‘The School for Good and Evil’ — Does it work? 

The question of book to screen adaptations has been a very hot topic in the Internet book communities, especially in this age of consistent book-to-screen adaptations being announced.

“A Court of Thorns and Roses,” “Seven Husbands”— adaptation after adaptation is being announced. 

“The School For Good and Evil” has been the newest addition to this chain of books being turned into movies. The question is: Is it a good adaptation?

There’s a difference between a good movie, and a movie that’s a proper adaptation of a book. That’s been the question with this movie. 

The film, based on the book series by Soman Chainani, stars Sofia Wylie as Agatha and Sofia Anne Caruso as Sophie. The story follows the two characters as Agatha is dropped into the School for Good and Sophie into the School for Evil. Problem? Sophie believes she is destined to be good. 

The film follows the first book, with the journey of the two protagonists as they try to get Sophie into the School for Good by winning true love’s kiss from the son of King Arthur, Tedros. The series explores the themes of complexity and how you can’t simply split the world into good or evil. 

Wylie and Caruso deliver spectacular performances as our main leads. You can feel their bond as best friends in this story, as well as with their romantic interests.

The film is visually stunning, with the costumes and settings feeling like something out of a fairy tale. It’s a stunning film with a star-studded cast, including Kerry Washington and Charlize Theron. 

While the cast and performances make the film a decent watch, many readers of the series beg to differ. According to fans of the books, the film left out several details that were key to the characters and the story as a whole. 

Many people are in agreement that the book should’ve been adapted into a television show instead of a movie in order to better flesh out the story. There was not enough time to squeeze everything in — so many important moments in the book were cut out. The movie was good as a film, but lacking as an adaptation. 

This begs the question of how to write books into an adaptation for the screen. A common argument is that if a book is going to be adapted, it should be split into a TV show instead of a movie. Movies only have a certain amount of time to fit everything in, often leaving die hard fans of the stories deeply disappointed. 

The book series is a very popular fantasy series, and the aesthetics, as well as the cast, capture that. The film was not well-received by those die-hard fans, however.

I have to echo the sentiment that books should be split into a TV show in order to properly flesh out what the book did. Take “Shadow and Bone” for example — the show is eight episodes long, instead of a two and a half hour long movie.