I bought Salmon Fishing in the Yemen for €7 yesterday. The film was released in late ’11 in the USA and in the Spring of ’12 this side. That’s only a year ago and to have it in the supermarket in that time is mind-boggling.
This is the second film that I’ve watched twice this year, the other being The Way with Martin Sheen. And the reason for this is faith in the small ‘f’ and large is the core driver, albeit a bittersweet faith. Neither film are the usual animalistic delivery of sex and or violence.
There are four main characters Ewan McGregor, Kirstin Scott-Thomas, Amr Waked and Emily Blunt and relatively speaking a small secondary group, perhaps 50 in number. Which in this day and age is close to a miracle what with the way CGI is now deployed to generate crowd scenes.
“The bagatelle of a man with more money that sense” is a quote which shows a script written by someone why uses language and a remarkable confidence by the money men that the audience isn’t stupid and don’t need dumbed down lingo. The entire two hours are seasoned with such unusual and welcome flourishes.
This film is a gentle comedic rendition about a part of the human condition . It isn’t self-consciously driven to a family audience since the issues underlying the storyline are very complex but I believe there is an instinct within the crew that allowed such to occur. In one scene McGregor and Blunt are swimming in a river supposedly in the Yemen. This, presented as a spur of the moment thing and so they are swimming in their clothes. However Blunt emerges from a cold river with nary a sign of the coldness of the water. It in fact strikes a rather raw discordance in what is an otherwise beautifully danced ballet. There is one sex scene, if that’s what you’d call it. But it certainly wouldn’t frighten the horses. In fact, I doubt kids younger than 19 would know that was what occurred. But it isn’t that sexual awareness isn’t part of the film, it is.
All-in-all, I think this is a comedy which deserved the name of comedy. It pokes gentle fun at certain aspects of our society. It is wry by times, and profoundly sad in others. I think this will be a slow burn type of film, one that people will keep. It is the type of film that could be pulled out for a visit of the grand-aunt or hard-core college friends.
To say the scenery behind the action is spectacular is an understatement. Between the Highlands of Scotland and the Atlas Mountains of Morocco I suspect the director was utterly spoilt for choice. There is one shot near the end of the film where the camera is atop a mountain in Morocco looking down upon the closing of one love and the opening of another where a white SUV driving away with the rejected lover. Who is driving away without regret, one might believe. Anyways, it will certainly be a film I’ll pull out again over the years.
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