Salmon Fishing in the Yemen
Despite that horrendous title (OK, it's a metaphor, I get it) and the fact that it comes from the director of more than one Nicolas Sparks adaptation, this quaint little production actually manages to sporadically engage. Sure, that could come with the lowered expectations of having such a crap title, or from the aforementioned helmer specialising in schmaltz; but while the storyline is the very definition of simplistic, the characters still manage to engage.
McGregor is a pedantic scientist specialising in all things fish related, who is tasked with a seemingly impossible challenge of building and running a man made reservoir of sorts for a bunch of salmon to piss around in. See, a very rich sheik has hired Emily Blunt to hire someone like him to do just that - which he does after many exhalations of breath. Naturally, the two grow closer; even if McGregor's guy appears to be more Rain Man than Iron Man. Hey, I said the plot was simple...
There's something inherently breezy about this unfussy production that just helps it engage. It really just skates past you, never really stepping out of second gear long enough to register, but still managing to work. When the setting moves from UK to The Middle East, it certainly helps enliven things a little, but even then it hardly musters a heartbeat.
Why it does work, all be it slighty, is down to the pairing of McGregor and Blunt - two immensely charming performers, actually getting to do their jobs in their own accents. It's weird hearing McGregor in particular speak with his native brogue, as crazy as that sounds, but he gives his guy layers that the script only ever really hints at. The change in his character is fairly swift, but the Scottish actor makes it pass off without much notice. Blunt is typically adorable; almost instantly likeable and warm from the moment she's on screen.
Describing Salmon Fishing in the Yemen in the most apt way would probably involve a shrug of the shoulders followed by "It's grand," which it is.
Story by Mike Sheridan | 17:00 | Wednesday 22nd August 2012 | DVD review
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