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The School For Good And Evil Author Soman Chainani Felt The Wish Fish Scene Needed To Be In The Movie

Soman Chainani's "The School for Good and Evil" is anything but subtle. The six-part book series follows best friends Agatha and Sophie as they travel to the land of fairytales and the titular school where characters are sorted into the School for Good or the School for Evil. With opposite personalities, Agatha and Sophie assume they know where they will end up. Agatha's misanthropy makes her a prime candidate for Evil while Sophie's attraction toward pastels and frills is historically categorized as good. These expectations are challenged when Agatha is put into the Good School and Sophie into the Evil.

That is, in essence, the entire point of the series — people can't be categorized into one thing or the other. Everyone has aspects of darkness and light and it is unfair to give some privileges over others. This theme translates well into the film made for Netflix. By the end of "The School for Good and Evil," the movie makes a solid stab at rejecting restrictive labels. But that wasn't the only element necessary to the story. According to the author, one scene included in the film was non-negotiable.

The wish fish scene was integral to Agatha's character

Book-to-screen adaptations don't always please everyone. Fellow magical school tome "Harry Potter" has many differences from books to film due to length. But the good news for Soman Chainani is that his most treasured scene did not have this fate. When speaking to ScreenRant about the production, the author noted that the Wish Fish scene was one element of the book he would not be able to part with. "I felt like that was such an iconic scene in the book and one that everybody held very close, because it's where you learn about Agatha's desire and empathy and the fact that she can't help but want to help people. And that's such an essential part of her character," Chainani stated. 

A large crux of the story is addressing your own misconceptions about yourself while also staying true to who you are. Though she initially had her reservations, Agatha (Sofia Wylie) proves why she belongs in the School for Good. While all the other students take advantage of magical fish that can grant wishes, Agatha wishes for something else. She wishes everyone can go to the home they want, and this reveals that 100 years ago, the fish was actually a human. Because she failed her previous test, the former student was turned into a fish and Agatha was the first person who ever thought to free her. Agatha has a pure heart and this scene demonstrates that beautifully.