Salmon Fishing in the Yemen

2011

Comedy / Drama

Synopsis


Uploaded By: Gaz
Downloaded 40,528 times
August 18, 2012 at 12:18 pm

Cast

Ewan McGregor as Dr. Alfred Jones
Emily Blunt as Harriet
Amr Waked as Sheikh Muhammed
Kristin Scott Thomas as Patricia Maxwell
720p 1080p
696.50 MB
1280*528
English
PG-13
English
23.976 fps
1hr 47 min
P/S 7 / 14
1.50 GB
1920*800
English
PG-13
English
23.976 fps
1hr 47 min
P/S 8 / 7

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Ed Uyeshima 8 / 10

Fly-Fishing and Romance Mix in a Charming Tale of Fulfilling Dreams Against the Odds

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 Hallstrom 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 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 – 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 Hallstrom 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.

Reviewed by D_Burke 8 / 10

"Salmon Fishing" Makes For An Interesting Ride

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 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.

Reviewed by dhanson2k 8 / 10

Best Film at Toronto

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. That's my only suggestion. I hope this changes how people view the middle east, even in a small way.

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