‘Salmon Fishing In The Yemen’ Movie Review – Take a Leap of Faith
It seems that people are not liking the title of CBS Films’ latest movie, Salmon Fishing in the Yemen, starring Ewan McGregor and Emily Blunt. Personally, I kind of love it. Yes some people might think it sounds like a documentary, but I think there is a bit of magic to it, which fits the tone of the film perfectly. Plus it’s also the title of the book the film is based on, so why change it? And fun fact, screenwriter Simon Beaufoy explained during a press event that they weren’t able to find a better name for the movie anyway. And so Salmon Fishing in the Yemen it is.
The film focuses on Fred (McGregor) a leading fisheries expert who gets contacted by consultant Harriet (Blunt) about a project initiated by a sheikh’s (Amr Waked) who would like to bring fly-fishing to the Yemen. Even though Fred finds the project absurd and unachievable, he is soon forced to help Harriet when Prime Minister’s press secretary (Kristin Scott Thomas) latches on to it as a “good will” story.
Fred is pretty much thrown out of his comfort zone, and soon what might have seemed impossible, suddenly seems possible.
The film is being marketed as a romantic comedy and while it does have romance and is funny at times, it’s not really your typical romantic comedy. In fact Harriet and Fred’s relationship is only part of the bigger story involving the salmon project. The story is mostly about believing in the impossible (well technically the theoretically possible) and I think the film achieves that.
Beaufoy has created a great script with endearing characters brought to life beautifully by Blunt and McGregor, and also Amr Waked. These characters really are three dimensional, which makes it easier to care for them. There is also an evolution from where you meet them to where they end up, which is both internal and external (pay attention to McGregor’s wardrobe and grooming in the beginning versus the ending).
And I should also mention the brilliant Kristin Scott Thomas who is so perfect in the role of Patricia Maxwell and brings great comic relief to the film. She’s great.
Another character of the story is the salmon. It is such a big part of the story because everything depends on it getting there. There is actually a sequence in the film involving the salmon that just put a smile on my face when it happened. I didn’t know fish could make me feel that way, but I couldn’t help it.
I have enjoyed most of Director Lasse Hallstrom’s films, he creates such a quiet enchanting tone and Salmon Fishing in the Yemen is another display of his beautiful style.
I would say that Salmon Fishing in the Yemen is for anyone who likes romance, a bit of comedy and characters taking a leap of faith.
The film hits limited theaters today, so make sure to go see it if it plays at a theater near you. In the meantime, you can take a look at the trailer here and find out what the cast, write and director had to say about the film here.