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Salmon Fishing in the Yemen

by on July 14, 2012
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“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 pastime — 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 salmon fishing to the Yemen.

For me, the main draws were Blunt and McGregor — both so immensely talented that I would watch them in a movie about, oh, I don’t know, salmon fishing. McGregor gives a pretty strong performance. It isn’t my favorite performance of his career (how do you top “Star Wars”?), but it’s certainly impressive nonetheless. McGregor just has a way of bringing a charm to any character.

Blunt is quite mesmerizing beyond her entrancing eyes. She creates such a sharp, witty and sympathetic character who can make you laugh and then cry a second later. The chemistry between McGregor and Blunt steals the spotlight from the rest of the cast.

What I love most about this movie is its underlying message of faith — not just in religion, but in one’s self. It’s 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. Pacing is a big problem, and a subplot about the Prime Minister’s press secretary takes you out of the story. The inclusion of the main characters’ significant others also feels 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.

The film does include two special features — “Miracles Happen: Making ‘Salmon Fishing in the Yemen’ ” and “The Fisherman in the Middle East: Novelist Paul Torday.”

Film: 3.5 Yaps
Extras: 2.5 Yaps