Movie Reviews & Interviews from Washington

‘Salmon Fishing in the Yemen’ Review: At Least the Title is Straight-Forward

There will not be a more direct movie title to come out this year or probably not in 2013 either. It is what it is, and if you find Ewan McGregor and Emily Blunt charming, you just might enjoy this fishy film.

Salmon Fishing in the Yemen is about bringing a salmon fishery into the hostile environment of the Yemen desert, simply so a rich sheikh can just fish for them. Yes, exactly like the title says.

Harriet (Emily Blunt) is a London singleton who recently got involved with sexy soldier man Capt. Mayars (Tom Mison). Her boss, Sheikh Muhammad (Amr Waked) has a certain passion for salmon fishing and her main task is to introduce the salmon into the Yemen. (This review may sound repetitive, but honestly this is what the movie is about!) Harriet hires expert government man Dr. Alfred Jones (Ewan McGregor, who can’t seem to shy away from fish movies, think Big Fish) to assist her in the process and to see if such a task can even be done!

Dr. Jones is pleasantly surprised with Harriet’s knowledge on the subject of fishing and immediately begins to take a liking to her. Even though he still has a wife, who is barely in the film for five minutes and is presented as an unsympathetic bore, he can’t resist Harriet’s beauty and charisma.

Kristen Scott Thomas adds hilarity and bite to the film as Patricia Maxwell, the British Prime Minister’s press secretary, who gets involved with the job for good PR.

Director Lasse Hallstrom (Chocolat) does a fine job in showing us the beautiful landscapes of the Yemen, while he desperately tries to balance the highs and lows of the film. It’s strange because we think that these two stellar leads aren’t destined to be together, when all of a sudden the rom-com aspect has to be thrown in and muddle everything all up.

Don’t be surprised if you walk out of the nearly two hour long film feeling bored because the story just isn’t that exciting!

Salmon Fishing swims with charm in the beginning and later drowns with a predictable rom-com subplot and goofy dialogue.

DC film critic Kevin McCarthy interviewed Ewan McGregor and Emily Blunt. The interview is much shorter and far more fun to watch than the film itself. Check out the video here!


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