Bandersnatch: Choose Your Own

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Bandersnatch: Choose Your Own

Katy Bonadio, Staff Writer

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The Netflix original “Black Mirror: Bandersnatch” is their first interactive movie. This film was released December 28 and stars Will Poulter, Fionn Whitehead, Alice Lowe, and Craig Parkinson. After an explanation of how the show worked, I was able to click and choose how I wanted the story to unfold. It starts off with an aspiring video game designer, Stefan, who is working on a new game.

The interactive began with small choices. What cereal will the game designer eat? What music will he listen to? The only decisions that I was able to choose were for the main character Stefan. On the path that I chose, I hear about his traumatic childhood with his mother’s death. Ever since then, he has anxiety with choice making. I think that is the irony that Netflix wanted the viewers to see. The main character, Stefan, is indecisive and that is why the viewers must decide every little thing that comes across.

This movie can last twenty minutes, or it can take up to three hours. It is based in the 80s and raises questions about technology, free will, and how the impact of change has on mental health. Stefan is a mentally-ill protagonist. He takes medication every morning and when he wakes up, he is always catching his breath. He has little personality beyond his consuming desire to make this great video game. The stress of programming combined with his unmonitored mental illness completely sends him over the edge. Several poor choices made me restart the movie and choose a new path for Stefan.

During the movie, he becomes aware that he is being controlled. Netflix lets you choose a path for him and go back. Even though I was picking what I wanted to happen, there are points in the movie that Netflix is controlling the viewer by limiting the options and starting over to pick a different path because the one I picked was not right. I was able to end the movie with two different endings because I was given the option to go back and restart from my previous decision. It is a very confusing movie, but that is exactly what the writers from “Black Mirror” wanted.

Are you still watching? This was Netflix’s attempt to get their viewers involved. On social media, Netflix is sometimes conveyed as just being in the background instead of being a main focus. Also, Netflix was one of the first programs that continues to play a series without the viewer even moving a finger.

There is no way I can specifically review this movie that has multiple beginnings, middles, and endings. Based off the path that I took through “Bandersnatch,” I think that Netflix did an amazing effort to creating their first interactive film. You are just going to have to watch it and decide which path you want.

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