The School for Good and Evil is Wickedly Good


Netflix Promotional Posters

Netflix debuts posters centered on the divide between Good and Evil.

Jessica Bruck, Staff Writer

Soman Chainani’s The School for Good and Evil first released in 2013. After years in development hell, Netflix brought his brilliant world to life. Starring Sophia Anne Caruso, and Sofia Wylie, this stunning film mixes magic and dark realism to spin a story about the lack of true “good” or “evil.”

The film follows Sophie (Caruso) and Agatha (Wylie) as they face trials and tribulations at a school for fairy-tale characters. While Sophie fights to prove her “goodness”, Agatha struggles to bring the two home without severing their relationship in the process.

The costuming department spent countless hours working to create outfits to help tell the story. Simply by looking at posters, one could tell a character’s personality through just their outfits. According to costume designer Renée Ehrlich Kalfus, the team had to create over 1,000 custom pieces — and that’s not even including shoes, accessories, and jewelry. And each piece had to be carefully made to fit not just the actors, but also their personalities and development throughout the film. The Headmaster’s red and blue coat, hinting at Rafal’s deception, was one of these many pieces, as was the thorny crown Sophie wore throughout the film. Thousands of hours were spent crafting each piece, and months more were spent waiting for each part to arrive. The bulk of costuming was done during the late days of the pandemic, causing some of their materials — such as the flowy fabric used for the fairies — to spend months in customs.

Kalfus mentioned this fabric choice being specific to the CGI that assisted the fairies. The CGI department was responsible for many of the terrifyingly whimsical creatures we saw on screen, from wolf-headed guards to elegant fairies. The computer-generated effects gave both emotion and magic to these creatures. And while some may have considered it underwhelming, it’s important to note that hyper-realistic CGI would only put viewers on edge, what with the uncanny-valley effect. Or, worse, create the same emotionless characters as Disney did in 2019’s The Lion King.
However, critics take issue with the film’s “lackadaisical writing.” Some complain that the story was “cheesy,” or “overdone,” but it’s important to note that neither the books nor film were written for adults. In fact, Chainani’s prime audience was teenagers in the 2010s, making this a film for Millenials and Gen-Z. So ignore the critics; The School For Good and Evil is your next fantasy film, streaming on Netflix now.