It’s not easy seeing many many many movies a year and definitely not easy on the wallet.
Thankfully, movie studios want to create the proverbial “buzz” and as such, screens movies early for audiences who will hopefully love the movie and tell everyone they know to go see it. Needless to say, I see a free movie whenever I can.
An odd little story about a Sheikh in Yemen who is so enamored of salmon fishing in Scotland, that he wants to devote 50 million GBP to bringing the sport to his own country as a way to better the lives of his people. This of course seems like a folly at best, but his money buys him the attention of Ewan McGregor’s Dr. Alfred Jones an ichthyologist and Emily Blunt’s character, unlikely named Harriet Chetwode-Talbot, the Sheikh’s financial adviser.
Naturally the British government gets involved, embodied by Kristin Scott Thomas who brings a wicked snap to her dialog that was both offensive and endearing.
While this is a story about faith in the impossible, in one’s self, in others, this isn’t the “feel good story of the year” sort of movie. It’s funny. Really funny. Like, I was honestly surprised at how funny this movie was. And apart from the few requisite romantic and cheesy scenes like swimming in the Yemen in the moonlight, the movie doesn’t seem steeped in useless sentiment.
Both Blunt’s and McGregor’s characters are extremely likable, even though McGregor’s character can hover on the border of Asperger’s. And as the Sheikh, Amr Waked manages to be both mystical and grounded, providing the right touch of exotic without becoming a total stereotype.
I never really thought a movie would make me care whether a fish lived or died, but Salmon Fishing in the Yemen proves there’s a first time for everything.
(I should also add that there were free desserts and coffee courtesy of The Cooking Show at the Rustic Kitchen in Boston. Many thanks for the mini-fruit tart!)