Love The Beast


Directed by: Eric Bana
Released: March 12, 2009
Grade: A-

I know next-to-nothing about cars. When someone tells me that they’ve bought a new car, I always ask about it to be polite. "Ah cool, what kind of car is it?" I’ll nod and pretend to know what he or she is talking about. The truth, of course, is that I’m completely clueless.

Love The Beast is a documentary from Eric Bana which covers a wide territory. I guess you could say the focus is on Bana and his love of motor racing. In the film, you see him compete in the 2007 Targa Tasmania – a 5 day rally across the Apple Isle.

We all know about Eric Bana the movie star but not many know about Eric Bana the car enthusiast. He talks in the film with popular television personality Dr. Phil McGraw about his passion for the sport and how it’s great to have an interest outside of work. It’s certainly a theory I subscribe to given my love for him (which sadly provides no form of income whatsoever).

The "beast" referred to in the title is Bana’s Ford GT Falcon Coupe (I had to look that up). They’ve been together for 25 years. So why hang on to a car for so long? Wouldn’t it be better to upgrade to a new and better model? These questions are asked and comedian Jay Leno, a car lover himself, offers some humorous insights. I’m not saying that I now have a newfound love for my own Holden Commodore, but I now have an appreciation for those who shower their beloved cars with affection.

Just as interesting are the glimpses we see of Bana’s more public life. A few days after competing in the Targa Tasmania, we see him attend a movie premiere in New York with Drew Barrymore and Robert Duvall. It’s pretty clear what Bana would rather be doing. Many of us dream about being movie stars but you get the feeling that this guy would rather be back home with his mates working on his trusty "beast".

I’m sure this film will appeal to car aficionados but as someone who is the exact opposite, I can say that I still found it both enlightening and amusing.