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Plot: A visionary sheik believes his passion for the peaceful pastime of salmon fishing can enrich the lives of his people, and he dreams of bringing the sport to the not so fish-friendly desert. Willing to spare no expense, he instructs his representative to turn the dream into reality, an extraordinary feat that will require the involvement of Britain's leading fisheries expert who happens to think the project both absurd and unachievable. That is, until the Prime Minister's overzealous press secretary latches on to it as a 'good will' story. Now, this unlikely team will put it all on the line and embark on an upstream journey of faith and fish to prove the impossible, possible. Runtime: 107 mins Release Date: 08 Mar 2011
Just when I thought I was finished going to movies because so many are just plain vulgar, boring, and loud and not worth the investment of my time, along comes this near perfect piece of filmmaking. The story, the characters, the actors that were chosen, and the dialogue refreshingly witty and at times thought provoking ... it all comes together in so enjoyable a fashion that I did not want the show to end! Aside from the foul-mouthed politicians what a surprise, right? , there was not one minute of the movie I would change in any way. If you want to come away from a movie-going experience <more>
feeling good with plenty of information to discuss afterwards with your date, then RUN to see "Salmon Fishing in Yemen"!
The kind of movie that inspires you (by cdmallamo-452-854135)
Salmon Fishing in the Yemen is a movie about making the impossible possible, and about having faith in the extraordinary. The premise of the film is as unusual as the title- Yes, it really is about Salmon Fishing in the Yemen. And the movie is every bit as intriguing as the title would suggest.The story centers on Dr. Alfred Jones, a practical man who works as the British Governments Head of Fisheries. A shy but kind man, honest and refreshingly down-to-earth, he is trapped in a difficult marriage to Mary and is somewhat apprehensive at the invitation of a Sheikh to introduce, as you may have <more>
guessed, salmon fishing to the Yemen. Pressured by the British government who see it as a "Middle East story not about terrorism", Alfred agrees, albeit informing the Sheikh that while it may be theoretically possible, he cannot believe it. Also joining them is the Sheikh's consultant Harriet Chetwode-Talbot, a determined, somewhat emotional woman, in the early days of a relationship with soldier Robert Mayers.Dr. Jones and Harriet set out for the Sheikh's estate in Scotland, where Dr Jones is told by the Sheikh some wonderful things about faith. Through his blossoming friendship with the optimistic Sheikh and the lovely Harriet, Jones begins to believe that the impossible is actually possible, and so the story begins.I adore this film. Amr Waked deserves the Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his role as an optimistic, thoughtful, kind, passionate, and more than anything, inspiring character who embodies nobility and goodness. However he is not entirely angelic- he understands women's feelings from his "many wives...very vocal about their feelings!" and has a quirky sense of humour. The brotherly friendship between him and Dr. Jones is to me the nicest relationship in the film- a relationship truly based on admiration and respect. The Sheikh says to Dr. Jones that the project isn't really about fish at all. The viewer may be surprised by this initially, but on further thought you realise what he means. To the Sheikh, it is not about fish, but about Salmon fishing in the Yemen. About the impossible being impossible. About having faith enough to make the extraordinary come true. It is less a task than a journey- although, of course, he loves fishing!My favourite quote of the movie comes from the lovely Sheikh. It is to me a wonderful summary of everybody who is a realist/"Are you a religious man?" "No" "But you like to fish?" "Well, yes." "And how long is it before you catch a fish? An hour? Ten?" "It can be hundreds of hours!" "But you keep going, do you not? You keep on trying to catch that fish, even though you cannot see it, even though you do not know when or even if it will come. You keep trying. Because you have faith." "I don't think fish and faith have much in common, your Excellency." "Ah. But I do."It is the influence the Sheikh has on Dr. Jones that is the highlight- he finds freedom and joy- happiness, optimism, and love.Of course there are parts that aren't perfect. It's only a film. But it's a film that explores deep ideas with a lovely lightness, not an "arthouse thoughthouse" film that you can't concentrate on cos you're trying to understand it's meaning- it's a film, simply, about believing in the impossible and embracing all that's possible.
Having spent a lifetime training actors in the UK and Australia including Clive Wood in this it was a joy to see another quirky movie that only the British seem to produce, giving an opportunity for real development of character, which didn't rely on fast editing and effects. There was a beautiful balance of wry humour, political home truths and some very relevant issues that concern us around the world, where passion and faith are often massively misunderstood or not recognized.I was entranced by all aspects of this story and, although to some it may appear slight, it wasn't to me <more>
and has given me lots to think about. Thank you to all involved, especially the absolutely gorgeous Emily Blunt.
Excellent feelgood gentle humour movie (by pschofield-292-682589)
OK I had read the book and did'nt know quite what to expect from the film. It is different great in its own way. Its a very British film with all the gentle humour irony and brilliant acting you would expect. Kristin Scott Thomas steals it for me as the pushy Press Secretary to the Prime Minister and really deserves recognition as supporting actress. The scene where she is getting her kids off to school and her comments to her son are hilarious in street talk. Emily Blunt is delicious and Ewan McGregor plays his most understated but elegant role yet. Loved the scene with his wife Mary in <more>
the bedroom with him wearing flannel blue striped pyjamas Great casting, great acting, great script,great photography. What's not to like,oh the salmon were fantastic , don't actually know if any were hurt in the filming, but bet if they were they tasted great! Lovely movie
It has all what you expect from a British movie, the nice humor and good acting , the script is the main star here.I did not read the book, so I had no expectations. All the actors were just great, I liked a lot the sheik role played by Amr Waked, although he is not mainly from Yemen he was the light coming from the east , full of faith not religious faith but faith about life/fishing.The scenes are organized to deliver the ideas in a smart way, one scene you see the extremist killing the British soldier in Afghanistan , the next scene is the extremist are trying to kill the sheik getting you <more>
to think that extremist full of hate kill every one even their own peoplewell done by everyone
My wife wanted to see this film and I was quite objective to the idea until we watched it one quiet afternoon! So the film starts off with some quite 'typical' Government type people amazing dry humour expressed who obviously want to lie and cheat and a Sheik who has a 'vision'. NOT though what you'd expect from Ewan McGregor. They all meet, Alfred, Harriet and the Sheik at his Scottish residence with his entourage included although briefly plus a Scottish butler! The Sheik is played brilliantly with a novel belief he can understand everything. We move to fishing <more>
with him as in the Sheik and Alfred . You can imagine Alfred meets Harriet for dinner with the Sheik and you swiftly detect he's falling in love with her at first sight. The Sheik is a good observer but so diplomatic. We move to the latter part of the film. Bad men try and kill the project and the Sheik! and Alfred is the 'hero'. Harriet's boyfriend is flown in well and safe by the government after hewas believed to be lost in action in Afghanistan for publicity. NOT to give too much away the last three minutes of the film tells it all. Funny, whimsical and exceptionally well casted I would say. If you like 'dry' humour then all your wishes will come to fruition. Well filmed, produced and I can only say I wish I were Ewan McGregor or in real life or knew Emily Blunt for real! Michael
"Salmon Fishing" Makes For An Interesting Ride (by D_Burke)
Enjoying a film like "Salmon Fishing In The Yemen" is similar to acquiring a taste for actual fishing. Like the sport that some find invigorating while others find it dreadfully dull, this film has its draggy moments. However, there are also enlightening points to the movie that come when you least expect them.Of course, that is not to say that you have to actually LIKE fishing, or understand it, to enjoy "Salmon Fishing In The Yemen". Fishing serves as a crucial plot point, but you don't have to be a card-carrying member of Cabella's or L.L. Bean to enjoy it.The <more>
film has elements of romantic comedy, environmentalism, foreign relations drama, and insightfulness that makes it difficult to concretely categorize. Fortunately, all these facets combine to create a story that's far from predictable. Just like a current, there are times you don't know where the story is going.Ewan McGregor plays Fred Jones, a fisheries expert for the British government who receives an odd request from legal representative Harriet Chetwode-Talbot Emily Blunt . Harriet represents a wealthy sheik Amr Waked who resides in both Great Britain and Yemen, and has an unusual fondness for salmon fishing. He wants to take a healthy population of salmon from the British lakes, and transport them to the Yemen River to live and breed.The reason this plot does not make for good cocktail party small talk or water cooler chatter is because it takes such a long time to describe the rationale behind such an ambitious task. For instance, can salmon, who thrive in cold water, even survive in the Middle East, where it's obviously hot? Plus, why would people from Yemen even be interested in fishing? The film answers these questions and others very well, and allows the story to breathe better as each subplot reveals itself. Nothing is rushed in this movie, which, while a few parts drag here and there, is overall a welcome departure from certain high-octane multiplex drivel that passes as entertainment.Once you actually listen to the characters and hear their reasoning, a lot of the story makes sense. This fact is especially true for Amr Waked, who is not yet a well known actor, but whose character has a profound impact on the film.Western audiences are not used to seeing a Middle Eastern character that is not a terrorist, let alone one who credibly connects fishing and faith better than any PBS show even could. Waked, who is Egyptian in real life but whose character is Yemeni, does so incredibly well, and is truly the breakout star of this movie. It's a shame that Oscar season just ended, because the early release of this film alone hurts his chances of receiving a Best Supporting Actor nomination, although he deserves it.The inevitable love story in the movie is also unpredictable, if only because you're not sure whether McGregor and Blunt should be together. McGregor's Fred is married, and Blunt's Harriet has a boyfriend who is sent off to fight in the Afghanistan War. There are plot twists for both characters, but even you, the audience, remains unsure whether the two characters working together so well to bring salmon to Yemen means they should be together. It creates a necessary tension few romantic comedies dare to address.As for their performances, McGregor seems to play a more mature leading role than in other films he's made before. His character here is more practical than idealist as in "Moulin Rouge" 2001 , more professional than playboy as in "Down With Love" 2003 , and knows where his morals lie unlike "Trainspotting" 1996 . While he was good in those other films, he can only play those roles for so long.Emily Blunt also delivered a balanced, multi-layered performance, and worked very well off McGregor. I thought there would be an explanation for why her character's last name was hyphenated, as you almost never see characters with two last names in movies. Could there have been a failed marriage in her past, perhaps? It wasn't ever explained, nor was it really crucial to the plot.Kristin Scott Thomas also provides some unexpected comic relief as a press secretary for Parliament who chats with the British Prime Minister on Instant Messenger. Her character spearheads the campaign to transport the salmon to Yemen in order to divert public attention from the Afghanistan War. Again, a crucial subplot, but one that has to be seen, not explained second hand."Salmon Fishing In The Yemen" is enjoyable like some find fishing to be: there's a lot of calm to it, but when the funny parts happen, they can be as surprising and as fulfilling as catching a big fish. Also, if you actually listen to Amr Waked's character the same way some expert fisherman have pearls of wisdom, the movie's enjoyment may even come as a bigger surprise.
There's a line in the movie that goes, "We need a good story about the Middle East that doesn't have explosions." This is it! Hilarious and touching, Ewan, Emily, and Amr are fantastic. Ewan plays this homely, heads-down British government biologist to a T. Amr is a promising newcomer. And Emily is always amazing. I saw this at the opening in Toronto and the audience loved it. No wonder it was the first one sold at the festival. A big of an underdog, a lot of other people thought it was the best they saw too. Maybe they should change the name to something catchier. <more>
That's my only suggestion. I hope this changes how people view the middle east, even in a small way.
Fly-Fishing and Romance Mix in a Charming Tale of Fulfilling Dreams Against the Odds (by EUyeshima)
This one did snag me with a lure most appealing. Be forewarned that this 2012 romantic dramedy is idiosyncratic and full of whimsy, which should come as no surprise as the director is Lasse HallstrÃ¶m whose most successful films "Chocolat", "The Cider House Rules", "My Life As a Dog" turn on flights of fancy. Besides, it's certainly not every romantic comedy that encompasses hydro-engineering, environmentalism, Middle East tensions, and British populism. What holds these disparate subjects together is the pipe dream one Yemeni sheikh has to bring salmon <more>
fishing to the wadis of his homeland. Adapted by Simon Beaufoy "Slumdog Millionaire" from a popular 2006 Brit-lit book by Paul Torday, the story primarily concerns the two people who get caught up in Sheikh Muhammad's dream - tweedy fisheries expert Dr. Alfred Jones, Fred to his friends, and super-efficient public relations consultant Harriet Chetwode-Talbot.They are enlisted by Patricia Maxwell, the hell-on-heels press officer for the British prime minister who is desperate for a feel-good distraction from the bloodshed occurring in Afghanistan. She is immediately drawn to the human interest angle of the salmon fishing story as well as the revelation that there are at least two million anglers in the U.K. Fred thinks the idea is ridiculous and for good reason â€“ the plan is to build a dam which looks as big as Hoover Dam , construct an elaborate irrigation system, and stock the waters with 10,000 North Atlantic salmon, all for the hefty price tag of fifty million pounds. Alas, Fred gradually succumbs to the deeply spiritual nature and ecological sensibilities of the sheikh's quest as well as Harriet's quiet persistence and demure charms. Complicating matters is the fact that Fred is unhappily married, while Harriet is getting serious with a handsome soldier who gets shipped to Afghanistan.Given the attractive leads, the romantic sparks are not surprising, but their cautious relationship and soulful connection provide much of the movie's unforced charm. The more fanciful events in the last half-hour do bring a level of incredulity for which HallstrÃ¶m has become renowned, and the terrorist subplot is woefully underdeveloped relative to the love story. However, the actors in exchange deliver nicely turned performances with Ewan McGregor "Beginners" at his most modestly suppressed as Fred. Usually cast in brittle or saucy roles, Emily Blunt "The Young Victoria" brings unfettered charm to Harriet without sacrificing her steely intelligence. Kristin Scott Thomas "The English Patient" easily steals all her scenes as Maxwell with acidic panache, while Amr Waked "Syriana" brings a charismatic calm to the sheikh. Kudos should go to Terry Stacey "50/50" for his handsome cinematography which captures London, Morocco subbing for Yemen , and especially Scotland in postcard-worthy tableaux.