Review – Salmon Fishing in the Yemen

If horseracing is the sport of kings, then fishing is the sport of the king’s financial advisor Nigel. It’s a pastime that may seem like a complete bore to some, but there is a fisherman in every group. People who go fishing are a passionate bunch and the is something unique about fishing that bonds all anglers, whether they drop a line off the edge of a wharf on the weekend, or wade into the shallows for a spot of fly fishing. ‘Salmon Fishing in the Yemen’ attempts to make the world a better place through the virtues of fishing and does it in a funny and heartwarming way.

Dr Alfred Jones (Ewan McGregor) is a fishing expert hired by a wealthy sheik to bring the pastime of salmon fishing to Yemen.

McGregor delivers a career best performance in ‘Salmon Fishing in the Yemen’ playing an uptight public servant. McGregor puts his comedic talents on show and also manages to put a lot of heart into his character. Emily Blunt is charming as always playing a consultant and Amr Waked is great as the visionary sheik. There are also small scene stealing moments from Conleth Hill and Kristin Scott Thomas.

Director Lasse Hallström gives the characters time to grow and allows the story play out at a nice pace with lots of humour and a few touching moments. Unfortunately, the film falls into the trap of a few romantic clichés and a touch of melodrama at times.

There are some lovely ideas floating about in the film and screenwriter Simon Beaufoy explores the idea of fishing as a tool of peace that is best displayed in many scenes involving the sheik. There are a few political subplots and a tiny bit of commentary of how a good story can be exploited for gain.

‘Salmon Fishing in the Yemen’ is a pleasant film that offers a rod and reel as a simple solution to the world’s problems.


‘Salmon Fishing in the Yemen’ is released:

Had a limited release in the US from 9 March 2012

5 April 2012 in Australia

20 April 2012 in the UK

The Popcorn Junkie