Freshwater Fish Come to a Desert Near You
The title Salmon Fishing in the Yemen will probably bring many thoughts to a potential audience member’s brain. Maybe that the film will be a glorified Sunday morning fishing show. Or perhaps, “What the hell’s a Yemen?” However, those who see the film will probably be surprised by how fun and engaging it really is.
In the film, a rich Arab Sheik (Amr Waked) works with British fisheries employee Fred (Ewan McGregor) to transport live salmon into Yemen so that he can both fish a little closer to home and bring prosperity to the dry and barren desert area of the country. Because Yemen and England aren’t exactly that close, this is quite the daunting task and the Sheik’s representative Harriet (Emily Blunt) must work with Fred in order to figure out exactly how much money needs to be thrown at the challenge until it can happen. Fred and Harriet are both stuck in the trenches of emotionally devastating relationships and slowly become good friends despite Fred’s initial disgust over such a silly desert fish idea.
Almost immediately from the start of the film, you can tell that it hasn’t been ‘dumbed down’ for pandering purposes. The fast-paced, over-the-top acting combines with witty dialogue to create a very unique film. There may be 10,000 fish in the film, but the dynamic, humorous characters are what drive the plot.
Many films with a budding romance work almost like a sitcom with a laugh track. Who needs clever conversation when writers can steal material from those cheesy jokes on Popsicle sticks? However, in this film the humor is not cheesy, mean spirited, or dependent upon embarrassing the characters in awkward situations. The way politicians in the film try to use the Yemen fishing project to their own advantage also leads to some clever satire about media, propaganda, and government. During the lighthearted exchanges and amusing elements, none of these characters hold back their feelings as well; they are honest, sometimes brutally, and act in a way that makes sense. Salmon Fishing in the Yemen is a cleverly written, visually appealing film that should appeal to both humans and fish.
Matt the Movie Analyst’s final verdict: 8/10