I don’t think I’m spoiling anything by saying Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga is a ridiculous film. But not ridiculous in a Hangover 2 kind of way.
Instead, Fire Saga at its core is a reminder that chasing an unattainable dream is indeed ridiculous, but ridiculous to who?
(Heads up: there are actual spoilers ahead.)
Now, I’m not about to dust off my minor in film studies and examine the cinematographic choices throughout the film. That would be ridiculous. However, I’m just as surprised as you are that I’m sitting down to even give this film some thought.
I’m picky when it comes to comedy films. Not to sound snobbish, but I don’t find many films funny.
Will Ferrell films, however, I give a pass. Anchorman is a brilliant comedy (Anchorman 2 not so much). Elf is a delight. At the heart of most Ferrell films is an adult child navigating the complexities of the real world. In the end, Ferrell’s character helps everyone else see that we all need a bit of “child” to get through life.
The same is almost true in Fire Saga.
Here we open with Lars (Will Ferrell) and Segrit (Rachel McAdams), two Icelandic pop star wannabes. Lars and Segrit find themselves in the Eurovision Song Contest finale through a series of ridiculous situations (am I using ridiculous too much), including but not limited to:
- boat explosions
- burnt flying body parts
- ghost apparitions
- murdering elves
- and one hamster wheel disaster
Unlike past Ferrell films, where it’s the audience/surrounding characters who change, it’s who Lars makes the sudden grown-up realization:
Chasing a dream is not about winning or attaining a goal, it’s always about perfecting our craft.
Segrit throughout the film was content enough to sing with her best friend and eventual love. Lars just wanted to win the contest. However, when Lars lets Segrit sing her own song she’s been writing (which according to Eurovision rules, disqualifies them from the contest) she hit the mythical “Speorg note.”
Lars sacrificed his dream for the perfection of Segrit’s craft.
(Side note, it’s also worth mentioning that Dan Stevens plays a Russian singer and he is fantastic. This film probably wouldn’t be funny without him.)
When my wife hit play to watch Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga I had mixed feelings. But when the final credits rolled, my wife and I turned to each other and admitted to choking up at the end.
The film hit something deep within me. Maybe it’s not being laughed at for my dreams? Maybe it’s realizing that the art we create for ourselves is more important than the art we create for others? Maybe it’s the feeling of not fitting in, of realizing there is something different about you? Maybe it’s holding onto the few people who do believe in you?
This film showed us what it means to be a human who is unwilling to give up on their dream unless it means putting the art above everything else, including the dream itself.
The music in the film is catchy and fun. The Icelandic scenery is beautiful, not to mention Edinburgh (where the Song Contest took place). Dan Stevens is fantastic. Or as Chaz Hutton recently said…
I’m Declan, I left my full-time job to write about how we can become better humans. Connect with me here.