Salmon Fishing in the Yemen

American romantic comedy-drama, 103 minutes, 2011
You know that feeling when you are watching a movie for the first time and can't help thinking 'gosh I've seen that thing a thousand times, why they couldn't have come up with something new?' Well, 'Salmon Fishing in the Yemen' is definitely NOT that kind of film.
Despite its popular genre, director Lasse Hallstörm's opus manages to be highly entertaining and refreshingly original at the same time. Perfect choice for a boring autumn afternoon if you want to stir up your day a little bit. It can be seen alone, on a date or with your family: it simply can't go wrong no matter what.

You find the title intriguing ? Well, that lovable eccentricity gives the very core of the film ("It's like we are part of a huge practical joke" - says Harriet in one scene, and mostly that's how the spectator feels while watching the movie). The characters are rather peculiar to say the least: the visionary sheikh (Amr Waked), the awkward professor (Ewan McGregor), the fearsome press officer (Kristin Scott Thomas), and Harriet (Emily Blunt), the 'girl next door', a typical British woman: not too glamorous, maybe a bit stiff on the outside, but there's a lot more to her on the inside (she can speak fluent Mandarin !).

The cast is very well picked, and audiences will long remember Kristin Scott Thomas, who is admirable, scary and hilarious at the same time in her role of a crazy press officer. She has most memorable lines and you are likely to laugh out loud many times during her scenes.

In fact it is a most recommended film for cinema therapy: besides the fun-factor there is something really soothing and relaxing about it. In one scene the sheikh tells the professor why he loves fishing so much: because it teaches people how to be humble, patient and persistent. The paradox in the movie title also refers to the restless nature of men: to this unquenchable desire of creating something new, something unheard-of. "I want to create all this to glorify God, and to bring our tribes together. But I wonder if in the end it does not actually glorify men"- says the sheikh about his salmon fishing project. You know there's a poem by Transylvanian author Sándor Kányádi about pursuing our dreams: it tells the story of a young man, chasing two wild horses out on the prairie. One of the horses suddenly stops and transforms into a beautiful girl. But the man ignores her and keeps on chasing the other horse, which remains out of his reach forever. I think 'Salmon Fishing in the Yemen' tells us about this unique ability of doing the unexpected, the irrational: something that makes us deeply human.

kunyikk
2019.09.03
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