The School of Good and Evil is a teen movie that mixes genres and magical-fairy references without really finding its own rhythm and voice. Available on Netflix.

In the heart of a small village, two teenage girls stand out against the rural and austere landscape. On the one hand, Sophiawhite, blond girl wanting to become seamstressand, on the other, Agathamestizo, whose gothic-grunge look gives it the makings of a witch. One night like no other, the two friends who are opposites find themselves drawn by supernatural forces to join the prestigious School of Good and Evil. A magical high school where you learn to master your special gifts. Against all odds, Sophie is catapulted into the Evil section and Agatha is parachuted into the Good section. Their adventure begins with a bang. Attention, spoilers

Castle for wizards, spell lessons, phantasmagorical universe, white magic versus black magic, smoking potions, squabbling between schoolchildren and even a quill pen… The School of Good and Evil is a remix girly from the film saga Harry Potter and more broadly of all that has appeal to the fantastic literary universe created by JK Rowling. The difference ? There are not four houses but only two promotions in the establishment… Those of Good and Evil. A bit as if Hogwarts housed only the Gryffindor and the Slytherin, the two houses engaging in a gigantic contest of who will have the biggest stick. The icing on the hat: Laurence Fishburneescaped from the matrix, embodies a Black Albus Dumbledore larger than life in its panache and benevolence. But unfortunately, The School of Good and Evil does not stop there in its coarse tracing of pre-existing universes.

It’s in the old cauldrons…

The School of Good and Evil is a teen movie which mixes styles but above all overflows with references and other influences not at all digested. Paul Feig (author of the cult comedy my best friends in 2011) bangs in all the old cauldrons to make a bad jam. Worse: the film regurgitates a cast of fairy tales and fantastic initiation novels so anchored, even hammered, in our collective unconscious, that we can’t help but think of the original works with each new scene of The School of Good and Evil. If a scene, among others, literally sucks the meeting between Harry and the hippogriff buck in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkabanthe fate reserved for the classics of disney is much saltier. Cinderella (Agatha is a slut mocked by everyone), Peter Pan (the boss of the school is the offspring of the Captain Hook), The Sleeping Beauty (the big bad has a look like Maleficent), Snow White (CharlizeTheron embodies the wicked teacher of the class of Evil) went shamelessly through the mill play doh. The result is assembled pell-mell like a pâté golem remodeled into a creature of Frankenstein weird. The nail is definitely driven like Pontius Pilate when we realize, in the original version, that the tale is told in voice-over by Cate Blanchett. The actress, emblematic interpreter of Galadriel in the film saga of Lord of the Ringsalso played the narrators in the first opus of the original trilogy, The Fellowship of the Ring. Thereby, The School of Good and Evil struggling to find his way – and even his voice – crushed under the weight of all his influences drawn from right and left.

Strictly reserved for fans of the “young adult” genre

Adapted from the eponymous literary saga signed Soman Chainani, The School of Good and Evil, in its film adaptation, is less intended for toddlers than for teenagers plagued by the starification specific to social networks and reality TV. Evidenced by this scene particularly out of step with the rest of the tone of the film where Sophie catwalk in front of the other students, dressed in a gothic lolita escaped from a manga type Ecchion a throbbing tube of Billie Elish. The musical anachronism, reminiscent of an adulterated version of Marie Antoinette of Sofia Coppolais perhaps the best in The School of Good and Evil. During a duel scene, which again recalls another Harry Potter, The Chamber of Secretsstudents compete on Rock ‘n’ Roll Queen of the Subways. An edgy title, more punk than rock, popularized in the late 2000s by the underrated Rocknolla. Big retro-pop gloubi-boulga, The School of Good and Evil is ultimately, and perhaps strictly, reserved for generation Z fed on literature adult. The direct heirs of fans of Twilight, The Hunger Games Where DivergentTT enthusiasts on Twitter and video-musico-ludic tablets on tik tok will be delighted by this sampling ofHarry Potter sauce wicca and Elite. For the others, old veterans who remember, with tears in their eyes, the scene where Harry Potter faces the mirror of Erised, or even the young romantics who fell in love withHermione Granger when she slaps Draco Malfoy in The Prisoner of Azkaban in 2004… For all those lost children who have become lost in their thirties and stuck between two generations, The School of Good and Evil will be a veritable way of the cross whose length of the journey is equaled only by its pain.

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