Don’t be fooled by the title Salmon Fishing in the Yemen because this is not fishing movie, but instead a story about love and faith with some fine fishing moments on the side.
A wealthy sheik (Amr Waked) wishes to bring his favorite pastime of fly fishing for salmon to the deserts of Yemen and enlists his assistant Harriet (Emily Blunt) to approach the British government to discuss his proposal. Press Secretary for the Prime Minister Patricia Maxwell (Kirsten Scott Thomas), who always appears to have had nasty for breakfast, finds the absurd request to be a fine opportunity to reflect the troubles of the Middle East into a positive situation and advises the fisheries department to acquiesce. Dr. Alfred Jones (Ewan McGregor) is assigned by his boss to bring 10, 000 salmon to the Yemen and assist the sheik on the project. The problem is where do you get 10,000 North Atlantic salmon? Jones who initially rejected the feasibility of the project, develops a relationship with the amiable fly fishing sheik and along with the help of Harriet decides to bring in 10,000 farm fed salmon. The real question is that once the salmon are put in the river, will they actually swim upstream to spawn?
Dr. Jones and Harriet develop a relationship away from their significant others and the romantic interest come into play; but when Harriet’s war hero boyfriend, who was initially thought to be missing in action returns from the dead, difficulties arise.
The sheik, on the other hand, has problems of his own. The fundamentalists of the Yemen feel he is westernizing the country and they want nothing to do with it. The actual intent of the project is to bring agriculture and jobs to the country, but the sheik’s opponents don’t see it that way.
Being a fisherman I enjoyed the parts where the sheik and Dr. Jones bonded while fly fishing. In one such scene, the sheik advises Dr. Jones “for a fisherman, the only virtues are patience, tolerance, and humility.” I guess the same could be said about life itself. This is a very good movie: See it!
My Rating: 4 out of 5 Fly Cast.