After seeing the Swedish supergroup ABBA on TV, two kids from Iceland make it their lifelong goal to win the Eurovision Song Contest, the largest singing competition in all of Europe. The actual Eurovision Song Contest has been held annually since 1956.
Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga is a new comedy from Netflix. Will Ferrell stars as Lars Erickssong, an obsessed wannabe singer, and Rachel McAdams as Sigrit Ericksdottir, Lars bandmate and naive school teacher who believes elves will make all her dreams come true. The story is written by Ferrell and veteran Saturday Night Live writer Andrew Steele. This is the second film Ferrell and Steele have worked on together, the first being the 2012 comedy Casa de mi Padre. The directors chair is taken by David Dobkin, who is known for his 2014 crime, drama The Judge.
Lars and Sigrit have the support of no one but each other. Lars stone-faced father, played by Pierce Brosnan, looks him in the eye and tells him, “I am ashamed of you and you might think I am drunk, but I am dead sober.” Ouch! Sigrit’s mother tells her she will never find success or happiness if she stays with Lars. The townspeople only want to hear them sing “Jaja Ding Dong”. Iceland’s nominating committee describes them as “old”, “terrible”, and “disgusting”. One member even says “I hate them.” Even faced with all this negativity, Lars is hell bent on winning Eurovision to the point that he is blind to the fact that Sigrit has feelings for him that are more than just friendship.
It was pure luck (or was it fate) that Fire Saga was even selected to have a chance to go to Eurovision. After a disastrous audition that got more laughs than applause, tragedy strikes Iceland’s top choice Katiana, played by Demi Lovato, Iceland has “no choice” but to send Lars and Sigrit to represent them.
When Lars and Sigrit arrive in Scotland for the contest, they meet two schemers named Alexander Lemtov (Dan Stevens, Beauty and the Beast) from Russia and Mita Xenakis (Melissanthi Mahut, In Transit) from Greece. Alexander is more interested in winning Sigrit’s affection than he is Eurovision and Mita is happy to take part in his scam.
After many ups and downs, mishaps, miscues, disagreements, and even an assassination attempt, Lars and Sigrit succeed in winning the hearts of Europe. However, is this enough to win the famous Eurovision Song Contest?
Will Ferrell has a long history of creating outlandish characters and Lars is no different. In some scenes, you will feel sorry for Lars for they way people treat him and you’ll hope that he proves them all wrong. When Lars asks a crowded pub if they want to hear their Eurovision song, everyone shouts “No!” There are times though where Lars is very selfish and kind of a jerk. When Sigrit tries to open up about her feelings for Lars, he doesn’t want to listen and tells her, “We can’t. Romance ruins the band.”
Rachel McAdams is wonderful as Sigrit. She creates a character that is so likable and real. You want Fire Saga to win because of her. She is so dedicated to Lars that not even the attempts of seduction from a world famous playboy are enough to break the bond she feels for Lars. In a Rocky-like moment, when Fire Saga is at their lowest and with all the eyes of Europe on them, Sigrit refuses to stay down and pulls herself up. Rachel McAdams is so good at bringing Sigrit to life. You will want to cheer for her when Lars is running away with his tail between his legs.
Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga has laughs, beautiful images of Iceland, and a great performance from its leading lady. It delivered way more than I was expecting.