Film Review: SALMON FISHING IN THE YEMEN

"I enjoyed every minute of this Romantic comedy" ... Naomi

BEFORE THE MOVIE ...

On my way to the cinema, waiting on the platform, I am taken by the silence. I look around and there is no life in sight, no cars passing by and no birds squawking. "That's odd, has there been an alien invasion? Of course they missed me!" I scan the tracks imagining a four-headed alien loping toward me - a close up of my face as my piercing scream fills the void - cut to silence. I shiver. And then the train slowly rolls in and lurches to a halt. I get on. But something is amiss and I freeze, the carriage is empty. Too late to back out now, I shake it off, "I'll be fine, if I have to live underground in a bunker, hiding from aliens, for the next 10 years, at least I'm wearing sturdy leather boots." But no, I'm not going to a sci-fi film preview, I'm going to a Romantic comedy by talented Swedish Director LASSE HALLSTROM  ... Naomi

WHAT IS 'SALMON FISHING IN THE YEMEN' ABOUT? ...

A stuffy Fisheries and Agriculture scientist, EWAN MCGREGOR, is approached with an idea to introduce salmon to the Yemen. Although he balks at the idea, as part of a political game he's appointed to oversee the project. For the greater good, he's drawn in by the charismatic and imaginative Yemeni Sheikh and his attractive representative. The movie-makers comment on faith versus science and the theatre of politics and there is salmon fishing of course, but this film is a lovely romantic comedy.

Salmon Fishing in the Yemen

LEFT ME FEELING ...

Pretty damn good, this thought provoking film is refreshing, witty and heartening. The comedy is broad in the beginning and then cleverly placed as the film moves into the romance and drama of the story.

KEEP AN EYE OUT FOR ...

The scenic locations and Amr Waked, a huge star in Egypt - my 'movie preview friend' was all swoony when we left the cinema, I was looking for a bucket of ice to throw over her.

Salmon Fishing in the Yemen

WATCH WITH ...

A date, your girl/boyfriends and any family old enough to see a rated M movie. There's no wild sex or profanity.

WHO'S IN IT ...

Ewan McGregor, always adorable, here he makes you laugh and care, but two other male players, Amr Waked and Tom Mison, are also extremely charismatic and not hard to look at. Nice casting, thankyou. Emily Blunt is a perfect match for the men and Kristin Scott Thomas, brings a whole lot of laughs.

Salmon Fishing in the Yemen

COMMENTS FROM PRODUCER, PAUL WEBSTER ...

The production's water problems arrived in Morocco. "Cue flash flood number one: unprecedented rain in the highlands of the Atlas mountains leading to a tidal wave which swept away our set, which was then duly rebuilt and once again it was swept away. Fortunately, the floods were always in the middle of the night so no harm was done but then seven days before the actors arrived in Morocco to shoot, the set was swept away again, by a 12‐foot wall of water"

Once the production arrived in Morocco and was set to film, there was no water at all. "We had all this water with the floods, but all the wrong kind of water and at the wrong time. It just washed everything away and left us with no time to do the original plan of drilling down and getting our own water. There's a scene with Fred and Harriet swimming in the river. In fact, they were swimming in about 18 inches of water as that's all we could get!"

A FEW OF THE FILM MAKERS ...

Screenwriter: SIMON BEAUFOY (who also wrote Slumdog Millionaire)

The script is based on the book by PAUL TORDAY

Producer: PAUL WEBSTER

Co Producer: NICKY KENTISH-BARNES

Director: LASSE HALLSTROM

Director of Photography: TERRY STACEY

Production Design: MICHAEL CARLIN (Also studied sculpture in Perth & Sydney)

Editor: LISA GUNNING

Costume Design: JULIAN DAY

Music: DARIO MARIANELLI

Executive Producer: Jamie Laurenson and Paula Jalfon (BBC Films), Zygi Kamasa (Lionsgate UK) and Guy Avshalom (Lionsgate UK)

FACTS ...

112 minutes. Rated M.

All the extras in Scotland, who form the Sheikh's entourage, are from Britain's small Yemeni population.

IT'S A WRAP ...

Missing the early train home to check lost property for my friends jacket, left in the cinema last week, but it's been snatched by a cheap crook ... such crappy form!

Finally I disembark from the train, with streams of glassy eyed people, wondering where they had all surfaced from. The aliens must have done experimenting, maybe left them implanted with alien seed. Had I finally slipped into madness? Walk briskly Naomi, but don't freak out, affect that red-eyed stare... don't let the beasts know they missed me...

Images: Salmon Fishing in the Yemen.   Copyright © 2012 - No unauthorised copying or publication without express permission