Bank of Dave – Film Review

Bank of Dave – Film Review
by Fran Winston

Directed by: Chris Foggin
Starring: Joel Fry, Phoebe Dynevor, Rory Kinnear, Hugh Bonneville, Paul Kaye, Jo Hartley, Cathy Tyson

Streaming on Netflix from January 16th

This is based on the true story of a man who took on the British banking system and set up his own bank to help his local community, a “greed is bad” message permeates this feel-good flick.

You may have heard of Dave Fishwick, played brilliantly here by Roy Kinnear. Channel 4 featured him in a documentary and he attracted a lot of media coverage with his efforts to put his local communities’ finances back in their own hands. The self-made millionaire from Burnley decided to set up his own local community bank during the financial crisis as he felt that the traditional banks weren’t lending enough money to small businesses or those in need. After fighting to get a banking licence he set up Burnley Savings and Loan which to this day is a thriving institution with all the profits going to the local community.

This story takes a lot of dramatic licence with the story but maintains its essence. Kinnear plays Fishwick as a somewhat “Del Boy” type. A ducker and diver with a heart of gold. Which is pretty accurate if you’ve ever seen Fishwick interviewed. He makes him incredibly likeable.  The rest of the characters are made up of a smorgasbord of stereotypes you’ll find in most communities. The love story between Joel Fry’s lawyer Hugh and Phoebe Dynevor’s doctor Alexandra feels very contrived and an attempt to turn the movie into a rom-com rather than a drama.

However, underneath the fluff, there is a genuine and heart-warming story about a man who just wanted to do some good and make the world around him a better place. Why they felt the need to embellish it with cheesy and predictable subplots is a mystery. At times Dave feels like a bit player in his own tale. Although a Def Leppard cameo is worth waiting for! This never really gets across Dave’s passion or reasoning for taking on the fat cats. It could have been an excellent thought-provoking drama. Instead, we get a fun, watchable and light-hearted offering.



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