‘The School For Good & Evil’ – A Review

Since 2013, a film adaptation of Soman Chainani’s New York Times bestselling series The School for Good and Evil has been moved around studios before it finally found its home on Netflix in 2017. I first read this book during my freshman year of high school, back in 2019. When I saw that it was getting a film, I was ecstatic and my expectations were even higher when I realized that the author of the books would be directly involved in the production. 

For the last three years, I have devoured any new information or trailer until the film finally released on Netflix on October 19. Since Mr. Chainani was directly involved with this movie, I was expecting it to be at least a little more accurate to the book than a normal adaptation would be. While the film thankfully kept the main components of the original story, there were so many key details that went ignored throughout the first film, such as important character arcs and entire characters missing. 

Despite this, the overall movie was entertaining. The visuals were beautiful and the cast was stacked with stars, from Kerry Washington to Charlize Theron, Michelle Yeoh, and Laurence Fishburne. Sofia Wylie and Sophia Anne Caruso star in the near-three-hour film, taking on the respective roles of Agatha and Sophie of Woods Beyond. Directed by Paul Feig, this film adaptation is pretty decent as far as adaptations go. There are some issues with pacing that lead to a feeling that the film is a bit overstuffed with plot, which, to me, it is. It is my firm belief that this adaptation would have worked better as a series, with each season representing a book. That way, the newer fans would be entertained just as much as the older fans, who would get to see a more accurate adaptation of the series that means so much to them.