Steen: Salmon Fishing in Yemen about dreaming the big dream

Salmon Fishing in Yemen

This was just delightful from start to finish. The premise: To build a salmon fishing spot in a desert area was the vision of Sheikh Muhammed, played well by Amr Waked who is himself an avid fisherman.

Against all odds the vision takes hold with the help of Dr. Alfred Jones (Scottish born, Ian McGregor), and Harriette (Emily Blunt of The Devil Wears Prada, Young Victoria and many other roles). Jones, unhappily married to Mary (Rachael Stirling, daughter of Diana Rigg), finds himself immersed in a project he thinks is ludicrous to say the least, but becomes part of the plan despite his misgivings.

Add to this a soupçon of political game playing, largely executed by the political publicity director, Bridget Maxwell, who is trying to improve Anglo-Yemeni cooperation and played just wonderfully by Kristen Scott Thomas (Gosford Park and the English Patient fame, to name just a couple. Gosford Park, by the way, is my all-time favourite show, and if you haven’t seen it and love period shows, by all means rent it.)

Written as a comic novel by British writer Paul Torday and then serialized on BBC in 2007, this award-winning book translates into a good movie and leaves the satire of the original story out of the movie.

So this really is a show about dreaming big dreams, overcoming equally big obstacles, beating the odds, adversity, love lost, love found and the chances for do-overs.

There are many great lines in this show, but one of the best had to be Maxwell, talking to the prime minister about how important it is to be conscious of the fly fishing community in Britain: “There’s two million of them out there waving their little rods around…”

This film has mystery, intrigue, romance and oh yes, 10,000 salmon. You don’t have to like fishing to enjoy this one; in fact it’s not really about fishing at all, but it is about life and dreams and love and can’t we all use a little of that.

I give this five reels for a little movie with big heart.

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