Bank of Dave – Film Review

Directed by Chris Foggin and written by Piers Ashworth, Bank of Dave is a British comedy drama film that is based on the real-life story of Dave Fishwick, a working-class man that decides to set up a community bank in his small town. The film stars Rory Kinnear as Dave Fishwick alongside Joel Fry and Phoebe Dynevor.

Dave Fishwick (Rory Kinnear) sells vans in a small town called Burnley. Dave has loaned money to his customers, small businesses, as well as some of the Burnley locals. Dave comes up with the idea of setting up his own community bank where the profits he makes would help support local charities. The only problem is, setting up a small bank isn’t that simple. The Financial Authorities haven’t approved a new bank license in over 150 years and Dave isn’t the sort of person that would make them change their mind.

Hugh (Joel Fry), a lawyer from London, is hired to help Dave but is initially reluctant to take on this job and tries to talk Dave out of it. Dave convinces him that the Bank of Dave is a worthwhile idea. While Hugh starts to enjoy spending time in Burnley, he also begins to have feelings for Dave’s niece, Alexandra (Phoebe Dynevor) who works in the town’s emergency room.

Now, I really enjoyed this film. I felt like I could relate to Dave Fishwick the most. The way he is portrayed in the film by Rory Kinnear, the sort of person that likes to lift and help people around him, it appears he genuinely cares about his town and the people that live in it. His story is moving because what he is fighting so hard for is something that will benefit others rather than just himself. I felt was very noble and this came down to Rory Kinnear’s portrayal, delivering a performance that is relatable and uplifting, helping you believe that your Average Joe can make a difference.

While I did enjoy the other characters and their journeys, I did find the romance between Hugh and Alexandra a little too predictable. Although, it did add an extra layer to Hugh‘s character other than just being a hardworking lawyer.

I loved how everyone in the small town appeared to know each other. I also like the little details such as the local pub having a karaoke night where Dave is shown singing classic rock songs. As much as I like the small town feel that the film has, it also shows why Hugh is reluctant to take the job because staying in a small town isn’t necessarily as comfortable as staying in his London home. I believe this comes across well as it looks like it is always cold and raining in Burnley.

Bank of Dave is a classic underdog story. It will inspire you and will make you want to stand up for the little guy who stands up for not just for himself but for others. This heartfelt and wholesome film shows us that no matter who you are, you can still make a difference.

Bank of Dave was released on Netflix in the United Kingdom on the 16th of January 2023 where it became the number one film on the platform, and it is in Australian cinemas now.

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