Salmon Fishing in the Yemen has one of those titles that recalls other titles like ‘We Bought a Zoo’ or ‘Best Exotic Marigold Hotel’ – are we seeing a trend for on-the-nose movie titles developing here? Regardless, I’m sure the producers of Salmon Fishing (as we shall abbreviate it to) will hope that their film performs just as well as the other two mentioned and, with the crushingly pretty Emily Blunt playing opposite the ever youthful Ewan McGregor, the chances of that are very good indeed.
The producers of the film are, in fact, BBC Films and Simon Beaufoy, the scribe behind The Full Monty and Slumdog Millionaire, wrote the screenplay adapted from the best selling novel of the same name. It really does seem like they’ve lined up all their ducks in a row on this one, doesn’t it? The story itself is as unusual as the title suggests: A progressive Arab sheikh employs a high flying consultant (Blunt) to help him realise his bizarre long held dream of bringing fly-fishing, as a competitive sport, to his arid deserts. Blunt in turn engages a highly sceptical strait-laced fisheries expert (McGregor) to help achieve this absurd goal. The stakes are raised further when the UK government gets wind of the scheme and sees it a great way to build diplomatic relations (embodied by the always excellent Kristin Scott-Thomas).
This one really is going to be the thinking person’s romcom, with a little drama thrown in for good measure. Both the main actors here are known for their love of the less commercial projects, peppered with the odd Star Wars or Adjustment Bureau here and there, and it’s probably fair to say they would pretty much have the pick of the projects they wanted to work on. Given some of the pre-release chatter we’ve been hearing, it looks like this could be the next ‘small’ film to do big things at the box office.
Salmon Fishing in the Yemen is released in the UK 20th April, 2012. Check out the trailer and two exclusive clips from the film: