Blu-ray Review: Salmon Fishing in the Yemen

Salmon Fishing in the Yemen Blu-ray boxSTUDIO: Sony | DIRECTOR: Lasse Hallstrom | CAST: Emily Blunt, Ewan McGregor, Kirsten Scott Thomas, Amr Waked
BLU-RAY & DVD RELEASE DATE: 7/17/2012 | PRICE: DVD $30.99, Blu-ray $35.99
BONUSES: featurettes
SPECS: PG-13 | 107 min. | Romance | 2.40:1 aspect ratio | 5.1 DTS-HD audio | English, Spanish subtitles

RATINGS (out of 5 dishes): Movie | Audio | Video | Overall

Salmon Fishing in the YemenEmily Blunt (Wild Target) and Ewan McGregor (Haywire) are delightful in Salmon Fishing in the Yemen, but its the movie’s story of faith and never giving up that’s truly enchanting.

Based on the award-winning novel by Paul Torday, the British film tells the unlikely romance story of a fisheries expert (McGregor) and a consultant (Blunt) who’s charged with making a sheik’s (Amr Waked, Syriana) dream come true. A fan of salmon fishing, the sheik wants to bring his favorite sport to the desert in Yemen.

But it’s not just a selfish dream for him. The sheik also wants to bring back some of the water that once made the area tropical so the people who live there can farm.

The idea is, of course, preposterous to McGregor’s straightforward and practical Dr. Alfred Jones, but when the U.K. government’s P.R. pusher (Kristin Scott Thomas, The Horse Whisperer) gets wind of the idea, she sees the perfect opportunity to boost Anglo-Middle East relations. And Dr. Jones and Blunt’s Harriet are tasked with making the impossible happen.

The film has a lot going on, with the development of salmon fishing in the Yemen, Scott Thomas’ manipulations, and the budding romance between Blunt and McGregor — especially as both are in other relationships at the start of the film. But director Lasse Hallstrom (Chocolat) and the screenplay by Simon Beaufoy (127 Hours) weave all the threads well to keep viewers interested.

The action stretches from in the busy building-filled London, the lush Scotland and the dry desert, and all look wonderful in Blu-ray ‘s high-definition.

The movie’s performances are great, with a shout-out to Waked, who is luminous as the inspirational sheik, and Scott Thomas, who plays her quite despicable character with brilliant comedy.

Hallstrom comments on Scott Thomas’ wonderful sense of comedy in the making-of featurette on the disc. He jokingly says the actress doesn’t believe she can do comedy, but her own sense of humor comes across well in her interviews and we can see she does indeed have a good sense of timing.

The featurette, one of two on the disc, offers a chance to see the actors as themselves having fun on the set. All seem relaxed and more sincerely enjoying themselves than in many of these types of segments.

The other featurette shows an interview with novelist Torday talking about his inspiration for the book. The older writer is charming, and this featurette a nice addition to the Blu-ray.

That’s it for special features, but the movie is the prize all by itself.


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About S. Clark

Sam Clark is the former Managing Editor/Online Editor of Video Business magazine. With 19 years experience in journalism, 12 in the home entertainment industry, Sam has been hooked on movies on since she saw E.T. then stared into the sky waiting to meet her own friendly alien. Thanks to her husband’s shared love of movies, Sam reviews Blu-ray discs in a true home theater, with a 118-inch screen, projector and cushy recliners with cup holders.