The idea is brilliant to make a movie about the Eurovision Song Contest. A show which is being watched by hundreds of millions every year around the world. It would not even matter to produce a comedy, drama or documentary about it. Whatever would have been created, a strong identification with the values of this contest is a must to captivate the watchers. A lot of people have been waiting for this movie for a long time but also feared if this movie will fulfil their expectations.
The lovely settings in Husavík, Iceland and Edinburgh, Scotland are probably one of the few highlights of the movie. Furthermore former ESC winners and participants like Loreen, Conchita Wurst, Jamala Netta, etc. have performed in a sing-along in a great scene indeed, or Salvador Sobral playing a piano in Edinburgh, but these good scenes make only five minutes of the entire two hours movie.
It’s about a couple from Iceland who would like to win the Eurovision Song Contest, inspired by ABBA’s victory in 1974. Despite of all obstacles like the Lars’ (Will Ferrell) father played by Pierce Brosnan and the missing consent of the villagers they could participate in the Icelandic national final. But then it gets surreal, all singers beside of Lars and Sigrit (Rachel McAdams) die on the party boat, corpse pieces flying around, they are the only singers left so they represent Iceland in the ESC. The story is bumpy and chaotic, not funny at all it’s absolutely weird. All imaginable mistakes happen on stage and there is no moment where the watcher has the chance to sympathize with the couple. And the existing prejudices against the ESC will be reinforced.
Some parts of the film have been produced in the original venue of the 2019 ESC in Tel Aviv to have a real arena feeling. All the other fictive characters exaggerated to the max, like the Russian super star and the music of the other mighty competitors appear dump and dreadful. At this stage the Eurovision Song Contest is being pictured as a freak show, there are too many sexual innuendos which appear more than inappropriate, but not funny at all.
The main problem is that everything has been in American hands, the popular actor and comedian Will Ferrell has been producing “The Story Of Fire Saga” for many years – the outcome is a huge let-down. Beside of all the content mistakes in regards of the contest facts and rules, there are by far too many lengthy scenes, about a childish love story with extreme jealousy.
The music in the movie is mostly hideous, beside of the last song “Husavik”, which has officially sung by the Swedish singer Molly Sandén. With great songs, maybe also Eurovision songs, this movie would have had the potential to become a real musical and people would have loved it.
For people who love Eurovision they will not find the magic of the contest in this film. Despite of the common Eurovision theme, it does not connect to what people are looking for at Eurovision. Even more the movie leaves an empty bubble behind, nothing nice to remember beside the beautiful city of Edinburgh, Icelandic landscapes and the sing along part with real Eurovision singers and winners – it’s definitely no substitute for the original, maybe it was never intend so.
Public relations, Editor, Journalist
About me: As one of the founders of eurovisionlive.com I am responsible for the interviews with the singers and the editorial content. My passion for the Eurovision Song Contest exists since my early childhood. The exotic music, different cultures and languages have given a lot of inspiration to me. Since my very first ESC in Dublin 1994 I particularly appreciate the get together and friendship of all the nationalities and Riverdance was a thrill!