Opening in theatres this Friday from director Lasse Halstrom and BBC Films comes an interesting story of love when urged on by “Salmon Fishing in the Yemen.”
This film tells the story of Dr. Alfred Jones (Ewan McGregor), a fisheries expert who is asked by Harriet (Emily Blunt) to work with her client Sheik Muhammad (Amr Waked). Her request is interesting, as the Shiek wants to create a river to raise and fish for salmon in the Yemen.
Dr. Jones doesn’t believe this is possible and wants no part of it. Dealing with personal problems at home with his wife Mary (Rachael Stirling), Jones doesn’t see how fish can help his life.
Harriet loves her job and recently found a romance in the form of Capt. Robert Mayers (Tom Mison). As quickly as their relationship begins he is sent away to Afghanistan. Pushing herself into work, she convinces Dr. Jones to at least research and then considers the Sheik’s idea.
Helping everything come together is the insane work of Patricia Maxwell (Kristin Scott Thomas). Working with a political agenda she sees to it that Dr. Jones gets whatever he needs to solidify a pact with the Shiek.
In the lovely Yemen desert, Jones and Harriet find peace and an urgency to make the Sheiks dream come true – they also find each other’s hearts.
FINAL WORD: McGregor is lovely as Dr. Alfred Jones. He is very passive, except when it comes to fish! Having lived his life a certain way for so long, McGregor plays this character with stiffness until he has a reason not to be. That being said this is certainly a safe role from an actor who surprises me occasionally.
Blunt, what can one say about someone so beautiful to watch on the screen. From the moment I saw her in “The Devil Wears Prada” I knew she would go far. From “The Adjustment Bureau” to “The Young Victoria” I am repeatedly captivated by her work. This film is no exception as she puts in a delightful performance, as a young woman who isn’t quite sure what she wants is really what she wants!
Waked as the Shiek is also amazing to watch. He is so peaceful with a zen like quality that is nice to watch. Even in the moments where his temper flares it is usually in the protection of his people and doing what’s best for them. This actor has shown his chops in films like “Syriana” and “Contagion.” I really did enjoy his performance.
The stand out performance here belongs to Kristin Scott-Thomas. I knew this actress had a comedic side but this role called for comedic and wild and Scott-Thomas delivers.
Other cast include: Catherine Steadman as Ashley, Tom Beard as Peter Maxwell, Jill Baker as Betty, Hamish Gray as Malcolm, and Clive Wood as Tom Price-Williams.
TUBS OF POPCORN: I give “Salmon Fishing in the Yemen” three tubs of popcorn out of five. This is by no means a fast paced, action film filled with things flying around and loud noises. Instead, it is a slow paced story that unfolds surrounded by beautiful scenery with well-acted characters adding a romance in the mix.
In the end – sometimes a fish isn’t all you catch at the end of a line.