“Salmon Fishing in the Yemen” is an extremely touching film about fishing for salmon in the Yemen, but this film has so much more to offer than one may think.
The story is about a visionary Sheik (Amr Waked) from the Yemen who decides that his favorite past time – salmon fishing – can help unite the people of his country. With the help of his financial representative (Emily Blunt) and Britain’s leading fishery expert (Ewan McGregor), the Sheik puts cost aside and begins to bring the salmon fishing to the Yemen.
I have to say that the main draw for me was the film’s main players, Emily Blunt and Ewan McGregor. Both of these actors are so immensely talented that I would watch a movie about, oh, I don’t know, salmon fishing. McGregor gives a pretty strong performance. I can’t say that it is my favorite performance of his career – how do you top “Star Wars?” – but it’s certainly impressive none-the-less. McGregor just has a way of bringing a charm to any character. I was kidding about that “Star Wars,” comment, by the way.
Blunt is quite mesmerizing beyond her entrancing eyes. She created such a sharp, witty and sympathetic character, which can make you laugh and cry a second later. The chemistry between McGregor and Blunt steals the spotlight from the rest of the cast.
What I loved most about this movie was the underlying message of faith, not just in religion, but in one’s self. I thought it was interesting that something as simple and sometimes boring as fishing could have such a philosophical meaning.
Despite the way I’ve gushed over this film so far, “Salmon Fishing in the Yemen” is far from perfect. I think the biggest problem I had with this film was the pacing. It was the side stories about the Prime Minister’s press secretary that really took me out of the story. I also didn’t like the main characters’ significant others. Their inclusion felt very unnecessary and sloppy.
“Salmon Fishing in the Yemen” is definitely an acquired taste and I’m sure the topic of fishing will scare many away, but this film is a touching tale of faith and fishing that shouldn’t be missed.
– Joe D.