Written by / 4/04/2012 / No comments / , , , ,

SALMON FISHING IN THE YEMEN

title: SALMON FISHING IN THE YEMEN
year: 2011
cast: Ewan McGregor, Emily Blunt
rating: ***

If you think the title, also the plotline, is preposterous and farfetched so does the main character… at first. Ewan McGregor plays Dr. Jones, a fishery expert in England given a task to help a kindhearted Sheik – whose dream is to introduce fly-fishing to the desert: a sport he feels can bring people together. Scenes between the Sheik and McGregor talking shop knee deep in a river, two polar opposites with a shared love for fishing, are reminiscent of Burt Lancaster and Peter Riegert in LOCAL HERO, both films sharing the "man out of his element" theme (and HERO co-stars Ewan's uncle, Denis Lawson). Yet with likable characters including a frantic scene-stealing Kristin Scott Thomas as the head honcho shaping up the deal, Emily Blunt as the “middlewoman” beauty who talks Jones into the gig, and a fat office jerk i.e. comic relief scapegoat given the seemingly impossible task of moving fish from England to the desert, SALMON FISHING IN THE YEMEN lacks the quirky magic of the title. Everything seems too normal while 11th hour snags, including sabotage at the makeshift fishing site and Blunt’s military boyfriend's return as she falls for McGregor, are resolved too quickly. But for a breezy ninety minute stretch, this works just fine. McGregor’s mellow charm will make you believe the impossible, and there are gorgeous underwater shots of the Salmon – the real protagonists.
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