Netflix’s ‘Bank of Dave’ review: A true, timely and feel-good story

Netflix’s ‘Bank of Dave’ review: A true, timely and feel-good story

Finding financial freedom from big banks and championing circular community economies seem like pretty established ideas in 2022, with decentralized cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and banking startups like Monzo altering traditional ways of banking and emphasizing the empowerment of “damn man” to manage his money.

But over a decade ago, the first new UK banking license in 150 years was granted to a local businessman, Dave Fishwick, from Burnley, Lancashire, in the north of England, and it shook up elite UK banking. based in London. industry. And it wasn’t about greed: Fishwick was aiming to open his own bank to support his community after the global financial crisis and beyond.

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now this moment(Opens in a new window) The David vs. Goliath story has been made into a Netflix movie, filmed in Burnley itself and starring MenOur Flag Means Death, and James Bond franchise star Rory Kinnear in the title role, if you watch any interviews with Fishwick(Opens in a new window) after you’ve seen the movie, you’ll see that he did a great job. he is joined by Bridgerton headlined by Phoebe Dynevor and game of Thrones/On earth stars Joel Fry, in a genuinely enjoyable story about sticking with institutions and finding a different way of doing things.

it’s from netflix dave’s bank a true story?

dave’s bank is based on the true story of businessman Dave Fishwick, who wanted to open his own bank to help Burnleyans during a period of economic hardship. A successful minivan dealership owner, Fishwick would eventually open Burnley Savings and Loans(Opens in a new window), in September 2011, managing to obtain the first new banking license in 150 years, but not after a tough fight against the smug and long-established banking sector based in London. And while it’s not technically a bank yet, but an “independent lending business,”(Opens in a new window) Fishwick operates “Dave’s Bank” in Burnley today.

After the global financial crisis in the late 2000s left communities in dire straits in Britain, with recession rampant across the country, Fishwick customers were having trouble making payments, so it began to lend them their own money: more than £1 million in total. Then, he began making loans to neighborhood families, as well as small businesses, who couldn’t find the same loans from banks. “For all sorts of reasons, the bank wouldn’t touch them,” Fishwick says of Kinnear in the film. Every one of Fishwick’s loans was paid off, and clients even asked him to invest their money, for which he needed accreditation, and this is where the Netflix movie begins.

Fishwick wrote a book about his experience, Bank of Dave: How I took on the banks(Opens in a new window)and Channel 4 made a documentary about it in 2012. For the Netflix film, director Chris Foggin, who previously worked at Edgar Wright’s World’s End, found meaningful ways to extract elements from the real story; Of course, as the credits say, “characters, events, and dialogue have been fictionalized for dramatic effect.”

‘Bank of Dave’ is full of understated and highly convincing performances.

For the Netflix film about the Fishwick experience, Kinnear enjoys the titular role as Dave, a kind of “heart and soul” of his community. At night, he enjoys a regular spot of karaoke at the local pub, and during the day, he cuts himself short, monologues about economic privilege and bailing out UK government banks during recession with money from the taxpayers. Both are supported by his smart and cunning wife Nicola (Jo Hartley) and his smart and cunning niece Alexandra (Phoebe Dynevor).

A couple leans over a cash register, looking at each other.

Jo Hartley as Nicola Fishwick and Rory Kinnear as Dave Fishwick.
Credit: Netflix

Fishwick’s plan is a new model that rivals the long-established framework of banks, one that takes deposits from locals and invests them back in the community. Knowing his chances of approval, Fishwick’s aim is for the Board of the Finance Commission to publicly admit that it will reject Bank of Dave’s accreditation “because I’m not in their club. I’m not part of the elite at Eton and Oxford.” I want them to say that the very people who have just lost £500bn are the only people entitled to look after our money.” Banks throw everything at Dave to try to divert him from his goal, including deliberately unreachable institutional hoops, and meanwhile, the film tackles the strings that Fishwick’s friends in the community pulled to help one of their own do something to benefit everyone.

Two men in suits get dressed facing each other in an aristocratic bar.

Joel Fry as Hugh Stockwell and Hugh Bonneville as Sir Charles Denbigh.
Credit: Netflix

Dave isn’t the only lead, with Fry’s delightfully awkward character Hugh, Dave’s dapper London lawyer, seeing the most significant arc. Taking his inner-city claim with him to Burnley, Hugh is awed by Dave’s charitable nature, who genuinely wants to improve the quality of life in the community, and reports his findings to his boss, Clarence. Angus Wright plays him as the comically cartoony big-city lawyer, who charges “fully” for the firm’s services despite Fishwick’s charitable intentions. On the opposite side, snobbish banking expert Sir Charles Denbigh (played with silent venom by Hugh Bonneville) with “friends in high places”, puts obstacles in Dave’s way of keeping the money in the hands of the “right guy”.

“It’s one thing if rich foreign corporations try to take over our business, we know how to deal with those bastards,” says Sir Charles de Bonneville. “But once…ordinary people start to think they can get in on the act, the floodgates will open.”

As he gradually becomes immersed in the Burney community, Hugh finds another reason to invest in his work: yes, it’s the requisite romance story. But luckily, it’s an extremely polite and charming romance.

A doctor stands in front of a lawyer in a hospital.

Joel Fry and Phoebe Dyvenor in ‘Dave’s Bank’.
Credit: Netflix

Bridgerton‘s Dyvenor takes a different, but similarly no-nonsense role to her Regency-era heroine as Dr. Alexandra Ashforth, the leather-jacketed doctor from Burnley trying to ease the pressure on hospitals and GPs and solve long emergency wait times by opening a walk-in clinic. , initially funded by the government’s National Health Service. Like Dave and Nicola and the other Burnley residents, Alexandra’s character takes Hugh and the audience by the hand and guides them through the community, allowing the director to delve into other elements of Burnley beyond the Dave’s business, from Alexandra’s job at the hospital to the perfect date spot at a local music venue.

I did everything in the dave’s bank happen?

Of course, there’s some poetic license here, but the bones are real. While the character of Fry’s lawyer, Hugh, has been created for the film.(Opens in a new window), Fishwick had lawyers to help him with his applications. And while Fishwick did endure pushback from financial experts(Opens in a new window)Sir Charles Denbeigh’s Bonneville character is also manufactured(Opens in a new window).

Sheffield rock icons Def Leppard appear in the film, although they didn’t actually put on a concert in real life to raise money to establish the Bank of Dave. But by including such an epic moment, the film feels like feel-good British musical movies. The full amount or recent from Netflix I used to be famouswhere people use everything they have to take on the system and do something for themselves and their community, and then have a great dance.

Probably the most real part of the story, dave’s bank it includes a significant amount of dry paperwork talk, which is the real battle Fishwick had on his hands, but it’s somehow delivered without the audience falling asleep. The chats around the kitchen table, in the pubs, in the coffee shops are just as fueled by legal details as those that take place in the fictional offices of Bethnall and Green.

But beyond the details, dave’s bank is a classic story of David and Goliath, a local businessman who takes on the big shots of Big Finance to help his community. It’s not a story of fantasy, horror or remote adventure, it’s one of defending the local community and challenging a system meant to keep the rich and powerful even longer, preserving their monopoly. And it’s been launched right in the middle of the UK cost of living crisis.(Opens in a new window). Go figure.

dave’s bank now streaming on Netflix in the UK, with a US release date to be confirmed.(Opens in a new window)

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