Get ready for a feel-good movie.
With the warmth that is typical of British movies, director Lasse Hallstrom (Chocolat) and writer Simon Beaufoy (Slumdog Millionaire) have created characters who are very real and a story that is surprisingly believable. And trying to combine a tale that involves salmon, fishing and Yemen into a captivating story was always going to be a testing task.
Based on Paul Torday's acclaimed novel, the film centres on scientist Dr Alfred Jones (Ewan McGregor), who is called upon by consultant Harriet (Emily Blunt) to help fulfil the bizarre dream of Yemeni Sheikh Muhammed (Amr Waked).
The Sheikh loves salmon fishing and wants to introduce the sport to Yemen.
The conservative Alfred wants no part of the project, and only pressure from above changes his mind.
While working together on the project, Harriet shows Alfred how to live and enjoy life. For far too long, Alfred has just existed, his free spirit buried deep within.
He begins to believe in the project and develops a love of what he is doing and of Yemen.
Adding a touch of political intrigue and interference is the British Prime Minister's press officer, Patricia Maxwell (Kristin Scott Thomas), who attempts to stage-manage everything she is involved in, with much hilarity.
This is a well-told and beautifully filmed story.
Salmon Fishing in the Yemen
Rating: 4 / 5 stars
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