Support us with Kachingle!
April 15, 2012 | 2:38 p.m. CST
Salmon Fishing in the Yemen is a feel good movie, that’s for sure, but not one that is so sweet it will give you a stomachache. Calling it a romantic comedy isn’t completely accurate. Although love is a major theme, faith plays the stronger role. A majority of the plot seems like a predictable cliché, but it’s delivered in a way that feels brand new.
The entire basis of the film rests on something that is impossible – moving a fish population to the desert. Fred (Ewan McGregor), a fisheries expert, and Harriet (Emily Blunt), a sheik’s investment assistant, start the story off debating if this crazy stunt can be pulled off. Fred is the facts and figures man who understands that finding a way to get 10,000 salmon to survive transport and continue to survive in a place where there is no water, or water that is cold enough, would be a miracle.
Under orders from the government to help Anglo-Arab relations after a devastating loss in Afghanistan, bringing salmon to Yemen is Sheikh Muhammed’s way to bring peace to his people; he’s also footing the bill. Harriet is finally able to show Fred that the sheik’s vision is something to better the country for his people, not just a way to spend his millions. Fred and the sheik connect from the get go, as they share a fishing passion.
Every time the sheik opens his mouth, he speaks words of wisdom. The British prime minister’s press secretary brings in comic relief with her snarky, rude remarks. She is the entire reason Fred is forced to continue with a project that he sees as only being theoretically possible.
There are political undertones throughout, with the war in Afghanistan and people in both Britain and the Yemen working to stop the project from happening. Fisherman in Britain don’t want their salmon being taken away and radicals in the Yemen are angry about this Western culture moving in on their country. The sheik, Fred and Harriet establish quite a bond over the salmon. Salmon Fishing in the Yemen shows that faith in the impossible is a force to be reckoned with.