Based on the novel by Paul Torday, Salmon Fishing In The Yemen is a refreshingly sweet movie, and while some might say it’s a low-key romantic comedy – this reviewer says that ultimately it is a touching and satisfying film despite its slow pace.
When Dr. Alfred Jones (Ewan McGregor) is approached by Harriet Chetwode-Talbot (Emily Blunt) to help her client (Amr Waked) give life to his vision of bringing salmon fishing to the desert, he laughs and writes it off entirely. After more persuasion though and an abundance of funds to make the vision a reality, Dr. Jones reluctantly signs onto the project. When the Prime Minister’s press secretary (Kristin Scott Thomas) hears about the project, she latches onto it as it just the type of “good will” story that they need for the press. This unlikely team is determined to succeed – no matter the cost.
The project seems to represent hope to both Dr. Jones and Harriet. With their personal lives falling apart, this impossible goal becomes something they truly invest everything in. With Harriet’s solider boyfriend MIA, and Dr. Jones’ marriage falling apart, they both need something greater than their selves to hold on to – and this really becomes the centerpiece of the film.
With Emily Blunt, Ewan McGregor, and Kristin Scott Thomas you know that you’re going to have good acting. The film truly benefits from it, and probably would have fallen completely flat without it. With such a slow moving film, the actors and their chemistry with one another are really the only elements that you keep you invested at points when the movie just lags.
For a film that is based on such an ironic novel, the film just doesn’t seem to contain that much irony. However, it still proves to be charming to the audience. The subtle flirtatious dance between McGregor and Blunt’s characters makes the audience hopeful that they’ll both find what they’re looking for – with each other.
It may be a low-key, slow paced film, but it leaves you feeling satisfied, hopeful and smiling – and not enough movies deliver that as their end result.
Review By: Emma Loggins