Fish require water.
You’re familiar with that concept?
– Fred Jones to Harriet Harriet Chetwode-Talbot in Salman Fishing in Yemen
Salmon Fishing in the Yemen, what an odd name for a movie.
But then the theme of Salmon Fishing in the Yemen is pretty unusual too – introducing salmon, a fish native to the cold waters of the North Atlantic, into the hot Yemeni desert.
No kidding, the central theme of the film is a grand plan to introduce salmon into a place where the fish is least likely to survive.
Woven into that odd enterprise, the vision of a far-thinking wealthy Yemeni Sheikh (Egyptian actor Amr Waked), is a love story, two separations, cold political calculations and a nice comedy.
All, neatly put together.
Europeans still make the oddest, quaintest, finest movies with a moving story at its core – The Artist, The Intouchables and Salmon Fishing in the Yemen are but a few recent examples.
Americans have the big bucks but are losing the imaginative streak that’s the sine qua non of fine movies.
It’s that rare Hollywood film that touches the heart these days.
Salmon Fishing in the Yemen pulls together a strong cast in Kristin Scott Thomas, Ewan McGregor and Emily Blunt (I remember her from Devil Wears Prada) and wraps them up in an offbeat story helmed by Swedish director Lasse Hallström.