Salmon Fishing in the Yemen

May 29, 2012 at 7:42 am | Posted in Film Review | Leave a comment
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An intriguing film; ostensively about transplanting salmon from Scotland to Yemen, but it is a romance and a journey of self discovery.

Ewan McGregor, as Dr Alfred Jones, and Emily Blunt, as Harriet Chetwode-Talbot, play the two main characters. He is a borderline autistic scientist seemingly more interested in fish (salmon) than people. She is a charming bubbly young advisor at a firm that manages money for very wealthy individuals – like the Sheikh Muhammed of Yemen. Kristin Scott Thomas, as Patricia Maxwell, the energetic get-it-done British Prime Minister’s PR advisor, rounds off the cast. She is like superwoman – mother and the PM’s smiling PR hatch-woman.

At first Dr Jones is against the idea of salmon in Yemen. But Harriet’s charming efficiency and the Sheikh’s sincerity (and the challenge of it all), wins him around.

The fact that this is viewed by some as eco-vandlism and a corruption of Yemen’s traditional ways is seemingly glossed over. That is, until, the protests get a bit extreme.

The path to true love is not smooth – a bit like salmon swimming up-stream. How does a bashful shy scientist compete with a war-hero?

The film is well made, with some fantastic scenery – mainly the fishing scenes. Everyone must have had compulsory fly fishing lessons !

The film also has an element of political satire: Mrs Maxwell cynically manipulates and manages the news cycle to inject a positive story about Britain and the moslem world – portraying a policy and decision making process driven solely by the need to keep the government popular.


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