By Seth Lukas Hynes
Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga
Starring Will Ferrell and Rachel McAdams
Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga is an irrepressibly charming and surprisingly poignant comedy musical following Icelandic musicians Lars (Will Ferrell) and Sigrit (Rachel McAdams) as they compete in Eurovision against all odds.
Ferrell and McAdams have delightful chemistry as a sweet, close couple driven apart by ambition. The plot deftly balances the external conflict of Lars and Sigrit striving to win Eurovision with the internal conflict of Lars getting his priorities straight and Sigrit wishing for more out of life, and features some engaging sub-plots involving Lars’ disapproving father, Sigrit’s handsome Russian friend Alexander (Dan Stevens) and the elves of Icelandic mythology.
The Story of Fire Saga has quirky characters and vibrant art direction captured through steady, documentary-like camerawork. This film will be a treat for Eurovision fans, as it has cameos from numerous past contestants, and several of the rousing musical numbers reference famous past performances, including a fun riff on infamous Finnish metal band Lordi playing in full demon makeup in the 2006 contest.
I don’t normally enjoy musicals, but this film’s musical numbers are necessarily organic to the plot, and I was grinning from ear to ear by the end.
Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga is a joyful, touching and well-structured tribute to the gaudy excess of Eurovision, and is available for streaming on Netflix.