Bandersnatch is the latest release in the Black Mirror series from writer Charlie Brooker, and is quite unlike anything done before. It is not the usual sinister Christmas special, or a teaser for the next series, but an interactive film with multiple endings the viewer can choose lasting up to 90 minutes.
Set in London in the 1980’s Bandersnatch is the adult version of the adventure books you had as a kid choosing the outcomes to progress through the story. Stefan the protagonist is an aspiring games designer trying to make an avant-garde game based on novel Bandersnatch.
The decisions start minor choosing music then open up to bigger questions with more interesting consequences. Through these you can explore his childhood whilst watching him lose his mind working constantly on the game as slowly, he loses his grip on reality.
It still makes a statement about society similar to episodes before, concentrating on the idea that we are being controlled and never really make our own decisions shown both through Stefan the character in the show you are controlling and confusing loops that bring you back to the beginning. If you have not made the ‘right’ decision this then enables the viewer to feel the same frustration as Stefan.
There are supposedly five endings that your decisions can lead you to although the game seems to guide you towards one. With no time shown you are able to skip through quickly or take your time going through all the loopholes it could take up to two hours.
Overall it is different from other content from Black Mirror, if you take the time to go through the game it will be an insightful and fascinating experience but you need no distractions to get the most out of it.
Bandersnatch is available now on Netflix.
Film Media and Journalism student at the University of Stirling. Editor in Chief at Brig Newspaper. Edinburgh / Stirling
[…] Amstell and Burnam will be in attendance, alongside Josh O’Connor (soon to be seen as Prince Charles in The Crown), Sex Education’s Connor Swindells, and director and actress Alice Lowe (Black Mirror: Bandersnatch). […]