WARNING: Contains spoilers, especially for Eurovision fans
MELBOURNE – Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga tells the tale of a band of two small town singers from Iceland, and chronicles their journey to competing at the Eurovision Song Contest, and all the trials and tribulations along the way.
Lars Erickssong (Will Ferrell) and Sigrit Ericksdottir (Rachel McAdams) are the singers who make up the band Fire Saga.
This movie, released June 26 on Netflix, is appealing to both Eurovision fans and those who aren’t.
For those who are Eurovision fans, it is still a movie about the contest they love, but there are many moments in the film’s depiction of the Eurovision contest that will make fans cringe because of how unrealistic they are.
Fans might roll their eyes when they see what the movie says happens in technical rehearsals, or when the votes are revealed in the semi-final. In the film, Fire Saga even revamps their song just days before the contest, which is not allowed in real life.
Despite these negatives, there are plenty of things in the film that will please Eurovision fans and make them laugh, including a few tiny details that only Eurovision fans will find funny.
These include the mention of Iceland being a chance to win the contest at one point – because in real life they were a chance to win the 2020 contest – and the fact that of all countries to pick as the host country for the contest in the movie, they picked the UK.
Cameos from past Eurovision contestants are also a treat.
There is a scene towards the middle of the film where 11 past Eurovision contestants from across Europe all make an appearance. While in hindsight it does feel like the scene was only included to make it possible to include the cameos from the Eurovision stars, it was still great to see them all make an appearance. It wouldn’t have really been a proper Eurovision movie if there were no cameos from actual contestants.
It was also pleasing to see that Graham Norton, TV host and real-life Eurovision commentator for the UK, was included as the featured commentator. As he is the most known of the real life Eurovision commentators, this decision made a lot of sense.
Fans will be pleased to see that there are moments in the film that pay homage to the history of Eurovision. From the opening scenes of the movie centering around ABBA’s winning performance in 1974 to the inclusion of two actual winning Eurovision songs in the film, it was nice to see that the long history of the contest was not fully forgotten by the film’s producers.
A little challenge for anyone who watches the movie is to pick out the second Eurovision song featured in the film. Clue: it’s not in English and the original is sung by someone who’s very famous but the fact that she’s a Eurovision winner is not well known outside the Eurovision fandom.
Those who aren’t Eurovision fans might arguably enjoy the movie even more than Eurovision fans because they won’t find the film as cringy.
The cast includes some big names besides Ferrell and McAdams. Former James Bond and Mamma Mia star Pierce Brosnan plays Lars’ father, while Demi Lovato and Dan Stevens also have big roles.
One thing that should be noted is that if you’re someone who does not know what Eurovision is, do not watch this movie to find out. The film gives you a good general idea, but real Eurovisions do not work in the same way the one in the movie does.
Overall, it is unclear whether the movie was targeted at current fans of the contest or those who are not, but both groups will still enjoy it.
Alyce Collett is a Correspondent with Youth Journalism International.