When watching Salmon Fishing In The Yemen, you can’t help but think it’s cute, but not heart-wrenchingly romantic; it’s comical but not gut-bustingly hilarious. What you get with Salmon Fishing, is a run-of-the-mill enjoyable movie. Let’s not pretend it will be your new favourite film, but it will certainly keep you entertained for a couple of hours.
Based on the novel by the same name, the film has multiple narratives, but focuses mainly on Dr. Alfred Jones (Ewan McGregor), a scientist with a keen interest in fisheries propositioned by investment consultant Harriet Chetwode-Talbot (Emily Blunt) to try and introduce salmon and the concept of fly-fishing to the Middle East.
After some disagreement of the idea’s potential success and some further persuasion, under the direction of an incredibly wealthy Sheik, the pair swiftly put a seemingly impossible plan into action, learning a few things about their own lives in the process.
Whilst the storyline and acting are strong, the film is let down slightly by lack of character development and a seemingly odd pairing. McGregor and Blunt’s chemistry as likeable hopeless friends is believable but the idea that they would be more than that does seem a bit too farfetched. Even the director Lasse Halstrom, the man behind Chocolat, must have seen this, explained by the fact that the couple barely touch, let alone go any further.
Despite its few negatives, the film is very endearing and quite humourous. Kristen Scott Thomas’s press secretary to the Prime Minister provides effective comic relief to the more heart-warming, serious scenes with McGregor and Blunt, which makes a good balance of style throughout. If you’re looking for a sweet story with a few famous faces and a lot of fish then Salmon Fishing In The Yemen is for you.