Film Review – Bank of Dave (2023)

films, reviews

Rating: 2.5 out of 5.

Yet again, I’m writing a review of a film I wasn’t expecting to watch this week. I was supposed to be watching Wakanda Forever but didn’t give myself enough time. So, I ended up going for this. I was probably going to watch it anyway though. Mostly because of Rory Kinnear. He’s one of our greatest stage actors but I’ve never seen him in a film role worthy of his talent. It doesn’t help that I refuse to watch Men because I think he’d creep me out too much. I don’t want it to put me off him. I didn’t really think that Bank of Dave would be the role he was looking for but I figured it would be a feel-good story. Something that I needed after a busy and stressful week.

Everyone makes a lot of jokes about Hallmark movies and how they all follow the same patterns. A protagonist who works a busy job in the city goes back home/to a rural setting and realises how idyllic life is. Romance ensues. Well, in the UK we have a genre of film that is pretty similar. This one basically sees Southern highflyers going to the North of England and realising that life exists outside of London. Romance ensues. As a Northerner, I absolutely hate these films. Mostly because they tend to be written by Southerners who have no idea what life is really like oop North.

From the outset, it was clear that Bank of Dave wasn’t going to do anything to break this chain. A lot of the initial humour in this film is based on terrible Northern accents and someone not being able to understand what an old Northern man is saying. Of course, after this first face-to-face meeting, everyone else speaks eloquently and passionately. You know, as if they were actual people and not stereotypes. Of course, everything in Burnley is presented as being idyllic and there are plenty of fun singalongs in the local pub. It’s so fucking twee that I want to scream. Films about the North are either really gritty and depressing or are just painfully quaint. There’s no in-between where people just exist as normal.

But enough of my personal gripes. Was the film any good? I can’t deny that the real-life story is a worthy one. A working-class businessman from Burnley has a dream to set up a small bank in his hometown. The plan is to put all of the profits back into the community and help as many people as possible. So, it’s no wonder why it’s been adapted into a film. Obviously, the real story has been massively embellished for dramatic effect and for narrative purposes. So, everything becomes very Hollywood and we are introduced to plenty of evil villains. Dave’s biggest problem is trying to convince the London elite to give him a banking licence. The kind of licence that hasn’t been awarded to anyone for 150 years. So, he gets the help of, Hugh, a fancy Southern lawyer, to present his plan. Can the pair make Dave’s dream a reality?

Obviously, anyone who knows the real story will know how this ends up. Actually, even if you haven’t heard of the story, you won’t find it difficult to figure out. Everything really falls into place and characters live up to their stereotypes. The characters are so cookie-cutter that it’s difficult to engage with anyone. Rory Kinnear does a great job of trying to bring life to this pretty standard film and he is the best thing about it. Yes, there’s some charm here but that’s mostly because we’re watching an extended Hovis advert. Yes, it’s hard to go against the main theme of “bankers are greedy” and working-class people deserve better. I just wanted something a bit more. This wasn’t the worst thing that Netflix has ever made but it’s also nowhere near the greatest.

4 thoughts on “Film Review – Bank of Dave (2023)

  1. Isn’t Wakanda Forever like 87hrs long or something ridiculous like that? I applaud your choice to watch a reasonable length movie instead.
    Even if it did set you off, hahahaha 😀

    City people never have any idea of life outside their bubble. It’s sad…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I don’t know when it became a rule that all superhero films need to be as long as possible. There’s absolutely no need! If you can’t tell your story in about 2 hours then you shouldn’t be a scriptwriter.

      Liked by 1 person

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