‘Black Mirror: Bandersnatch’ | Netflix Interactive Film Review

December 28, 2018
Daniel Hart 3
Film, Film Reviews, Netflix


Black Mirror: Bandersnatch is an interactive film that provides genuine choices for the audience and is Netflix’s best idea of the year.

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Black Mirror: Bandersnatch is an interactive film that provides genuine choices for the audience and is Netflix’s best idea of the year.

The more I think about it, the more I believe Netflix is pimp-slapping all other streaming services across the park. The streaming giant has released a first of its kind. Black Mirror: Bandersnatch is an interactive film, allowing the viewer to make meaningful choices for the lead character. Black Mirror has always been an outstanding piece of storytelling, but this unique one-off changes our appetite for TV for the near future.

I will not delve into the specific plot points because all choices lead to spoilers. The story is about a game programmer called Stefan (Fionn Whitehead) who lands a gig at a reputable gaming company in the 80s. He proposes to the chief executive that he creates a game called Bandersnatch, which involves the player making key choices to progress. The game is based on a fantasy novel, which drove the original author crazy. Black Mirror adds the usual dosage of sinister undertones, providing a layer of mystery for the viewer.

Black Mirror: Bandersnatch gives the audience simple choices like choosing Stefan’s cereal at the start, but as the story progresses, the options become more extreme, as the main character begins to question his sanity and decisions. Bandersnatch plays with the reality that the work life of game design is a pressure cooker environment that can send the most skilled employees crazy. You are also introduced to another elusive game programmer named Colin Ritman (Will Poulter) who is markedly important to Stefan’s perception of the world.

Black Mirror: Bandersnatch - Netflix Interactive Film Review

When you have exhausted the plentiful of options in Black Mirror: Bandersnatch, you soon realize that the story could be absolutely anything. The end objective is always what the fate of the game came to be. What I relished about the latest instalment of Black Mirror is the savvy irony it places on the audience; you are in control of the Black Mirror experiment; the character is in your world; you are forcing decisions on him; his growing self-awareness makes you part of the story.

Black Mirror: Bandersnatch changes the course of streaming and storytelling for the near future because I can only imagine audiences begging for more after they have feasted on the different paths. The interactive film does not feel like a gimmick like the eye-rolling 4D cinema. Bandersnatch genuinely immerses you into the story. There is no flicking through your smartphone while watching this story because you are dying to see the consequences of the choices you have made for the character.

I’ve purposefully left out some plot points for this review. My recommendation is that you watch it and spend time going through the different choices and once you have, leave a comment on your experiences in the comments below (try to avoid spoilers).

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