IF you are not a fisherman, it's hard to get excited about fish.
But if you are prepared to take the bait, the light hearted Salmon Fishing In The Yemen might just get you rooting for the under-fish.
Succinctly summed up in the title the plot follows a wealthy sheikh who is determined to introduce salmon fishing into the Yemen.
He employs skeptical scientist Dr. Fred Jones (Ewan McGregor) from the Department Of Fisheries And Agriculture as well as PR wizard Harriet Chetwode-Talbot (Emily Blunt) to help him achieve his dream.
But it is more than just a film about fishing and scaly creatures.
It is a tale of faith, of hope about reaching for a dream and clinging onto it despite all odds. It is also a tale of finding happiness in unexpected places.
The script casts its net wide and mixes political satire with dry humor and romance: throw in an assassination plot and it's quite a lively, varied catch.
McGregor is loveable as obsessive, cardigan loving Fred who appears to have a slight case of aspergers making him a fish out of water around the glamorous and personable Harriet.
Blunt is a superb blend of comedy and heart and the odd pair have a strange but comfortable chemistry with the two bouncing off each other like comedy pros.
While it is a cute love story, their relationship is far more complicated than it first appears and with the baggage each character carries it is a little hard to root for their romance.
It is Kristin Scott Thomas who steals the show and is just brilliant as the ruthless fast-talking spin doctor.
She owns each scene, barking orders with military precision.
While the film's strength is its combination of comedy and touching dramatic moments, the comedy-drama balance shifts a little too often leaving both feeling slightly shaky and unbalanced.
The murder plot and deeper martial problems don't gel with the light moments and detract too much from the central story.
Despite this, it is still an enjoyable film that demonstrates that a dream is just a reality waiting to happen.
Salmon Fishing In The Yemen
- Stars: Ewan McGregor, Emily Blunt, Kristin Scott Thomas
- Director: Lasse Hallstom
- Rated: M
- Verdict: 3 out of 4 stars
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