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Watching the film version of a loved book can often be a difficult experience. I understand that the film has to be different to the book, simply because they are different media.
Things that can be difficult to write are often easy to show, and vice versa, and of course film is a collaborative medium with input from many people, unlike writing, which is solitary and often angst-ridden.
An excellent adaptation
This film version was written by Paul Torday, who wrote the book, and Simon Beaufoy, who wrote Slumdog Millionaire and The Full Monty, and is an excellent adaptation.
Anyone who is unfamiliar with the book and enjoys a good story based on an interesting idea will really enjoy this film.
The story of how and why salmon fishing should be introduced to the Yemen and the possible romance between the excellent Ewan McGregor and Emily Blunt move along in a very satisfactory manner.
Kristin Scott Thomas steals the show
The Sheikh is played with bravado by Amr Waked, whilst Kristin Scott Thomas steals the show with a wicked turn as a Prime Ministerial Press Officer.
The film concentrates more on the developing relationship and possible romance between the mismatched couple Alfred and Harriet and softens the political edge in the book, and it changes the ending, but it remains faithful to the spirit of the book and the leads are very sympathetic.
Great job of portraying difficult isues
Ewan McGregor is excellent and very funny as the hapless Alfred, charged with an impossible task and gradually getting caught up in it. I was most worried about how the film would portray Alfred’s odd marriage, and was delighted that the film made such a good job of it.
I came out of the film with a smile on my face. I thought it complemented the book very well, I forgave it for changing the ending so much, and it made me want to read the book again.