Graham Norton: I wonder if there's something going wrong technically or maybe he's just not great.


Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga – (2020) – Music, Comedy

I’m not sure I’m going to make many friends here as everyone I speak to seems to love this film and find it hysterical. Don’t get me wrong it’s amusing and mostly has its heart somewhere near the right place, but I have issues with it.

Firstly, to the story, Will Ferrell plays Lars Erickssong (see what they did there with the name), from the small town of Húsavík, Iceland, whose life’s dream is to win the Eurovision Song Contest, in his band – Fire Saga is childhood friend Sigrit Ericksdóttir, played by the always delightful Rachel McAdams. They play in their local bar but all anyone wants to hear is their famous song (well locally) "JaJa Ding Dong". Sigrit will do anything for Lars as she adores him and always has and him being one track minded purely about winning Eurovision cannot see that Rachel McAdams loves him! – Donut! Anyway, Sigrit believes in the Icelandic tradition of Elves and she asks them to help them win the contest.

The film is about their journey to Eurovision, how this shambles of a band reaches the heights if Saturday Night TV, how the Elves help, how the Icelandic committee help and hinder, how the tow of them come together to fulfil both of their dreams – I don’t need to post spoilers as I reckon anyway who has ever watched a film, knows where this is all going – though the exploding boat and ghosts were a surprise!

What adds to this film are star turns from Dan Stevens as Alexander Lemtov, the Russian entry and favourite who loves himself and has plans for him an Sigrit, though he may well be hiding a secret, well from himself, it’s pretty darn obvious to everyone else! And Melissanthi Mahut as Mita Xenakis who represents Greece and is on hand to offer advice and words of wisdom, plus the odd romantic hurdle! I need to add that Rachel McAdams is also excellent, even though her singing is dubbed, her acting is spot on and she makes Sigrit likeable and sympathetic, whereas you could’ve just been screaming at her to wake the heck up and stop being such a doormat! Pierce Brosnan is in obvious need of some spending money as he pops up as Lars Dad who seems to lack faith in his son (and rightly so in my opinion), why Pierce why?

However – unpopular opinion alert! Will Ferrell annoys me, his Lars is completely unlikeable, you don’t want him to win the contest, you don’t want him and Sigrit to get together, you want the Elves to take him away and gut him like the fish his father catches! I get that is what they were going for and why Will Ferrell plays Lars, because this it the type of character that he excels in, but really you need some redeeming feature and he hasn’t got one, he’s just a door knob! Eurovision aficionados will love this, especially when the legends of the last few years of Eurovision pop up in the middle to join in a song together and the whole cheesiness and happiness of it will appeal to many, many people. It is bright fun; the songs are catchy and the characters beyond belief – just like Eurovision.

However, Lars is such a ‘JaJa Ding Dong’ that he ruins the film for me. So, it’s not a Nil Points from me, but I’d only award them half the points – 10/20 but if you love Eurovision or Will Ferrell or Pierce Brosnan with a beard then this is for you and you’d award it all 12 points and a place in the final!

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