Near the beginning of Salmon Fishing in the Yemen, in walks Emily Blunt, playing the lead role of Harriet. My first reaction is “That girl needs to come to my place for a good feed.” Iggy might have liked to have brought the beautiful, long-legged Harriet home, too. For my part, I’ll settle on the sheik – what a gracious and interesting dinner companion he would be. And if you could stand it, you could really spice up the meal by including the awful PR woman played so brilliantly by Kristin Scott-Thomas.
This was an easy film to settle into – clearly defined good guys and bad guys, and the sort of scenery that makes you think the effort of standing in security queues would be worth it to go and visit these stunning places. The Yemen scenes shot in Morocco were especially breathtaking.
It would be easy to write the movie off as schmaltz. Our local Waikato movie critic Sam Edwards gave the movie a four star rating (higher than that offered by many online critics) – and I would agree. The plot (based on Paul Torday’s novel of the same name) was quirky and compelling. The characters – and their dialogue – were intelligent. Aspects of the human condition (Fred’s Aspergers, and Harriet’s loss of her partner to the war in Afghanistan, for example) added complexity and were fundamental to the plot. Salmon Fishing in the Yemen is unashamedly a feel-good movie – and isn’t that something to be savoured! It doesn’t have to be miserable to be good cinema.
We viewed the movie at Hamilton’s luscious Lido cinema. Afterwards, Lawson led us down a secret passage which is the short cut to the new Bryce Street restaurant complex – strangely uninhabited for a Friday night (but later we discovered there was an international rugby game on – clearly I am not a sports follower). The bars would no doubt have filled up later. Our Indian dinner was okay, I suppose, but on the bland side (three star rating). It does have to be full of flavour to be a good curry!
To be enticed by the trailer go to the You Tube clip at www.imdb.com/title/tt1441952/