You too could be in Hollywood... as a hustler

You too could be in Hollywood… as a hustler

With unerring predictability, the Hollywood movie machine has churned out a sequel for the energetic and eventful life story of a UK-based payments start-up.

As reported in May, the rise of Charon Ferries, the creation of the husband and wife team of Michelle and Mark Morrison (who have defied all known laws of the universe by remaining happily married), was turned into a stolid cinematic concoction – called Love Pays, by truth-dodging director Ron Howard.

Like a British Airways helpline telling you all lines are “busy” – no matter what freaking time it is – Hollywood offered no surprises… and demanded a “part two” to tap into the blatant ballyhoo for fintech.

Now, Banking Technology can exclusively report on Love Pays 2 (genius!), which continues to chart Charon Ferries’ progress. As a quick synopsis, they get more funding (who doesn’t?), get more staff (humans, not robots), lose some money (I don’t mean down the back of a sofa), get the money back (still no sofa involved), and wallow in the usual drama that can be cranked up to any level for more appropriate action.

In a surprise twist, the producers chose David Lynch, once famously referred to as “Jimmy Stewart from Mars”, to direct the film. Clearly his success from the phenomenal and quirky TV show Twin Peaks: The Return must have enchanted the movie moguls. The producers probably never watched the series, just heard it was great. Come on people! You can’t seriously expect them to work! They have long lunches to attend! Sycophantic staff to intimidate!

Michelle explains what happened: “We’re big fans of David’s work – films such as Eraserhead, Blue Velvet, Inland Empire and Mulholland Drive are fantastic – and we were delighted to meet him for a chat about our company and life story.

“He was charming, folksy and, frankly, at times bonkers. Love Pays 2 – certainly not David’s choice as a title – is a dark and twisted version of events, but highly entertaining. Put it this way, if the producers had chosen Michael Bay or Roland Emmerich, you would be speaking to me from a prison cell. As I’d probably have strangled them for the movies they make.”

Mark adds: “The film was enjoyable. No doubt about that. But it does require a level of patience and attention that really only existed before the internet was invented.

“Characters speak slowly with very long pauses. At one point a local priest in the audience at the premiere lost it and shouted out: ‘Sweet Jesus! Get the hell on with it!’. The music is a mixture of cute tracks from the 1950s or something darker that Satan’s soul. You’re never quite sure where you’re headed. Rather like using Uber when travelling abroad.”

As with the first instalment, Banking Technology was lucky enough to get a preview of the whole film.

It’s a lively and beguiling affair, which may be confusing, or at least disconcerting, to those unfamiliar with the Lynchian mindset. Scenes include someone spray painting shovels gold; lots of coffee being discussed and drunk; and for about five minutes what looked like an apricot stuck on top of a tree spoke backwards.

That said, the “apricot-tree entity” still made more sense than some of the panels I have had to sit through at fintech conferences.