Amr Waked stars in British hit 'Salmon Fishing in the Yemen'

Ahram Online and Reuters, Thursday 8 Mar 2012

Rave reviews for film adaptation of cult book 'Salmon Fishing in the Yemen' to be released Friday, 9 March starring Egyptian actor Amr Waked and Hollywood favourite, Ewan McGregor


Egyptian actor Amr Waked joins Academy Award nominees Emily Blunt and Ewan McGregor in British romantic comedy "Salmon Fishing in the Yemen", which is to be released Friday in cinemas across the USA.

An adaptation of Paul Torday's novel, "Salmon Fishing in the Yemen" is about a fisheries expert Dr Alfred Jones (McGregor) who is asked by Sheikh Mohammed  (Waked) to bring salmon fishing to the country's desserts.

It was shot back in August 2010 in Morocco and Scotland under the direction of award-wining Swedish filmmaker Lasse Hallström, whose previous features include "Chocolat" and "The Cider House Rules."

The film's overall theme explores turning impossible circumstances into a reality and surprisingly is not just about fishing in the Middle East, says screenwriter Simon Beaufoy.

Emily Blunt says, "I think I was struck by it, I was sort of intrigued. This title is so intriguing. When I started to read it, I just thought it was the most beautiful story, and it seemed to be carving out a new space in storytelling. You do look for that, it is quite rare that you find a script that's not generic."

Ewan McGregor says, "He's a really unhappy man at the beginning of the film. He's in an unhappy marriage, he's kind of myopic about his science, he's not interested in anything. He doesn't have any dreams and he doesn't believe that dreams can be achieved. And through working with the rich sheikh who wants to introduce the sport, salmon fishing, to the desert of the Yemen, the layers of that repression start to peel away and he allows love into his life for the first time when he meets Harriet Chetwode-Talbot, played by Emily Blunt."

"Salmon Fishing in the Yemen" first premiered at the 2011 Toronto International Film Festival where it received great reviews. According to the LA Times, the film "lifts your spirits, leaves you feeling good about life and even better about the movies." Film critic Betsy Sharkey described the Hollywood blockbuster to be an uplifting project, "Leaving you feeling good about life," she says. Sharkey also described Waked as "terrific" for his performance in the film.

Salmon Fishing in the Yemen" will be officially released 9 March in USA, the date for release in Egypt is to be confirmed.

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