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.
Ewan McGregor plays a British fisheries scientist Fred Jones strong-armed by his boss Bernard Sugden (Conleth Hill in a short but memorable role) into joining what he considers a distracting, harebrained project to introduce salmon in the sandy deserts of Yemen.
This is a difficult time for Fred since things aren’t going swimmingly well on his home-front either.
But Fred hops on board the Yemeni salmon project and before long – what do you think – love is in the air.
Ewan McGregor is a solid actor whose performance in Salman Fishing has spurred me to explore his other films.
Sexy, slim and alluring Emily Blunt is the Sheikh’s representative liaising with the British government agency and Fred on the salmon project.
Kristin Scott Thomas plays the cold blooded, calculating Prime Minister’s press secretary to perfection.
An A-grade actress, Kristin Scott Thomas is so good that she stands out in even small roles.
A lot happens in the movie, some of it completely unexpected adding to the charm quotient.
I must say that I thoroughly enjoyed the film, which had a short run in theatres in the U.S. before making the leap to DVD recently.
SearchIndia.com strongly recommends Salmon Fishing in the Yemen.
Salmon Fishing in the Yemen is available at RedBox and presumably Blockbuster and Netflix too in the U.S.