DVD Review: Love the Beast (2009)

22 Jul

love the beast posterChildhood loves never disappear. They’re often rooted in primal or ‘gut’ logic, in a way that is different from adult pretensions and complex constructed passions. I have a grown up interest in intellectual property law; I have an undying love for Star Wars action figures (Pre-1986) and walking in forests. Eric Bana’s love for his beast (car) is an undying obsession, ingrained in his brain ever since the sight of Mad Max and Bathurst hit the back of his retina when he was 9 years old.

They're not talking

They're not talking

Bana is an anomaly in Hollywood. A humble, slightly shy, awkward individual from the industrial suburbs in Melbourne, who made his name as a character comic in half baked skit shows like Full Frontal, but whose athletic figure and breakout performance in Chopper (2000), an Australian classic, has seen him rise to the top of the blockbuster broth. With millions of dollars at his disposal, this documentary follows Bana as he sets about restoring his childhood sweetheart, a 1974 XB Falcon Coupe.

While I think cars are stupid, loud, dumb objects, which will probably knock me off my bike and kill me one day, this film showed me that Eric Bana loves them. And it’s love that makes it work. Skillfully edited by Conor O’Niell, Love the Beast cuts between interviews with celebs (Dr Phil and Jay Leno feature), Hollywood life, and Bana racing and hanging out back in Aussie land with his parents and old mates. The film focuses on the car, everything we learn about Bana is through this lense. A good documentary knows how far to stray into extra material, and a pretty tight reign is kept on the narrative here, without narrowing the focus to tedious details.

Overall an endearing documentary, which presents Bana as the affable and loyal person he probably is and highlights that sometimes its important to hang onto your past.

+++The DVD extras include an advertorial for the Targa race and interview with the Bana. Oh and a sticker for your car window. The sticker is pretty cool. I’m going to stick it on my bike. Uber.

Available from the 15th of July from Madman entertainment.

Love the Beast Not to be confused with these:

Swayze. The beast was inside him all along

Swayze. The beast was inside him all along

Love is blind. And hairy!

Love is blind. And hairy!

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2 Responses to “DVD Review: Love the Beast (2009)”

  1. Cat Wilson July 22, 2009 at 2:23 pm #

    you’ve addressed the things I was hesitant about so I will definitely see this film now

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