Salmon Fishing in the Yemen (2011)

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Released 16-Aug-2012

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Romantic Comedy Trailer-x 3 but not for this film
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 2011
Running Time 102:45
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (48:59) Cast & Crew
Start Up Ads Then Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Lasse Hallström
Studio
Distributor

Roadshow Home Entertainment
Starring Amr Waked
Emily Blunt
Catherine Steadman
Tom Mison
Ewan McGregor
Rachael Stirling
Case ?
RPI ? Music Dario Marianelli


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
English for the Hearing Impaired Dolby Digital 2.0
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 2.40:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 2.35:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English Descriptive Audio Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

     Sheikh Muhammed (Amr Waked) of Yemen loves fly fishing at his estate in Scotland and has a plan: build a dam and salmon tanks in Yemen and create a river in which the fish can run and spawn. He seeks the assistance of the British government fisheries expert Dr. Alfred Jones (Ewan McGregor) through his representative in London Harriet Chetwode-Talbot (Emily Brunt) but Alfred thinks it is a hair-brained idea and declines to be involved. However, the UK Prime Minister’s Press Officer Patricia Maxwell (Kristin Scott Thomas) has other ideas when she hears of the project. There has been only bad press coming out of the British involvement in Afghanistan and she seizes on the opportunity of any co-operation between the UK and an Arab nation. The Yemeni / UK joint venture is on, with Yemeni money of course.

     Reluctantly Albert begins to work on the project. His marriage to Mary (Rachael Stirling) is cold and lifeless and Harriet’s soldier boyfriend Robert (Tom Mison) has been posted as missing in action in Afghanistan, so the two become drawn to each other. They travel to Yemen where, against all the odds, the project seems on the cusp of success. But on the day the project is officially opened saboteurs strike while Robert, returned from Afghanistan alive, makes a surprise visit. All involved must make decisions about what is most important in their lives.

     Salmon Fishing in the Yemen is adapted from the book of the same name by Paul Torday (which I have not read). The film’s screenplay was written by Simon Beaufoy, also responsible for The Full Monty (1997) and Slumdog Millionaire (2008), and it was directed by Lasse Hallstrom (The Shipping News (2001), Chocolat (2000)); it should be no surprise therefore that Salmon Fishing in the Yemen is a whimsical, light-hearted, sentimental comedy; romance – with fish! There are no villains here, even those who seek to sabotage the project have understandable motives, while everyone in the romantic plot is so incredibly civilized, with never a harsh word. Real life this is not! In the film there is also a slight suggestion of a satirical edge and a deeper meaning, that fishing is a social leveller and an act of faith, and that the Sheikh is trying to benefit his people by bringing water to the desert. But this does not last long in what is essentially a romantic comedy and the conclusion is never in doubt. The film looks good, courtesy of Scottish and Moroccan locations, has some witty dialogue (”if he wants to throw away money, buy a football team” mutters Alfred), and both Ewan McGregor and Emily Brunt do what is required, although in truth neither is stretched. However the standout is Kristin Scott Thomas, who is fabulous as the manipulative and acidic press officer and effortless steals every scene she is in.

     Salmon Fishing in the Yemen is a whimsical, feel-good, romantic comedy, with a good cast, good scenery and a lot of fish.

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Transfer Quality

Video

     Salmon Fishing in the Yemen is presented in an aspect ratio of 2.40:1. The original theatrical ratio is 2.35:1, and the film is 16x9 enhanced.

     There is nothing wrong with the print, although it is nothing special either. It is crisp enough, on the soft side although clarity and detail is fine. Colours are generally soft and muted. Contrast is good but sometimes brightness is on the light side, which does affect skin tones. There was a touch of low level noise in the one darker scene, but blacks and shadow detail were fine. Other than the odd slight ghosting (see 25:26 for an example) and shimmer in the closing titles, artefacts were not present.

     The English subtitles for the hearing impaired are in a largish white font and are easy to read. They seem to follow the dialogue closely and I did not notice any spelling or grammatical errors in the portion I sampled.

     The layer change at 48:59 resulted in a slight pause.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

     Audio is an English Dolby Digital 5.1 at 448 Kbps plus an English descriptive audio Dolby Digital 2.0 at 224 Kbps for the vision impaired.

     The audio track is fine, although it is not required to do a lot in the film. Dialogue is easy to hear and understand. The surrounds do not get much to do, mostly music and ambient sound. In the Yemeni sequence they perked up a bit with helicopter engines including a pan across the sound stage at one point. The sub-woofer only really came to live during the sabotage sequence.

     The descriptive audio is in a neutral male voice.

    Lip synchronisation was fine.

     The original score by Dario Marianelli is lush and romantic, suiting the film well.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

     On start-up the following trailers play and need to be skipped: Friends with Kids (2:25), Magic Mike (2:24) and Hope Springs (2:21). These cannot be selected from the menu.

     There are no other extras.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

     The US Region 1 release of Salmon Fishing in the Yemen is basically similar to ours but includes two short extra features, a “Behind the scenes (13:07) and a feature on Paul Torday (3:15). The Region 2 UK version will be released on 3 September 2012; details are unknown. On this basis the US release seems the better as it has extras, although they are not extensive.

Summary

     Salmon Fishing in the Yemen, adapted from the book of the same name by Paul Torday and starring Ewan McGregor, Emily Brunt and a fabulous Kristin Scott Thomas, is a whimsical, light-hearted, sentimental comedy; romance – with fish!

     The video and audio are fine. Three trailers for other films are the only extras.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Ray Nyland (the bio is the thing)
Tuesday, August 21, 2012
Review Equipment
DVDSony BDP-S580, using HDMI output
DisplayLG 55inch HD LCD. This display device has not been calibrated. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.
Audio DecoderNAD T737. This audio decoder/receiver has not been calibrated.
AmplificationNAD T737
SpeakersStudio Acoustics 5.1

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