19 sept. 2012

My Review: Salmon Fishing in the Yemen (7/10)

¨When things get tricky in my life, I talk to my fish¨

Don`t be scared away by the title of this film or by the slow opening because this movie is really worth your time thanks to some strong performances and some interesting characters which are actually hard to find nowadays. This British film was brought to us by Swedish director, Lasse Hallstrom (Cider House Rules, What`s Eating Gilbert Grape, and Chocolat) and the screenplay was adapted by Simon Beaufoy (Slumdog Millionaire and 127 Hours) so there were a lot of talented people involved. I found this romantic comedy pretty charming and enjoyed the dialogue very much despite not knowing or carrying much about Salmon fishing. The heart of the film relies on the relationship between Ewan McGregor and Emily Blunt`s characters who are so different from each other but have great chemistry together. The film was adapted from Paul Torday`s novel and some elements probably didn’t work as well in the movie as they did in the book but I still enjoyed this film considering most Hollywood rom-coms are overly sentimental and predictable. Salmon Fishing in the Yemen has some heart touching moments, but it never tries to be melodramatic and most of the dialogues and jokes are pretty well written without being raunchy or forcing the comedy. Fans of the actors won`t be disappointed as both Ewan McGregor and Emily Blunt give strong performances and have great material to work with. They make what seemed as a boring idea turn into a good film.

Dr. Alfred Jones` (Ewan McGregor) life revolves pretty much around Salmon fishing. He`s a fisheries expert working for the British government living a dull life with his wife Mary (Rachael Stirling) who`s also dedicated to her job and always travelling. When the relationship between the Middle East and Great Britain gets tense, the Prime Minister`s press secretary, Patricia Maxwell (Kristin Scott Thomas) decides to search for a good will story that could help lessen the tension. She finds her story when she hears that a Yemen Sheik named Muhammed (Amr Waked) is trying to bring the sport to his homeland. When Dr. Jones is asked to help the Sheik he claims it`s impossible and foolish to try to take the sport to the Yemen desert. However, the government forces him to accept the proposition and come up with some plan to make the Sheik`s dream come true. The Sheik`s representative is Harriet (Emily Blunt) who is in charge of accommodating the doctor and putting the team together. Despite the doctor`s reluctance at first he discovers that the Sheik actually has good intentions for the project and that things might work out. He also befriends Harriet and despite the fact that at first they can`t stand each other and that she`s dating a military soldier sent to Afghanistan they become good friends.

Ewan McGregor has been choosing some interesting projects lately, although I wouldn’t say this one was as good as his character in Beginners, but he does some interesting things with his character once again. He`s obsessed with fishing but at the same time seems emotionally detached which makes us question really if he suffers from Asperger`s when he joked about it in one scene. He`s also very analytical, but he changes after befriending Blunt`s character who has great charm once again. The film seems to point out how sometimes we become so comfortable with our own routines that we forgive really to live and that was what was happening to Dr. Jones. Once the project was forced up his throat he had to change and ended up enjoying the process. Change can be difficult at times, but sometimes it can be good for us. Overall I enjoyed this film quite a bit and thought the characters had a lot of charm, I would definitely recommend it.

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