For the most part, I don’t tend to rush and watch Netflix’s original films unless the reception is very high. most of them typically feel like movies that are either not good enough to make money at the box office or bizarre concept films. I guess “Black Mirror: Bandersnatch” falls into the bizarre concept category. Still, as a fan of “Black Mirror” and someone intrigued by the premise of an interactive film, I had to check this film out as soon as possible.
The amount of options you have is amazing and leads to fascinating paths. The premise of the film is also delightfully meta as it focuses on a game designer in 1984 developing his own make your own adventure game. Seeing how the filmmakers play around with this concept is genius. I used to read some of the choose your own adventure books when I was younger so I fully knew what I was getting into. The acting was great in the film. I thought Fionn Whitehead and Will Poulter really pulled you in. Through different choices, Whitehead and Poulter manage to display varying states of emotions and mental statuses. “Black Mirror: Bandersnatch” has at least five different endings and one of them cannot be accessed as of right now and It may never see the light of day until someone figures how to trigger it (many speculate that it branches from the five number password selection). There are countless numbers of possibilities the story can take with reports that not all scenes have been unlocked by viewers. Some of the choices from the beginning of the film will be referenced later at some point as well. If you watch this movie on a gaming console, Your controller will rumble to let you know when it is time to make a choice. I watched some different paths with some different endings and they vary quite a bit. The theme of this movie is also how one person can be controlled in different ways even though they would not notice it and that played very well during this movie. The film is one of the most ambitious projects ever to be filmed. That same ambition I admire might also be the only complaint I might have because it would be almost impossible to see all the different paths that can be taken. Some critics said the film was too gimmicky but I disagree. I think it could be the future of streaming films if they are done right.
With so many possible story outcomes, it’s hard to dismiss the fun you have controlling the direction the story takes. Also, with seamless editing, the film never “feels” like an interactive experience. “Black Mirror: Bandersnatch” manages to pull off the rare win for original Netflix films, I just hope it becomes the first of many. I would also like to note that you cannot watch this movie with older streaming devices or an Apple TV as of right now.
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