Monday, August 6, 2012
SALMON FISHING IN THE YEMEN
Watched tonight a truly delightful English romantic/satirical film, Salmon Fishing in the Yemen (2011), about a rather scientific-minded, stiff but decent fisheries official (played wonderfully by Ewan McGregor) who is at a crossroads in his life (largely as he is stuck in a peaceful but apparently boring marriage) when he is unexpectedly tapped by the English assistant (Emily Blunt) in the employ of an Anglophile Yemeni sheik (Amr Waked)---who loves to fish---to undertake the folly of introducing salmon to a dam-driven river in his desert country (which is also hampered by native resistance to modernization). What he discovers as he grudgingly undertakes the daunting task (fueled by the deep pockets of his benefactor) is a renewed personal passion and spark, a sense of daring, and love. Much of the comedic aspect of the film is provided by Kristin Scott Thomas as the smart-mouthed, driven, public-relations official representing the prime minister who seizes on effort to project improved Yemeni-British relations. Especially funny is the too-short interactions with her family. I think she could carry an entire movie based around her character. Her role is wonderful. Many tongue-in-cheek jabs at fishermen, government officials, and the media. Great photography and location shoots, good acting and strong screenplay, and it comes together rather well. I liked that they showed a forward-thinking, tolerant, visionary for his country in the sheik. Perhaps a tad bit of Horatio Alger thrown in for good measure, but it does not ruin the film. I encourage people to try this movie.