhabit it.
This beautiful film is based on the true story of Archie Grey Owl Delaney played by Pierce Brosnan who has a metamorphosis after meeting the woman who would become his wife, Gertrude “Pony” Bernard, who wants to live life as her Mohawk ancestors had done. She latches on to Archie because she sees his simple existence and admires the great knowledge he has of the tribes and their pasts. Archie writes wilderness articles for a magazine. They come to love and respect one another and soon she’s encouraging Archie to write the book that the magazine publisher wants him to write.
With the help of Pony, Archie comes to understand more than ever before that the ways of man, widespread trapping and hunting, have irreparably damaged the land and he becomes more of an ecology advocate than even he thought possible. In return, he gives up most of his freedom and solitude to deliver that message to the outside world.
Beautiful landscapes and wilderness grace this film and Pierce Brosnan is wonderful as Archie, lending strength and understanding to the importance of this man’s message and his empathy with the Indian and their way of life. The film has a “Jeremiah Johnson” feel to it but with a more modern perspective.
Lotta says “Grey Owl” is a solid film delivering a solid message and that makes it a 3-bone rating! Brosnan did a good job and obviously has good vision beyond his role as 007.