Sunday, April 01, 2012
Salmon Fishing in the Yemen
If you're not sure how any of these questions will resolve themselves then you've never seen a film directed by Lasse Hallstrom, champion of the pleasant and classy. I refer you to Chocolat or Something to Talk About, films that work very hard to take the audience on a journey that ends in the place you'd most expect. Hallstrom gets a hand here from his leads; McGregor is quite good as a man slowly waking up to life and Blunt gets to play a too-often hidden vulnerable side. As the Shiekh Amr Waked does provide a hint of something wilder. There's a glint in Waked's eye that makes us wonder just how far the Shiekh is reaching for his dream. (The Shiekh's anti-Western enemies are never individualized.) Salmon Fishing in the Yemen, full of beautifully shot Scottish countryside, will transport audiences but only so far. The charm of its people makes two hours go down easily, but I wanted a little more of that salmon-loving Shiekh.