The School of Good and Evil Disappoints Netflix Viewers

Heaven Woldai, Entertainment Writer

The School of Good and Evil is Netflix’s new adaptation of the book series, The Story of Good and Evil, which is bringing controversy but yet has an amazing cast. Two best friends Sophie and Agatha soon find themselves against each other once they enter a school of fantasy. Similarly to the books, The School of Good and Evil, the enchanted school is one where heroes and villains are trained to balance the fairytale world.

The film’s plot plays off of the relationship between Agatha and Sophie. Agatha and Sophie live in a small village where rumors of witchcraft are present. Agatha and Sophie had both been bullied through accusations of being witches, the village accuses them because of their looks and family history. Sophie wants to leave the village and attaches a wish to the wishing tree, which brings her and Agatha to The School of Good and Evil. In the school, the movie portrays the conflict they both experience.

The cast’s performances are amazing with Sofia Wylie and Sophia Ann Caruso playing as the antagonists. Caruso, known for her role in Beetlejuice and other Broadway shows was easily able to change her facial expressions and her body language as her character developed. One of the scenes where her facial expressions felt natural was during her finger glowing ceremony, it was the first view of Sophie’s change of character. She went from playing desperate, hesitant and insecure to playing to her character’s change, confident, authoritative, and decisive. Wylie who’s extremely popular for her roles with Disney like Andy Mack and High School Musical: The Musical: The Series, does portray Agatha accordingly. Wylie incredibly transitioned her way of acting as her character emotion changed. We see Wylie’s performance done appropriately in the scene where she goes to the wishing pond. She expresses confusion, curiosity and sympathy all in the same scene.

However, The School of Good and Evil has a great cast but a horrible way of storytelling and some very controversial scenes. Following the fairytale format there was a narrator, the narrator was a very unique addition to the movie yet in the way the story was told it had a blatant telegraphing of plot points making the movie predictable. The storyline of the movie felt too fast-paced even with such a long movie (2 and a half hours). A solution would be to create a series rather than a movie or to create a sequel. For the controversial scenes, a scene is present where Sophie, a 15 year old girl, kisses a 100+ year old man. The School of Good and Evil was a film made for young audiences yet this controversial scene brings bad influences for the youth.

Overall, The School of Good and Evil is rated PG-13 and is a reasonable rating. The movie shows a few graphic scenes and has a theme around darkness and immorality. Most graphic scenes are presented through CGI. Within the theme of darkness, death is present in the movie. However, the movie does have other scenes that show a lighthearted tone rather than creepy. The movie presents a great cast but a predictable fast-paced storyline.