"Bandersnatch" Review
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Arts Entertainment

Netflix Creates Interactive 'Bandersnatch' And It Is The Most Innovative Film You Will Ever See

Although it plays more like a video game than a movie, it allows us to wonder just what Netflix has in store for us in the future.

Netflix Creates Interactive 'Bandersnatch' And It Is The Most Innovative Film You Will Ever See

"Black Mirror", a television series that originated in the UK in 2011, released an interactive film at midnight on 28 December that claims to be a part of the "Black Mirror" universe. This year, instead of giving viewers a full season of different episodes, we were given a movie made like a Choose-Your-Own-Adventure video game.

The film starts out with an automated message of a woman explaining the premise of "Bandersnatch" and giving the viewer their first choice after asking if they understand what they are supposed to do if they choose to watch the film. It's a simple 'Yes' or 'No' and clicking 'Yes' launches the viewer into the beginning of the movie.

"Bandernsnatch" has a very loose plot because, like many Choose-Your-Own-Adventure video games, there are multiple endings. But the basic premise follows teenage Stefan Butler (Fionn Whitehead) in the year 1984, who is in the process of developing a video game titled "Bandernsnatch". The game Stefan is developing is an option based game, much like the film is. The viewer is in total control of Stefan's life from the moment he wakes up on July 9th and the viewer chooses everything that he does that day, even down to the smallest detail like what cereal he eats for breakfast.

Going into the film, it's unclear what to expect. The trailer that Netflix released earlier in the week was very ambiguous, but one eerie detail was made overtly clear: That "You're not in control" and you have the power to change your past, present, and future.

I'll leave it to you to find out what exactly that means, but just know that "Bandernsnatch" is perhaps one of the most innovative films that Netflix has released. It's darkly methodical, thought-provoking, and absolutely wild. In terms of catharsis, it leaves you just like any other "Black Mirror" episode would: Confused and wanting more.

The only difference is that "Bandernsnatch" is much more playful than previous episodes, and that is because it plays out more like a video game than a film. The plot will play out as any traditional movie would, but when it comes for Stefan to make a decision, two options will appear and the viewer is given approximately ten seconds to make a choice. Each choice will ultimately result in a different path, and therefore ending, so although the running time for the movie is only ninety minutes, viewers will mostly likely spend much longer watching (or playing?) than that.

This is because if the viewer makes the wrong choice, they are allowed to go back and make a different one. Although going back and forth and seeing the plot go in different direction is very fun at first, it can get old and boring fairly quickly.

But that doesn't mean that it wasn't fun initially. My brother and I began at the same time on separate devices and were racing back and forth to tell each other what we made Stefan do and absolutely losing our minds over what was happening.

It made my day so much more interesting and I immediately sat down to begin writing about it because that's what "Black Mirror" episodes make you do. They make you want to talk about your experience and convince others to do the same because the material that you witness is so meta. An aspect that draws many people towards the "Black Mirror" series is that it makes you wonder if this can actually happen in real life, and "Bandersnatch" has that same quality to it.

In the most basic understanding of it, this film is like a conspiracy theory come to life and it's so much fun to watch and play. It leaves me wondering what other fun experiments Netflix will give us in the future, and if it's anything like what I witnessed with this film, I'm extremely excited. It's nice to have a change in pace, and "Bandersnatch" is fresh and new.

Although it is not the full series we expected, it's nevertheless still something to binge. Check out "Bandersnatch" and see what all the hype is about! You will absolutely not regret it.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

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