Salmon Fishing in the Yemen
Director: Lasse Hallstrom
From the director of Chocolat, Dear John and several ABBA film clips (I’m not joking) comes the film Salmon Fishing in the Yemen. Based on a novel and adapted for the screen by the same guy who wrote the screenplay for Slumdog Millionaire, this film was always going to be a romantic story of triumph against the odds. It follows a fisheries expert named Fred (Ewan McGregor) as he attempts to find a way to make real a wealthy sheikh’s vision of (you guessed it) salmon fishing in the Yemen.
The film begins in London, with an email conversation between Fred and Harriett (Emily Blunt), a consultant who wants to discuss with Fred the possibility of introducing salmon to the Yemen River. Fred initially dismisses the idea as unfeasible, but with a bit of persuasion begins to treat the idea as a “theoretical possibility”. Once he meets the sheikh behind the idea, he starts to believe that it might work. The film documents Harriett and Fred’s efforts to make the seemingly impossible a reality, and the unexpected outcomes of one man’s vision.
There were three outstanding elements of this film for me. The first was the scenery – go and see it for its panning shots of the Scottish countryside alone. The second was Kristin Scott Thomas’ performance as the head of PR for the Prime Minister of Britain. The third was her IM conversations with the aforementioned Prime Minister – hilarious. The rest of the film fell a bit short, but maybe I was expecting too much. If you’re after a riveting plot and character development, this is not the film for you. My date described this film as “a romantic romp in the Yemen”. I concur.