How frequently do you exit a movie with a lighter step and brighter smile?
From the commencement of this preposterous, inane, ridiculous scenario; riddled with absurdities, unrealistic fantasies, you smile, chuckle and wallow in the marvelous performances of Emily Blunt and Ewan McGregor, (shades of Hepburn/Tracy) as two disparate people conscripted by an idealistic, catastrophically- wealthy Sheik (delightfully sincere and believable performance by Amr Waked) who has countless dwellings, but the one in Scotland allows him to dabble in fishing; with a financial genii of such magnitude he does not have to rub very hard to satisfy his every theoretical whim.
“Harriet” (Blunt) is a management consultant working with the Sheik; without guile, but with a sprinkling of humorous, enchanting theatrical nuances she hires “Dr. Alfred Jones” (McGregor), the bland and rather doltish Scottish fisheries expert to implement the salmon oasis in the Yemen.
The allure of the film is that the preposterous becomes plausible, ridiculous morphs into reasonable, the absurd and fantastical blur into the miraculous possibility of fruition; the Sheik with a diaphanous touch of spiritualism captures and converts the imagination of Harriet, Fred and an audience, initially leery into full-fledged believers.
Kristin Scott Thomas gives an absolutely hilarious jewel of a performance as a British public relations guru who seizes upon salmon fishing in the Yemen as the perfect foil to distract the public from Britain’s role in the Afghanistan war; another notch on her spirited journey into the rarefied chambers of those whose abilities know no parameters.
“Salmon Fishing in the Yemen” is maximum entertainment; it is warm, heartening, irresistible; we root for the success of the project; but the essence and unmitigated joy is witnessing two, maybe not extraordinary, but far from ordinary individuals, believing, growing, shedding illusions, finding solutions, happiness.
THREE & 1/2 STARS!!!