Top positive review
Marvellous Comedy with Feel Good Factor
28 April 2018
This is a delightfully offbeat comedy about... well, about salmon fishing in Yemen. A fantastically wealthy Arab sheikh (Amr Waked) has fallen in love with salmon fishing in Scotland. And now he has hired an investment firm to find out about the feasibility of establishing salmon in the mountainous regions of his home country.
Harriet (Emily Blunt) is determined to get the sheikh what he wants. When the dour Scottish fisheries expert Dr Alfred Jones (Ewan McGregor) rather condescendingly declares the project "fundamentally unfeasible", she brushes aside his arguments with endearing optimism and the help of the sheikh's deep pockets. Add to that the Prime Minister's press officer (Kristin Scott Tomas) desperately searching for a good news story from the Middle East (and the obligatory romance) and the scene is set for much hilarity.
The script is excellent and the actors do it justice. Emily Blunt is cast, somewhat against type, as a nicey-nice and overly positive career woman, a real people pleaser, which is refreshing. The chemistry between her and Ewan McGregor is just perfect as they play off each other, initially bickering, but gradually becoming much closer. Kristin Scott Thomas, on the other hand, is just too delicious as the devious and conniving queen of spin for the government. She introduces a welcome hint of satire into a film that might otherwise have been just a little too syrupy. And while I had never heard of Amr Waked, he does a great job at making the sheikh likable and a visionary rather than an egocentric fantasist. It's nice to see an Arab actor cast in the role.
Yeah, it's a rather marvellous little film that should keep anybody happily entertained for the afternoon or evening. Highly recommended.
The DVD has subtitles for those who may need them. Also included are the following extra features:
- Miracles Happen: Making Salmon Fising in the Yemen
- The Fisherman in the Middle East: Novelist Paul Torday