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Salmon Fishing in the Yemen

2012

PG-13 CC
Available on Prime

An inspirational film where a fisheries expert is enlisted to bring the sport of fly-fishing to the desert and prove the impossible is truly possible.

Starring:
Amr Waked, Emily Blunt
Runtime:
1 hour, 47 minutes

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Product Details

Genres Drama, Romance, Comedy
Director Lasse Hallström
Starring Amr Waked, Emily Blunt
Supporting actors Catherine Steadman, Tom Mison, Ewan McGregor, Rachael Stirling, Kristin Scott Thomas, Tom Beard, Jill Baker, Conleth Hill, Alex Taylor-McDowall, Matilda White, Otto Farrant, Hamish Gray, Clive Wood, Nayef Rashed, Peter Wight, Waleed Akhtar, Steven Blake, Hugh Simon
Studio CBS Films
MPAA rating PG-13 (Parents Strongly Cautioned)
Captions and subtitles English Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly Details
Format Amazon Video (streaming online video)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
Salmon Fishing in the Yemen is a hard film to categorize. Directed by Lasse Hallström, with a screenplay by Simon Beaufoy adapted from the novel of the same name by Paul Torday, you could nominally call it a romantic comedy, but it's actually far more than that. A character-driven human comedy about faith, passion and fishing comes closer. Add in an absolutely scene-stealing performance by Kristin Scott Thomas as the Prime Minister's take-no-prisoners get-it-done-yesterday! press secretary and you've got Salmon Fishing in the Yemen.

The film begins with Dr. Fred Jones (Ewan McGregor), the British government's leading expert on fisheries, receiving an inquiry about the feasibility of introducing salmon fishing to the Yemen. Jones quickly dismisses the possibility, responding that it is simply impossible for salmon - a fish that thrives in cold fresh-water streams found in northern latitudes - to survive in a hot and arid environment like the Yemen. The inquiry, it turns out, came from Harriet Chetwood-Talbot (Emily Blunt), a consultant for a company that manages properties for a very wealthy client, Sheikh Muhammad (Amr Waked) from the Yemen. The Sheikh has a vision of salmon fishing, which he became familiar with due to his having an estate in Scotland, as not only a way to create much needed jobs for his people, but also as a way of bringing people together. Undeterred by Jones' initial rejection and buoyed by the persuasive Sheikh's belief in his vision, Harriet persists in pushing for a feasibility study, which Jones continues to dismiss. Until, that is, the project comes to the attention of the Prime Minister's press secretary, the highly formidable and relentless Patricia Maxwell (Kristin Scott Thomas).
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Format: DVD
The Yemen is a river in the country of Yemen, which occupies the south-western corner of the Arabian Peninsula. As we know, that entire middle-eastern area is hot, dry, and arid. In this Lasse Halstrom-directed dramedy, an oil-billionaire sheik from Yemen owns several estates in Scotland and has developed a fondness for fly fishing. He dreams of a way to bring the sport to his homeland and at the same time encourage his fellow countrymen to upgrade their way of life with an improved water supply.

We loved this cast (mostly) from the UK:
* Emily Blunt ("The Devil Wears Prada") is the first person contacted by the sheik. Her job is to research the practicality of the idea and make a recommendation. To complicate matters, her fiancé is soon reported missing in (military) action in Afghanistan.
* Ewan McGregor ("Beginners") is a mid-level bureaucrat with a touch of Asperger's who loves fly fishing on weekends. When approached about the feasibility of this experiment, he makes outlandish demands, assuming that their cost will deter these foolish people. He is struck dumb when his demands are met, e.g., the engineers who designed the Three Gorges Dam in China.
* Kristen Scott Thomas ("Nowhere Boy") is a blunt, plain-spoken government official who can see the public relations advantages for news from the Mid-east that doesn't include the escalating price of petroleum or body bags. She is hilarious in this (initially) preposterous plot and provides many laugh-out-loud moments. You will LOVE her e-mails!
* Amr Waked ("The Father and the Foreigner") is the fabulously wealthy sheik with the dream. It's obvious that he is intelligent and has already studied the situation.
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Format: DVD
If you're going to see this delightful movie, the first thing you need to do is to shut down your critical faculties. Don't ask questions about the state of Ewan McGregor's marriage, or the logic of moving thousands of salmon, or the likelihood of a woman hugging an Arab sheikh in a Muslim country, or the ease with which people travel long distances, and so forth. It doesn't matter because the gentle tone of the movie - even with the satirical edge of Kristin Scott Thomas' extremely obnoxious but funny Assistant to the Prime Minister - just carries you away. It's sweet, it's charming, it's not cloying and it definitely draws you in to the story. This is the first movie I've been in a long time where the character of a Scot is a key plot element. [What was the name of the wonderful one years ago with Peter Resier (?) and Burt Lancaster as Texans looking for oil off the cost of Scotland?] Ewan McGregor gets to use his own Scots accent and is just wonderful and appealing in his role. Emily Blunt is also good, as she rolls with the plot.

If you're in the mood for a lovely, gently comic, romantic movie, this is the one.
10 Comments 67 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This is one of the best movies I've seen this year. It's fun, funny, thoughtful, well cast, great screen play.
A genuine good movie for grown ups. Not animated, not full of computer graphic cleverness, no gross gore.
Will probably purchase for personal library. Highly recommend!
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Format: DVD
Lasse Hallström, master director of such memorable films as Chocolat, The Cider House Rules, What's Eating Gilbert Grape?, The Shipping News, An Unfinished Life, Hachi: A Dog's Tale, has proven that he understands human frailty and the inherent human comedy we all experience but find so difficult to face. Working with a script by Simon Beaufoy (The Full Monty, Slumdog Millionaire, Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day, Yasmin, etc) adapted from Paul Torday's popular novel by the same name, and selecting a cast of some of our brightest and worthy character actors in the business, he has created a strange story that is at once full of political satire, relationship studies, fragile human frailties and hope, and in doing so has given us one of the surprise best films of the year.

Sheikh Muhammed (Amr Waked, a mesmerizingly fine actor) is a visionary sheik who believes that his passion for the peaceful pastime of salmon fishing can enrich the lives of his people, and he dreams of bringing the sport to the not so fish-friendly desert with the hope that he can make the desert green and a happy home for his people. He has an endless supply of money and instructs his representative Harriet (Emily Blunt) - a bright but relationship-anxious girl who has just started an affair with a soldier, Capt. Robert Mayers (Tom Mison, a dashingly handsome new face on the screen!) - to turn the dream into reality, an extraordinary feat that will require the involvement of Britain's leading fisheries expert Dr. Alfred Jones (Ewan McGregor) who happens to think the project both absurd and unachievable: the naive Alfred is an idealist whose marriage to his sold wife Mary (Rachael Stirling) is one rocky ground.
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