Synopsis by Mark Deming
A handful of curious Brits become fish out of water when they get mixed up in the dream project of an eccentric sheikh in this satirical comedy. Emily Blunt is Harriet Chetwode-Talbot, a British businesswoman who manages the financial affairs of a wealthy but eccentric Arab named Sheikh Muhammed (Amr Waked). Muhammed's latest proposition involves paying fifty million pounds to fully stock a Yemeni river with salmon, and thus engender sport fishing in the desert region. To better gauge the feasibility of this wild plan, Harriet contacts Dr. Alfred "Fred" Jones (Ewan McGregor), a Scottish scientist who specializes in establishing fisheries. Jones shoots the plan down instantly, but soon Patricia Maxwell (Kristin Scott Thomas), the press secretary to the British prime minister, catches wind of it and sees it as the ideal way to promote better international relations between England and the Middle East, especially in light of the torrent of bad news concerning terrorism and general unrest in the Arabic countries. She does everything she can to turn Jones around. Though the scientist will have no part of it at first, he's threatened with job termination if he refuses, and then sets out to create a fully stocked lake in the middle of the desert. As Jones takes on a project that ranks somewhere between ridiculous and impossible, he also finds he's falling in love with Chetwode-Talbot, though the fact that he's married and she has a boyfriend (Tom Mison) fighting in the Middle East makes things sticky. Based on the best-selling novel by Paul Torday, Salmon Fishing in the Yemen received its world premiere at the 2011 Toronto International Film Festival.
fishing, mid-life-crisis, scientist, sheik, sport-fishing