Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Salmon Fishing in The Yemen (2012)

Salmon are a fish which require cold, oxygenated water all year round in order to live and to spawn in. Naturally, a project to introduce Salmon to the hot, dry Arabian nation of Yemen is unfeasible--fundamentally unfeasible. Or is it? In this tale of hope-over-adversity and wisdom-in-absurdity, Ewan McGregor, British fisheries expert, is seconded to Yemen to do just that.

I have a problem with the writing in this film; it's really on the nose. Ewan McGregor is a charming screen presence but charm is tarnished by the really mundane lines he's given to deliver. This must have been a problem in the book from which the film was adapted, because the script is adapted by none other than Simon Beaufoy. Beaufoy is a legend in Britain with a list of academic and industry credentials as long as both your arms, and famed for penning the scripts of The Full Monty and Slumdog Millionaire. How the script has come out just so naff and implausible in the case of Salmon Fishing, I can't quite understand.

There is a wonderful performance by Kristen Scott Thomas, playing the Press Secretary to the PM, wonderfully sharp and cutting in the role. The natural grace of Emily Blunt does come through the screen, and there are some genuine laughs here and there. It's a nice movie, it's a charming movie, but it is, unfortunately, entirely forgettable. It's out on DVD now, it's a good flick to watch on a lazy afternoon with nothing better to do, otherwise unremarkable.

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