I seem to be in a Ewan McGregor phase of my life, because I keep being drawn to movies with him in them. Or perhaps it is the type of film he chooses to be in these days, either way I was happily surprised with this offbeat movie about trying to raise salmon in the Yemen River. I’m sure it was also the upstream journey of faith to make the impossible possible.
First of all, I enjoyed watching Ewan play a native Scotsman. Love that accent. And then I liked the way Ewan played Mr. Science. I always enjoy the juxtapositioning of the scientific (“Are you crazy? This cannot possibly be done!”) with the pathological optimism of Emily Blunt, the financial advisor to a wealthy Yemeni sheikh. This highly unlikely team somehow makes this project feasible, while softening each others’ rough edges.
I think it is so important to see characters change emotionally throughout a movie, and these portrayals seemed somehow believable in spite of the ridiculous goal of their project.
I also thought Ewan’s portrayal of a midlife man in crisis came across as quite believable. He had a serviceable, but certainly not a happy marriage, which he did not fully recognize until he developed a deeper relationship with the Emily Blunt character. In other words, they both grew emotionally as they tried to create an impossible dream together.
OK, so the whole thing was made-up and overall crazy — I enjoyed the fantasy all the same.