Last night, I watched the new Will Ferrell film Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga on Netflix. I mostly enjoyed it. There’s the short review.
Will Ferrell plays Lars, an Icelandic man with childhood dreams of entering and winning the Eurovision Song Contest. His Abba-inspired, elf-worshiping friend Sigrit (played by Rachel McAdams), joins him in a local band called Fire Saga. Lars’ father (played by Pierce Brosnan) is a widowed fisherman who is routinely embarrassed by his son.
You could probably make a complaint about Hollywood casting. Ferrell and McAdams are supposed to be lifelong friends, but there’s a ten-year age difference in real life. Ferrell looks closer in age to Brosnan (who’s fifteen years older than him) than to McAdams. It only works because everybody does good in their roles.
Through a series of random, unlikely events, Fire Saga become the Icelandic representatives for the annual Eurovision song contest. This is an actual event that is held (exempting this year because of covid-19). As a musician, I found the musical parts of the movie are the most satirical. It’s amazing to see all these different countries represented from all over the world, each with their own unique culture, language and folklore. How do they represent themselves on an international stage? By trying to sing a middle-of-the road pop song in English. These songs are almost indistinguishable from one another. The only thing that makes them interesting is the performances which border on Cirque du Soleil at times.
The movie is a bit more kindhearted than I might have expected from Ferrell, possibly because there’s more of an affection for the subject of the movie than there might be if he were younger. I won’t say it’s a great or even good movie, but it’s breezy enough that you’ll forgive its’ dead giveaways and plotholes.