Eurovision superfans missed out on this year’s flamboyant contest set to grace the streets of Rotterdam, Netherlands. In 64 years, this is the only year the show has not gone on. Fear not, if you are in need of your annual Eurovision fix, there’s a full-on Will Ferrell comedy tribute to Eurovision on Netflix. Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga, directed by David Dobkin, comes at just the right time (and the film is just as ridiculous as it sounds).
The film focuses on Fire Saga, an ABBA inspired Icelandic pop duo, made up of Lars (Will Ferrell) and Sigrit (Rachel McAdams), and their journey to making their Eurovision dreams a reality. Pierce Brosnan makes an appearance as Lars’ disapproving father, thankfully not singing. Brosnan’s appearance acts as a nod to his role in the ABBA musical Mamma Mia, which seems like a relatively tame film in comparison to this.
Written by both Will Ferrell and Andrew Steele, the comedic intent is not quite up to scratch and takes its form in large-scale slapstick mishaps often orchestrated by the egotistical Lars. In fact, Lars’ irritating and outlandish personality detracts laughs more than it compels them. Lars’ more successful rival is the Russian contestant and favourite Alexander Lemtov (Dan Stevens), whose overconfident borderline arrogant personality steals the show away from Ferrell and McAdams. Stevens’ character lights up the sometimes-sluggish plot with his endless bravado, literal flames and the fiery punch of ‘Lion of Love’ a campy performance that is entirely Eurovision.
Whilst some of the jokes fell flat, the songs hit the right note. Molly Sandén stepped in for McAdam’s singing parts, fluidly carrying the Eurovision power ballad forward. The songs are brilliant and entirely fitting for Eurovision, the song Husavik is incredibly convincing and probably could have won Eurovision – outside of the film’s outrageous plot. The memorable songs are composed by a number of very talented musicians, including Savan Kotecha who has written for Ariana Grande and The Weeknd.
Like soundwaves, Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga peaks and troughs lacking any real consistency in the plot movement, but has flickers of very funny moments.
The scores are in, Ferrell’s film doesn’t get douze points, however just for the sheer ridiculousness, warming Eurovision essence and hummable tunes, it certainly does not get the dreaded nul points.
Image Credit: TheMovieDB