This weekend, the much-anticipated film Eurovision: The Story of Fire Saga hit our screens! The movie follows Icelandic small-town singers Lars Erickssong (Will Ferrell) and Sigrit Ericksdottir (Rachel McAdams), who perform together as the duo Fire Saga. The pair are trying to achieve their life-long dream of representing their country on the world stage and reaching Eurovision glory, all the while battling the fact that their music is just not very good. The film was produced by Netflix in collaboration with the European Broadcasting Union, and features scenes filmed using the Eurovision 2019 stage in Tel Aviv, Israel.
It looked like a lot of Eurovision fans had low expectations for a movie made to satirise their beloved contest, and the reviews have been mixed. Here are a few of the responses on social media towards Eurovision: The Story of Fire Saga.
Warning: spoilers below!
— Gustav Dahlander (@GustavDahlander) June 24, 2020
— Eira Morgan-Jones 💙💙💙 (@EiraMorganJones) June 27, 2020
— Anthony (@anthonyemanuele) June 27, 2020
The Bad #EurovisionMovie
– The Story was very predictable, even when you don’t expect anything
– the awful forced romance
– when the jokes were bad, they were really bad
– some of the dramatic beats just didn’t work
– it’s way too long pic.twitter.com/CdgPh6PN0p
— Tinka (@TinyTinkerBell9) June 26, 2020
I thought it was going to be bad but it was actually really sweet and cheesy like the eurovision should be 🥺❤️ #EurovisionMovie
— sophia💭 (@sophsdayoff) June 27, 2020
But what did the ESC United team think? Here are our thoughts, with each of us ranking the film out of a possible 5 stars:
Roy: ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️
“There was so much uproar about this movie and how it didn’t take the contest seriously and that it would give it a bad reputation. I feel like the contrary has achieved and that this movie has a lot more layers to it than it appears. First we got to establish that this would have never been a movie that would just “honour” Eurovision, but rather a funny story that had Eurovision as a theme. The focus wasn’t on Eurovision, the focus was on the characters trying to get there. From the first 10 minutes, you knew that this would be massively overexaggerating everything. The humour, the plot, the songs, the artists and Eurovision itself. With that being said, I think they did a phenomenal job making the story and characterising delegations and what Eurovision has been. The entire thing is in a way about Eurovision’s recent shift from over the top campy stuff to a contest with way more high-quality music. When Lars entered the stage and interrupted their own performance was the highlight of the movie for me. The line: “As most of you know Eurovision is much more than a competition” and “The perfect song isn’t a winning song, but a song that comes from the heart” were the final pieces of the puzzle for me. At that point I knew they did the contest justice and they paid it the respect that it deserves. These lines capture the aforementioned shift in current Eurovision perfectly. The humour is an acquired taste, but the way an American film-director poked the most fun at his own people made me die with laughter. I had a jolly good time and I will definitely watch it again. And to the people that think it is a disgrace: I see this more as a film like “Herbie”. Totally unrealistic in the scheme of NASCAR or racing in general, but a movie we all enjoy! The Story of Fire Saga does the exact same thing for me! Lovely job, exceeded my expectations by a landslide!”
Stefan: ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ 1/2
“As soon as it was announced I didn’t expect much, especially because of Will Ferrell’s involvement. It was nice that it came out on my birthday (ed note: happy birthday Stefan!), but it wasn’t much of a present. I’m not gonna nitpick about some details, but someone should have done their homework a bit better. In my opinion, it’s not that much Eurovision related, but a romantic movie with a plot twist. And of course we had some political propaganda, but nowadays you just can’t avoid it. To sum it up, I did like it, just like, not love, the acting is at Zoolander level (yes Mugatu, I am talking to you) and they could’ve used some lip sync lessons from watching an episode or two of RuPaul’s Drag Race. It was a fairly good movie. Just good, no more, no less.”
Fernando: ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️
“The movie and story line was quite ok! I watched this movie with non-Eurovision fans and we all agreed it was worth watching. I saw 2 main highlights – the Eurovision singers medley and Husavik. On a side note I have a feeling that Molly Sandén is brewing her return to Melodifestivalen.”
James: ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️
“Fans of the Contest fretting that Ferrell’s comedy is a cheap dig at ESC need not worry. Ferrell transplants his usual man child trying to succeed schtick to ESC, but it is clear the makers of the film have a love for the Contest, even if they get some details wrong (Semi-final voting being the obvious one). And surprisingly, for those worrying the satire would be too lightweight, sometimes the jokes hit a little too close, especially the comic tragic depiction of the Philipp Kirkorov-esque “villain” played superbly by British actor Dan Stevens. Extra points for Pierce Brosnan’s dodgy Icelandic accent, the elves jokes, and a nod to the plot of Father Ted’s “My Lovely Horse.” Though a few points off for Ferrell’s usual man child trope and his tendency to flog a running joke to death (yes, Icelanders are strangely defensive about the probability of accidental incest, but a joke every five minutes about it is a bit much).”
Connor: ⭐️ ⭐️ 3/4
“I went into this movie expecting it to be a train wreck like Ferrell’s other movies, and truthfully the movie isn’t completely terrible. While there were inconsistencies in the semi final scenes, the movie as a whole showcased what Eurovision looks like at a very basic level: pyro, staging, LEDs, drama, choreo, outfits, and of course music. I only found one or two lines to be funny which isn’t good for a comedy, but it was bearable and the plot line was engaging enough to follow. I will be honest, the best parts of the movie were the song along scene with Eurovision participants and any time Will Ferrell wasn’t on screen. It’s an okay movie but I wouldn’t plan on watching it again.”
Holly: ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️
“This movie is so much fun! I went into it expecting a mid-high tier Will Ferrell movie with a Eurovision subplot, and that’s exactly what I got. The movie isn’t about Eurovision, and you’re probably going to be disappointed if you want a play-by-play of the contest. This is a people-driven comedy, buoyed by perfectly timed cameos and some genuinely phenomenal, Eurovision-worthy music – Molly Sandén’s vocal performance in “Húsavik” absolutely floored me, and I’ve had “Jaja Ding Dong” in my head for days now. I simply can’t deny how much of the contest it managed to both revere and satirise (thanks in large part, I assume, to executive producer Jon Ola Sand). Sure, there are inaccuracies, but it was never going to be perfect (looking at you, semi-final scoreboard). The jokes range from the highly quotable “Do you have a sickness in your legs? Are your feet very sad?” to the kind of repulsive “Do a classic camel” but they had me laughing more than I expected, and the film’s heart was absolutely in the right place. I love how much genuine interest and care was put into constructing a tribute to our beloved contest; it really filled the hole that the cancellation of Eurovision 2020 left in my heart.”
With that, the ESC United team’s average ranking for Eurovision: The Story of Fire Saga comes in at: ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ 1/2!
You can watch the trailer for Eurovision: The Story of Fire Saga below. The film is currently streaming on Netflix globally.
What did #YOU think of the Eurovision movie? Let us know on our forum HERE, or join the discussion below and on social media!
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