Dr. Alfred Jones (played by Ewan McGregor) is a mild-mannered scientist and academic in the British Department of Fisheries who is passionate about fly fishing, specifically salmon fishing. He is a published researcher who spends his days with his books, his fly-tying and his fishing paraphernalia. He is approached by Harriet Chetwode-Talbot (by Emily Blunt) whose client Sheik Mohammed of Yemen (by Amr Waked) is a keen salmon fisherman with several estates in Scotland where he fly-fishes reularly. He has the strong desire (and financial wherewithal) to introduce salmon fishing into his home country of Yemen and he has engaged Harriet to investigate the feasibility of such a scheme. At first, Alfred is dismissive of the “hair-brained” notion, but due to political and public relations pressures, the British Prime Minister soon decides this project should have top priority so he puts his most senior PR Executive Patricia Maxwell (by Kristin Scott Thomas) onto the job to make sure it happens, with all the accompanying positive media exposure, Alfred finds himself reluctantly involved. Both he and Harriet are forced together to make this project work and each is also happy for the distraction as things in their personal lives are not running smoothly. As the project begins to take shape and seem like it may actually be possible, Alfred discovers he has a passion for it – and for Harriet. But, as expected, the course of true love doesn’t run smoothly and neither does the establishment of a salmon run in Yemen …..
This is a sweet movie with wonderful cinematography that showcases the stunning Scottish countryside as well as the stark beauty of Yemen. As always, Ewan is wonderful as the timid Dr Alfred Jones and his deadpan humour is exquisite. Emily Blunt is perfect as Harriet – she is beautiful, intelligent, worldly-wise and also a little vulnerable so her world can seem steady one minute and rocky the next. They are a good balance here. The devillishly handsome Egyptian actor Amr Waked does a fine job – he is totally authentic and believable as a realistic but super rich Sheik. Kristin Scott Thomas’ performance as Patricia Maxwell is delicious and she brings a welcome edge to this story. It’s entertaining and does leave you with a warm feeling in the end.
The movie is an adaptation of the satirical novel by Paul Torday.
Made in 2012. Directed by Lasse Hallstrom