‘Salmon Fishing in the Yemen’ – a clever, crowd-pleasing delight

- Advertisement -


Salmon Fishing in the Yemen

Directed by Lasse Hallström

2011, UK, 112 minutes

If you aren’t familiar with the book by Paul Torday, a title like Salmon Fishing in the Yemen sounds a bit odd. What is it? Nihilistic art film? Maladapted play? The world’s most confused documentary? None of the above, thankfully. As it turns out, Salmon Fishing in the Yemen is a crowd-pleaser; a comedy with enough drama to be grounded and enough romance to be charming. It is clever, engaging, and above all, hopeful.

Essentially, Lasse Hallström has adapted Paul Torday’s book into an underdog film, the underdog being an idea: a wealthy Yemeni sheik (more inspired by Dubai’s Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid than any Yemeni in the news) wants to introduce salmon to the recently dammed waterways of his country for the purpose of sport fishing. It’s a ridiculous proposal and an impossible dream, and that ridiculousness drives a great deal of the film’s humour. That said, the whole endeavour takes place against the backdrop of the UK’s fraught relationship with the Muslim world and heated opposition to the sheik in Yemen. Cynicism and spin counter the film’s humour, creating tension, and ultimately, hope.

The main reason this film is successful is due to the incredible cast. Ewan McGregor as the nerdy fishery scientist and Emily Blunt as the sheik’s savvy assistant make for a charming comic duo. Their droll restraint makes the film work—characters unaware of their own humour are more interesting than the self-aware variety. Kristin Scott Thomas as the Prime Minister’s press secretary has more of a high-spirited role that some have interpreted as screwball; she’s loud, vulgar, and caustic, and frankly I wouldn’t have her any other way. Thomas carries the satirical weight of the film, and though it is very easy satire—her IMs with the Prime Minister seem particularly indulgent— it’s all terribly funny, so easiness forgiven.

The appeal of Salmon Fishing in Yemen is very broad, but that isn’t a bad thing. It’s by no means a brilliant film, but that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be enjoyed by as many people as possible (even though the Guardian snidely calls the export market enjoying this film “lapping it up”, as if British tastes are inherently sophisticated—the cat’s out of the bag, we know about EastEnders).

–       Dave Robson





10 Different Types of Financial Aid
Top 10 Richest American Idols
V-Moda Crossfade Wireless
The 5 Most Expensive Wireless Headphones: Ultimate Auditory Clarity
Business man watching business go bankrupt
25 Iconic Companies that Filed for Bankruptcy
The cast of Married...With Children
25 Little-Known Facts about Married…With Children TV Show
Ice Cube at Straight Outta L.A. at Tribeca Film Festival in 2010
10 Best Ice Cube Movies When You Want to Watch Ice Cube
Luke Evans at the Los Angeles premiere of Beauty And The Beast held at the El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood
10 Best Luke Evans Movies (He did that?)
Football movie being filmed
The 25 Greatest Football Movies of All Time
26 Different Types of Onions
4 Different Types of Cauliflower (Plus Health Benefits)
12 Different Types of Pecans
28 Different Types of Pineapple
10 Different Types of Tow Trucks
Electric mountain bike on the trails
18 Things to Know Before Buying an Electric Bike
Side and rear view of black 2017 Audi A7
23 Things to Know Before Buying an Audi A7
Motorhome on highway going through Bryce Canyon in the USA
13 Types of RV’s (Recreational Vehicles) for All Kinds of Vacation Fun
13 Different Types of Dumbbells
15 Awesome Alternatives to Skateboards (Plus Interesting Facts)
Baseball player hitting ball
10 Types of Baseball Bats that Rip the Leather Off the Ball
16 Types of Barbells for All Types of Lifts and Workouts
Camera, lenses and other photography equipments.
45 of the Best Online Photography and Camera Stores
9 Different Types of Website Hosting
5 Different Types of Pulleys (Plus Examples in Daily Life)
Apple Wallet icon on iPhone
15 Things to Know Before Setting Up Apple Pay
Natural herbal vitamins.
10 of the Best Online Vitamin Stores
>