July 23, 2020
Back in June, Netflix released the latest outrageous comedy to come from Will Ferrell’s mind, Eurovision Song Competition: The Story of Fire Saga. The movie follows the path of Lars Erickssong (played by Ferrell) and Sigrit Ericksdottir (played wonderfully by Rachel McAdams) on their journey to the Eurovision Song Competition. For those of you who have not yet seen the film, there will be some spoilers below, so stop reading this if you don’t want any of the plot ruined!
Something I was unaware of before watching The Story of Fire Saga, was that the Eurovision Song Competition is a real contest. The competition is wildly popular worldwide with an exception in the United States. The audience size of Eurovision is estimated to be between 100 million and 600 million people and has been running every year since 1956. Each country from the European Broadcasting Union is allowed to send a group to compete which is right where The Story of Fire Saga picks up.
Lars and Sigrit have dreamed of competing at Eurovision since they were children. Now, as full-grown adults, the dream is still very much alive. There is just one problem – their band, Fire Saga, is pretty terrible. No amount of breathtaking Icelandic fjord backdrops can change that fact. It doesn’t help that Lars is constantly pushing the envelope with ridiculous costumes and musical ideas, while Sigrit, who happens to be immensely talented, goes along with all of Lars’ plans because of her love for him.
Through a series of unfortunate and terrible events, the Icelandic Eurovision committee has no choice but to select Fire Saga to represent Iceland in the competition. As the viewer can imagine, Fire Saga’s act only gets more outrageous on the big stage. After a disastrous semifinal performance, Lars doesn’t think the duo has a chance to make the finals, so he books the first flight back to Iceland leaving Sigrit all by herself at the competition. Miraculously, Fire Saga earns enough points to make it through to the finals.
After finally connecting with his previously disappointed father, he finds out that Fire Saga made it through to the semifinals and rushes back to the competition. With the aid of an elf and a group of traveling American college students, Lars manages to get back just in time to perform in the final. For this final performance, Lars changes things up. He has Sigrit sing a song that she wrote – finally realizing that she should be the focal point of the band. Fire Saga ends up being disqualified for changing their song, but the performance is still shockingly moving despite Lars’ vocal riffs throughout the song.
What makes this moment special is Sigrit finally being able to show the world how talented she is after years of going along with all of Lars’ ridiculous ideas that made Fire Saga the laughing stock of their town. Additionally, Lars realizing that he no longer needs to seek validation from his incredibly grumpy father (played by the brilliant Pierce Brosnan) by being the center of attention makes the moment touching as well.
Eurovision Song Competition: The Story of Fire Saga delivers throughout the entire film with plenty of moments where you’ll be gasping for breath between fits of laughter. There are also moments where you emotionally connect to the story – moments that don’t always hit in your typical comedy. The Story of Fire Saga has just enough nuance to Ferrell’s comedic algorithm to keep viewers entertained while providing a movie as fresh as the Icelandic winds.
Written by Drew Snavely
Drew is an Assistant Director at Student Activities. He has a B.A. in Business Administration: Financial Planning. Drew is responsible for maintaining analytics for event surveys, social media and website, and staff development. He deals with various event logistics for all events such as filing out work orders and securing event rentals. He also helps manage monthly budgets, event finances and receipts.