Salmon Fishing in the Yemen

Salmon Fishing in the Yemen


Make the improbable possible.

Ewan McGregor, Emily Blunt and Kristin Scott Thomas star in this romantic drama from the director of The Cider House Rules and the writer of Slumdog Millionaire, about an enthusiastic sheikh dedicated to the unlikely plan of bringing British salmon to Yemen. Based on the novel by Paul Torday.... More

The sheikh (Amr Waked) believes his passion for the peaceful pastime of salmon fishing can enrich the lives of his people, and he dreams of bringing the sport to the not so fish-friendly desert. Willing to spare no expense, his representative (Blunt) involves Britain's leading fisheries expert (McGregor) who thinks the project both absurd and unachievable. But when the Prime Minister's overzealous press secretary (Kristin Scott Thomas) latches on to it as a 'good will' story, the team rise to the challenge, embarking on a journey of faith, love and fish.Hide

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Flicks Review

What a mouthful of a title - and a preposterous idea - but the absurdity of this film is what makes it work. Figuratively, it’s a distinctly British comedy about love, faith and believing in the impossible. But it’s also, literally, a film in which Ewan McGregor’s Dr Jones and Emily Blunt’s Harriet have to figure out a way of building a wealthy, desert-dwelling sheik an artificial fly-fishing playground, an idea explained by a dreamy shot in which McGregor swims upstream against a city crowd.... More

The film spends plenty of time trying to convince the audience this isn’t simply a greedy waste of time and is instead an inspirational endeavour for the greater good of the Yemeni people. Amr Waked’s portrayal of the sheik as a man for whom fishing is a spiritual pursuit helps to gloss over the gnawing sense that what they’re doing is ludicrous. Then there’s the somewhat awkward subplot in which Harriet’s new boyfriend goes off to Afghanistan.

But thanks to Simon Beaufoy’s fantastically witty script and a playful, knowing performance from Blunt as the sheik’s consultant negotiating with McGregor’s uptight fisheries expert, Salmon Fishing is a fun and often unpredictable ride. The two main stars are almost as entertaining as Kristin Scott Thomas as the Prime Minister’s bolshie PR chief, forever on a mission to spin things to her advantage (the salmon project is one of few news stories to come out of the Middle East). Her barbed banter with the PM over instant messaging provides some of the funniest lines in the film. Turns out salmon really is good for the brain. As long as you don’t mind the fishy aftertaste.Hide

The Peoples' Reviews

Average ratings from 2 ratings, 2 reviews
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BY blacknaf lister

I loved it! One of those films where the time slips away without you noticing. Thought the acting was great, a very different storyline, slightly impossible but not completely! I think most people would enjoy this movie!

BY KatieF superstar

This film was fabulous! The writers managed to make a not so interesting story about salmon fishing into a witty and very enjoyable film. This film could have been an absolute disaster, but with great casting and so much humour they have been able to pull it off. Throughout the whole film it keeps you in its grasp and sets the movie theatre alive with laughter. A definite must see.

The Press Reviews

  • A smart, winning and comic, if at times bittersweet, treat. Full Review

  • This perhaps sounds like a hilarious movie. So it could be, in the hands of the masters of classic British comedy. Unfortunately, the director is the Swede Lasse ("Chocolat"), who sees it as a heart-warming romance and doesn't take advantage of the rich eccentricity in the story. Full Review

  • As awkward as McGregor's geeky hero and almost as confused as the titular plan, Salmon Fishing is still very likable if you're prepared to take the bait. And it might even be Scott Thomas' funniest turn since "Four Weddings And A Funeral." Full Review

  • You can have a reasonably nice time at Salmon Fishing in the Yemen if you accept that it's the tidiest movie imaginable to ever say that falling in love is like swimming upstream. Full Review

  • The comedy's farmed, not wild. Full Review

  • These are characters with whom it's a pleasure to spend a couple of hours. Full Review

  • This is a rich subject for satire and sticking it to political bureaucracy. Screenwriter Simon Beaufoy (127 Hours) has mined Paul Torday's book for delicious nuggets about Western capitalism at war with Muslim culture. Full Review

  • It's only when it takes an unfortunate wrong turn from playful wit into the dramatic and sentimental - Hallström's speciality - that the movie starts to unravel. Full Review

  • Only Kristin Scott Thomas channeling "In the Loop's" Malcolm Tucker offers a spark; the rest is simply hokum designed to land overly sentimental suckers hook, line and sinker. Full Review

  • Tamer than the book and not as funny, this is Salmon filleted. But McGregor and Blunt make fetching lovebirds, while Kristin Scott Thomas is off the scale in a rare comic outing. Full Review

  • A surprisingly lush, endearing little film, in which a swelling sense of romanticism thoroughly banishes even the most far-fetched improbabilities. Full Review

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