The School for Good and Evil is a fantasy drama that focuses on two normal girls, Sophie and Agatha, who are introduced to a magical school that maintains the balance between good and evil in the world. The film is now streaming on Netflix.
Agatha and Sophie are best friends living in the town of Gavaldon. They live as outcasts, looked down upon by everyone but they stand by each other’s side always.
When Sophie learns about the Schools for Good and Evil, she can’t think of anything else but going there. She’s tired of her life in Gavaldon and wants to get out and explore. Agatha is hesitant about her best friend leaving and tries to convince her not to.
They are eventually taken to the school, but Sophie is dropped off at the school for evil while Agatha is dropped off at the school for good. Each finds themselves in a place they don’t want to be and this causes problems in their friendship.
In a tale as old as time, it is good versus evil and involves true love and heroes and villains in all their glory as Agatha and Sophie chart their own fairytale.
Sofia Wylie and Sophia Anne Caruso take centre stage as Agatha and Sophie respectively and while Wylie is good, Caruso is magnificent. Her change of attitude as she gives in to the dark side is wonderful to watch and displays her immense talent.
Wylie’s role is filled with more honour and nobility while she gets a few zingers as the involuntary princess. Her approach is enjoyable but doesn’t allow for the same kind of flair as her co-star.
The same goes for the two school heads, Lady Lesso and Professor Dovey. Charlize Theron and Kerry Washington give in great performances, yet Theron’s evil mentor is just far more interesting thanks to the actor’s chaotic portrayal.
Lawrence Fishburne, Michelle Yeoh, Jamie Flatters and Kit Young are additional members of a stacked cast who revolve around the primary protagonists and help tell this story beautifully.
This film is a spectacle for the eyes as a fairytale that has come to life. The special effects used to show off the magic taking place are of the highest quality and must be commended.
The narrative does focus on the basic battle between good and evil but subverts the theme regularly with Agatha the main proponent of the notion that humanity is complex and there is no inherent good or evil in the world, proven by the happy ending.
The fantasy tone is maintained throughout thanks to Cate Blanchett’s narration at key moments and the direction of the cast. The anachronistic nature of the film with Sophie talking about facials and classes in a small town also makes it intriguing.
The dialogue is well-balanced and easy to enjoy as the cast delivers it with splendour. There are a few jokes placed at the perfect moments, enhancing their impact.
While Agatha is supposed to be the embodiment of good, her impact in the final third of the film is considerably subdued apart from a motivational speech and badass moment where she kills Rafal. She spends the whole time during the battle doing nothing but pleading.
The age differences between the princes and princesses in the fairytales have always been a problematic issue and that rears its head once again in this film where a centuries-old soul of evil chooses Sophie to be his true love.
The School for Good and Evil is a big-budget, fairytale film with a hugely impressive cast and mostly mainstream fare that targets a younger demographic. The film is enjoyable and has a simple message to it but it does also carry a few minor issues.
This feels like yet another formulaic Netflix film that will perform well in general but sceptics and naysayers may consider it yet another studio cash grab.
The School for Good and Evil
Director: Paul Feig
Date Created: 2022-10-19 12:30
Also Read: The School for Good and Evil ending explained: Do Agatha and Sophie restore the balance?