4 out of 5
Although the poster looks like a sad melodrama, this is actually a funny film. A wealthy Yemeni sheik wants to bring prosperity and progress to his people by introducing…. salmon fishing in the middle of Yemeni desert. The project is undoubtly ambitious, therefore only the best professionals are needed. He hires a financial advisor, Harriet (Emily Blunt) to lobby a fisheries expert, Jones (Ewan McGregor) to get involved in the project. Jones waves the idea as a joke at first, but hardworking Harriet finally convinces him to jump into the bandwagon – hiring the team of architects that build the Three Gorges Dam in China also helps.
British Prime Minister’s press secretary, Patricia Maxwell does not want to waste this opportunity to lift the positivity of Britain’s relationship with Islamic nations. And boy, she truly is unstoppable.
This film is adapted from a novel written by Paul Torday, which I’ve not read yet. The story is quite original and witty. Amr Waked plays the Sheik, a leader who wants nothing but prosperity for his people, but is often misunderstood. Ewan McGregor is charming as always, he is awkward (in a good way) and annoying (also in a good way) as Dr. Jones. Emily Blunt performance is good, but nothing special as Harriet the financial advisor. Her comedic performance had seen better days (Devil Wears Prada, Dan in Real Life, Wild Target). The person who truly breathes life into this film is Kristin Scott-Thomas as the deliciously bitchy, overzealous press secretary who will stop at nothing. Salmon Fishing in the Yemen is a lighthearted British comedy with smart dialogues that will entertain even if you watch it over and over again.