Bank of Dave (2023) - 10/10
Who doesn’t love a good British dramatic comedy. This isn’t one of those. This is a bloody great British dramatic comedy. Based on true events too. We’re up north. In Burnley to be precise. With Dave (Rory Kinnear). Dave’s a good sort. Local lad. Everyone knows Dave. Everyone trusts Dave. Dave has a profitable business. Dave has money. Dave helps people out. He lends them money. They pay him back. He’s already doing what he’s destined for. Going pro though. That’s what this film is about. A bloke opening his own bank. Sounds far fetched doesn’t it. It’s not. It’s not easy though. The system is geared against the small guy. Clarence (Angus Wright) is part of the system. He’s a lawyer, so is his underling Hugh (Joel Fry). They’re the established. The London toffs looking down on people like Dave. They’ll take his money though, offer their services to try get him set up, even though they don’t give him a hope in hell. Without a new bank established in England in over 150 years, the odds are against Dave. That’s what makes this such a great story. We love the underdog don’t we. Rory is sent to Burnley. Dave sees through Rory. He knows what he’s up against. Rory thinks he’s nuts. Dave is not nuts. Let’s be clear not only is this a great story. This is a great cast. Kinnear and Fry are excellent. Aren’t they always, but together well it’s just wonderful. What Dave’s proposing isn’t just loaning money. His vision is changing lives. Creating jobs, finding dreams, saving lives. “This is all really impressive” says Hugh after Dave’s toured him round the town showing off his portfolio, but he’s got a but. Dave stops him in his tracks as simply asks “The question I want you to answer isn’t can The Bank of Dave exist, but should The Bank of Dave exist”. He’s got Hugh there. He’s got me. I’d run through brick walls for Dave. Okay it’s a little obvious where this is headed, but bloody hell the ride is fun. The north south divide, the elite against the people. It’s fertile ground. It's a bit cheesy, it's all quite safe, but it's brimming with heart and if you don't like it, you're probably some pompous pillock with too much money. Clarence is used sparingly but his slightly caricatured presence is joyous, “Toodle pip!”. Hugh Bonneville turns up too. He’s Sir Charles, part of the establishment too and his meeting with Hugh (our Hugh) shows us the first sign that Hugh isn’t only on board with Dave’s plan, he’s up for a rumble. Things are going to get messy. Obvious where this was headed? Well maybe, but it’s not a straight road. For starters I wasn’t expecting The Goa Express to show up, never mind Def Leppard, an unrecognisable Paul Kaye or Sean Dyche! This is a feel good film and it’s an absolute corker. Honestly that’s an understatement. You might already know what happens from real life events, but I’m not going to spoil it. Whether you do or not this is a truly wonderful film, about a wonderful story, with incredibly wonderful people. One of whom, is called Dave.