The world of fairytale fantasy is going through constant changes to break free from the problematic notions that were once dictated. Netflix’s “The School of Good and Evil,” based on Soman Chainani’s book, addresses the idea of good and evil that dominate the fantasy world. No person can be completely good or evil. We might be good in one’s own story and, at the same time, evil in someone else’s. While the moral of the story is great, the film is disappointing. “The School of Good and Evil” tries too hard to incorporate elements to please the young adult crowd. There are moments when we have pop music blasting in our ears, but the lyrics barely have any connection with the visuals. The characters are predictable and lack depth. The fights between the school of evil and the school of good were clearly silly!
‘The School Of Good And Evil’ Plot Summary: What Happens In The Film?
The school of good and evil was built by two identical brothers. The school of evil was created by Rafal, and the school of good was looked after by Rhian. Rafal was bored with his life. He was tired of getting half of everything. He wanted to rule the entire world, and for that, he was ready to challenge his brother. Rhian was surprised by his brother’s behavior. He tried to reason with him, but nothing could change Rafal’s mind. Rafal used forbidden black magic and attempted to end Rhian’s life. Rhian explained the importance of maintaining the balance between good and evil, but Rafal simply wanted to make the rules now. Rafal attacked Rhian, and in the process, they both fell off a cliff. Rhian managed to hold on to the edge of the cliff, but Rafal lost his life.
While the fairytale world was in a crisis, in a world far away lived best friends Sophie and Agatha. Sophie dreamt of becoming a fairytale princess, but in reality, she was just an ordinary girl living with her stepmother, Horona, and father, Stephan, in the village of Gavaldon. Agatha lived near the graveyard, away from the rest of the village. Her mother was a witch, or so she believed, whose portions never truly worked. But her mother believed Agatha had the talent that she lacked, and she knew that her daughter would be a marvelous witch. Sophie was ridiculed by her family, whereas Agatha was hated by the entire village. The two young girls found in each other a place of comfort away from the hate. Agatha spoke to Sophie when she saw her crying next to her mother’s grave. Sophie’s mother, Vanessa, had always told her that she would change the world one day and would live happily ever after. Sophie and Agatha were readers of fairy tales, though their tastes were a lot different. Agatha’s aesthetic was rather dark and androgynous, whereas Sophie’s was all about elegance and royalty.
One day, Mrs. Deauville, who owned a bookstore, discussed with them The School of Good and Evil. She disclosed that there once used to be a girl named Leonora who lived in their village. On a red moon night, she was taken away by a monster and was never found. It is believed that she was taken to the school of good and evil. Sophie was intrigued by the story. She wanted to leave Gavaldon, and this seemed like the perfect option. No one knew how one was chosen by the school, so Sophie wrote a letter to the school and kept it in the wishing tree. When she realized that the letter was left unanswered, she decided to leave Gavaldon on her own. Agatha was not ready to let her friend leave. She begged Sophie to stay. After all, she was all that Agatha had. Even though Sophie promised to stay, she was prepared to leave at night. Agatha caught her in action, and as the two argued, a monster got hold of Sophie and dragged her along. Agatha held on to Sophie. They were soon taken away by a large bird to the school of good and evil. While Sophie expected to be dropped at the school of good since she had always wanted to be someone like Cinderella and she believed in fairy tale endings, she was dropped at the school of evil. Whereas Agatha, who considered herself a witch, was dropped off at the school of good.
The best friends, now separated, were determined to convince the higher authorities at the schools that they were placed in the wrong schools. But nobody believed what they said. While Agatha wanted to return home, Sophie wished to belong to the school of good. Agatha was dressed like a princess, whereas Sophie was dressed in rags. Sophie was determined to be proven good, and she was ready to go to any extent for it, and Agatha cared about nothing but Sophie’s wellness. Will Sophie manage to convince the world that she is good? How will she enter the School of Good?
Why Was True Love’s Kiss Important to Sophie?
When Agatha first encountered Rafal in the School of Good library, he warned Agatha not to distract Sophie from her destiny. From then on, Agatha knew that Sophie could fall prey to the evilest man in the fairytale world, Rafal. Sophie and Agatha decided to jointly meet the school head and discuss the mistake made in placing them in the schools they did not belong to. Rhian was the school head. He explained to the girls that there could not be any confusion because Storian had been writing the fairytale of Sophie and Agatha even before they came to the school. The only way Sophie could prove her goodness was by kissing her true love. In every fairy tale, true love helps the good escape an evil spell. True love is the one thing that evil could never have, and good could never do without it. From the day Sophie entered the school, she had her eyes on Tedros, the son of the late King Arthur. Even after sending letters, Tedros was not giving her the attention she desired.
Rafal started to appear in Sophie’s life, convincing her that she could fulfill her destiny even as an evil witch. Sophie gradually started to accept herself as evil. She refused to whine any longer to get what she deserved. She changed her attire and stopped paying attention to Tedros. While that did grab Tedros’s attention, he was not convinced that she was his true love. Sophie’s sudden change had created a distance between her and Agatha. Nonetheless, Agatha was still determined to help Sophie, and she had decided on a way in which Sophie could win over Tedros. Agatha learned that Tedros’s father had married a woman named Guinevere, but she betrayed him with a man named Lancelot. Due to heartbreak, King Arthur lost his throne and passed away. Tedros would never repeat the mistake made by his father. Therefore, he did not care much about beauty. The plan was for Sophie to prove her goodness. Since only good could be successful in archery, by hitting the arrow at the mark, Sophie proved to Tedros that she was indeed good. But what Tedros did not know was that Agatha used her magic to help Sophie hit the mark. Tedros and Sophie expressed their interest in going out with each other, but the faculty was not happy with their decision. Rhian decided that the couple could only be with each other if they could prove that theirs was true love. To prove so, they had to go through a trial by tale.
A trial by tale was a challenge in which the lovers were taken to the blue forest, which consists of evil elements. If the lovers manage to find each other after fighting off evil, then they could prove that their love is true. Agatha feared for Sophie’s life and decided to enter the forest as well. When Sophie struggled, Agatha helped her out. Tedros called out for Sophie, and they found each other, but the pumpkin reaper would not let go of Tedros. Sophie hid behind a tree with Agatha. When Tedros asked Sophie to pass him his sword, she decided to stay hidden. Agatha could not let the reaper consume Tedros, so she took the sword and sliced off the reaper’s head. Tedros now knew how selfish Sophie could be. To protect herself, she chose to stay hidden. Tedros could have lost his life, but Sophie did not care for him. Whereas Agatha saved not only Sophie but also Tedros. He broke off his relationship with Sophie and left the forest. Sophie was disappointed in Agatha. She believed Agatha did it all to impress everyone around her.
‘The School Of Good And Evil’ Ending Explained: Was Rafal Alive? How Did Sophie and Agatha Bring Peace To The Fairytale Universe?
When Sophie regretted behaving badly with Agatha, Rafal made her believe that Agatha was not her true friend. He sowed seeds of doubt and hatred in Sophie’s mind and turned her against Agatha. He offered her the power of blood magic, and Sophie gladly accepted. Meanwhile, Agatha disclosed to the entire faculty that Rafal was back and had ill intentions toward Sophie. The faculty knew that Rafal cared about only himself; he did not care about the school of evil. He wanted to destroy both schools to keep all the magic for himself. When Professor Dovey and Lady Lesso went to discuss the threats Rafal could pose in Sophie’s life, she used blood magic to turn them into dolls. She wanted to unleash chaos, and she had all the power to do so.
After using blood magic, Sophie had turned into an old witch with a long nose. She entered the Annual Evers Ball and wanted to have a dance with Tedros just like he had promised. Tedros was enraged by her words. Sophie believed that she and Agatha were meant to clash and that one of them would eventually be destroyed. Good and evil cannot coexist. Agatha had to die for Sophie to win. Sophie managed to enrage the crowd in the room, and after she left, Tedros was determined to end evil. He and the rest of the men of the school of good went hunting down the students of the school of evil. Agatha knew it was all wrong; good is never meant to attack; they are only meant to defend. By angering the crowd, Sophie was successful in executing her plan. Since the good had attacked, they turned evil, and because the evil had to defend themselves, they transformed into good. Therefore, Sophie was finally able to become good, just like she had always wished for.
After tackling Agatha with her blood magic, Sophie rushed to destroy Rhian. As it turned out, Rafal was Rhian. That day, after falling off the cliff, Rafal survived. He pushed a dagger into Rhian’s back, leading to his death. Since they both looked identical, Rafal pretended to be Rhian. Even though the school of good had won for the last 200 years, Rafal had destroyed the school from within. The good was no longer good; it was all superficial. Right after entering the school, Agatha had been questioning why the good was all about superficiality and not truly about having empathy and caring for those who failed to be perfect. The fact that Rafal was behind it all explains why the school lacked consistency in its curriculum. Rafal expressed how he and Sophie were the definition of true love. He knew she would be evil, but he did not know the chaos she would bring. Rafal believed they were destined to be together. True love’s kiss or evil’s kiss would unlock their love and open the gates of Never After. As they kissed, Rafal became even more powerful. Both the schools started to collapse, and Rafal’s evil was ready to take over the world.
Sophie was not ready for this; she did not know that even her friends from the school of evil would be killed by Rafal. Just when Sophie was regretting all her decisions, Agatha came to her rescue. As Agatha and Rafal confronted each other, he threw the Storian to kill Agatha, but this time Sophie came in between to save her friend. The true love’s spell was broken as Sophie was no longer evil because she performed an act of pure goodness. The school went back to the way it was before, and Rafal was furious at the turn of events. Tedros attempted to kill Rafal from behind, but he was caught in the action. As Rafal tried to kill Tedros, Sophie and Agatha used all their power together to destroy Rafal. The two best friends were finally able to destroy pure evil together. Sophie died in the arms of Agatha. Agatha kissed Sophie. Her true love for Sophie and her tears of affection was able to heal her wound, and she came back to life. The school went back to order. Even though leaving Tedros was tough, Agatha chose to go back to their village with Sophie. Their true love had set them free, and they returned to the world where they belonged. They continued to carry magic within themselves and used it when necessary. But the threat of the fairytale world does not seem to end. Just as Tedros’s arrow was able to pierce the vortex separating the two worlds, a dagger landed in the world of Sophie and Agatha. The ending could indicate a second part of “The School of Good and Evil.” Since the dagger belonged to Rafal, we can expect evil to return and threaten the world of the best friends.
At the end of “The School of Good and Evil,” students from both schools learned to accept that they were both good and evil. The world can no longer be divided into black and white; every individual has a lot more shades. By performing a heroic act, Sophie further explained how no person could be evil; it all depends on situations and perspective. The days of fairytale villains who are completely evil are over, though, of course, the threat of Rafal lingers on.
“The School of Good and Evil” is a 2022 Drama Fantasy film directed by Paul Feig.