Salmon Fishing in the Yemen Movie Review

The heavy hand of a screenwriter (or perhaps novelist) intrudes on an otherwise jaunty, engaging little story, fruitlessly trying to stir up suspense when none was needed. And filmmaker Hallstrom indulges in rather too much sappy sentiment.

Fred (McGregor) is a UK government fishing expert assigned to help a wildly wealthy sheikh (Waked) create a fly-fishing site in the Yemen. Working with the sheikh's financial advisor Harriet (Blunt), Fred struggles to overcome his doubts about the scheme. But he's won over by the fact that the sheikh is both passionate about fishing and has enough cash to achieve the seemingly impossible. As Fred begins to fall for Harriet, he'll need to make a decision about his estranged wife (Stirling), while Harriet's special-services boyfriend (Mison) has gone missing in action.

All of this plotting provides a series of convenient coincidences, awkward encounters and tentative new relationships. Fortunately, the script doesn't overplay the romantic storyline, but then it hardly has time to, as the story also includes both a political satire, with the Prime Minister's sassy press agent (Scott Thomas in scene-stealing mode), and a gang of militant zealots who start brandishing guns and threatening to violently terminate the river project.

With so much going on, none of the strands really has a chance. And screenwriter Beaufoy doesn't get a grip on any of the storylines, never quite bringing them together and leaving threads dangling all over the place. As a result, there's not much resonance, which is a shame because the film has a thoroughly engaging premise and the actors are charming. McGregor and Blunt make a terrific couple, drawing out character detail in their spiky banter, while Waked helps the sheikh emerge as an intriguingly thoughtful character all his own.

If the film had focussed more narrowly on the feathery, cheeky relationships, it would have been much more satisfying. The political, military and religious sideroads all feel distracting, as if they were tacked on to make some sort of comment about east-west relationships. And yet the filmmakers can't get through a story about Muslims without adding some irrelevant fanatical terrorists. And these kinds of plot contrivances that dampen the film's considerable appeal.

Cast & Crew

Director :

Producer :

Starring : , , , , , , Catherine Steadman, Jill Baker


Comments

Salmon Fishing in the Yemen Rating

" OK "

Rating: 15, 2012

Advertisement

Editors Recommendations

Beyonce and ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ Tease Us With Tantalising 15 Second Teaser Clip [Video]

Beyonce teased us all over the weekend, when she shared a 15 second...

Beyonce and ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ Tease Us With Tantalising 15 Second Teaser Clip [Video]

Robert Downey Jr Crowned King of the Box Office

With an estimated income of $75 million between June 2013 and June 2014, Downey Jr...

Robert Downey Jr Crowned King of the Box Office

George Clooney On Getting That Tabloid Apology And Why He Had To

Ahead of his wedding to Amal Alamuddin, George Clooney has...

George Clooney On Getting That Tabloid Apology And Why He Had To

A Short History of Forgotten Destiny’s Child Member Farrah Franklin

Farrah Franklin, the forgotten fourth member of Destiny’s Child, found herself...

A Short History of Forgotten Destiny’s Child Member Farrah Franklin

Sons of Anarchy Final Season: Charlie Hunnam Spills Details

Speaking at the Television Critics Association preview night on Monday, lead actor...

Sons of Anarchy Final Season: Charlie Hunnam Spills Details

Vin Diesel Talks This Summer's Weirdest Bromance

Yet in conversation with Access Hollywood, Diesel summed up the relationship between...

Vin Diesel Talks This Summer's Weirdest Bromance
Advertisement

Rixton - Me and My Broken Heart Single Review

There's a new boyband on the UK pop scene who have somehow managed to storm single charts...

Rixton - Me and My Broken Heart Single Review

RIP Krusty the Clown? His 10 Best Moments

Krusty the Clown may have chucked his last chuckle and played his last Itchy and Scratchy...

RIP Krusty the Clown? His 10 Best Moments

Bachelorette No Longer: Ashley And JP Rosenbaum Find Out Sex Of Baby On Live TV

After being on The Bachelor or The Bachelorette, some people like to retire...

Bachelorette No Longer: Ashley And JP Rosenbaum Find Out Sex Of Baby On Live TV


More recommendations

Advertisement