Salmon Fishing in the Yemen
I liked the romance of the story quite a lot. The scientist and the office girl meet and have no mutual attraction and no special intentions. In fact they are both involved in other relationships which is made painfully clear at the start. This initial a-fortuitous encounter becomes a relationship that blossoms into fluorescence with great yearning from the audience. I suspect from the trailer that you would expect a rather normal romance between man and woman but that becomes clearly more complicated especially when you discover they are both entangled with someone else. I wonder if trailers intentionally deceive so that that shocks of this nature are more pronounced? Yes they do!
The way the romantic leads unfold their personalities is the stuff of good cinema, engaging and tear inducing. Lasse Hallstrom has made no less than six romantic dramadies and knows how and when to pull the heart strings. Is this a first rate romantic movie with a few laughs? YES. Is this a film in which we should place our ideals? A definitive – NO.
Take Ewan McGregor’s character - a stuffy scientist that has no emotions. What?! Being a lover of science myself I take slight offense to this badgering idea that all science and scientists offer are hard facts regardless of humanity. Science can be rigid but it is also wonderful, fascinating and mind-blowing – not emotionless in the least! I also despised the insertion of the Arab who keeps telling the scientist to have faith which is such a terrible jab at science itself. Science is based on that which is the opposite of faith – fact – or in so much that we have observable evidence and experimental data. Faith is believing with no evidence at all, so trying to prove that the scientist has faith through a silly anecdote is horrendously appalling.
The Kristin Scott Thomas character is also a shameful representation of a PR person. I know from working in the music industry that PR reps have tendencies in this way – uncaring and inconsiderate – but since this movie exploits cliche after cliche of niches of public figures, I find it important to say that the writer or director’s ulterior motives are on disgusting display here. The Prime Minister is also represented as a complete buffoon which is funny but after all the unwelcome effronteries, this just becomes another annoyance. To conclude, i really liked the film as a pure cineast and lover of idealistic romance but as a thinking person, I loathed every bit of it. I kept imagining what Richard Dawkins might say if he watched this film…
Recommended Viewing: The Hoax – Beginners – Random Hearts
Robert Ryan Scale: Objective: 7.0 – Subjective: 6.8
Rotten Tomatoes: 68