Two small-town singers chase their pop star dreams at a global music competition, where high stakes, scheming rivals and onstage mishaps test their bond.
Director: David Dobkin
Starring: Will Ferrell, Rachel McAdams, Dan Stevens, Melissanthi Mahut, Mikael Persbrandt, Ólafur Darri Ólafsson, Graham Norton, Demi Lovato, Pierce Brosnan
Information Page: https://www.newonnetflix.info/info/80244088
I love Eurovision! I have no shame about this! Every year I watch it and tweet along with drinks and food and scoresheets and have the best night! This year everything changed, there was no Eurovision, no tweeting along, no voting and it was so missed (by me anyway, not so much by my partner!). So when I saw that Netflix was adding a film that was set during Eurovision I hoped that it would fill the void, but this is the point where I need to make a confession: I’m not Will Ferrell’s biggest fan. This meant that I really didn’t have great hopes of enjoying the film.
“Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga” starts with the Erickssong and Ericksdottir families gathered around a small black and white TV watching the Eurovision Song Contest from Brighton 1974 and Abba start singing Waterloo. We then see a young Lars Erickssong and Sigrit Ericksdottir dancing and singing along much to the embarrassment of their families. I did have a slight issue here that the filmmakers decided to use BBC footage of the contest which meant that they were watching and listening to a British commentator… Not only that but Iceland didn’t enter the song contest until 1986 and until then it wasn’t actually broadcast in Iceland (I told you: I love Eurovision).
Fast forward quite a few years and Lars (Will Ferrell) and Sigrit (Rachel McAdams) are adults who have their own band called Fire Saga who regularly play gigs at their local pub in the Icelandic town of Húsavík, where their musical talent is not fully appreciated. Lars has the ambition to one day not only represent Iceland at Eurovision but to also win Eurovision. And it is this journey that the film is about.
“Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga” feels a little bit like two films in one: the first half of the film is late-night film silly whereas the second half of the film is just comically silly albeit with some slightly more serious moments. As for the acting I have to admit that even I enjoyed the performance by Will Ferrell – he really made the character of Lars feel real, and I really wanted him and Sigrit to succeed. The performance by Pierce Brosnan as Erick Erickssong Lars’ dad was so good that I didn’t even realise it was Pierce until the end credits went up.
You can probably already guess that Fire Saga manage to get to Eurovision and the story of how that happens is quite amusing in itself – that’s in the ‘late-night comedy’ half of the film so is a little bit sillier. Once there we see a bit of character development as the duo navigate the behind-the-scenes world of Eurovision: the competitiveness of the other entrants, the technical challenges of the whole performance, the relationships between contestants and the inevitable heartbreaking realisation that there can only be one winner.
As you can probably imagine a film about the Eurovision song contest has a really good soundtrack (which I have already downloaded), and there are even some surprise performances that might excite some Eurovision fans. The only thing missing in the film was the postcards!! They could have done something so cool with these so I wish they’d been included but either way it’s still a 10/10 from me!
Altogether now: “Jaja, ding dong!”
Have you seen this film? Let us know your opinions in the comments below and of course if there are any films on Netflix UK you want us to review let us know!