Interactive game on Netflix. Yeah, we were hyped. Black Mirror is best known for being futuristic dramas that, after watching, creates unease about the world we live in. So the fact that this episode was breaking the mould and exploring their techno paranoia even further by giving you control, makes this yet another unique episode.
Bandersnatch is mind-screwing. Its hard to define in words how watching this makes you feel. Loop after loop, moving backwards and forwards, trying to get the right outcome. Charlie Brooker has created technological design of branches, murder (s) and fates. Just like a true video game. It has the same effect as a game. That frustration you feel when you just cant complete a level, and have to do it all over again. However, this is so much worse as its technically real life. You are a real person deciding on another persons fate. For someone who gets stressed over choosing what to eat for tea, this experience for me was a nightmare. Black Mirror generally is purposely reflective and the message is simple in telling us how the screens we watch effect us. Bandersnatch turned the coin on its head and the message was do we effect our screens.
While watching this I also got really frustrated with the time limit it gives you, as many others probably did. But I know this is purposely to steer it away from being a game and more of a film. You’ll also find that the endings often feel abrupt, but this is exactly the point, as they’re manipulating us into watching it the way they want us to watch it. We think we have control but actually, its just an illusion of free will.
The only thing that made me feel ‘meh’ was the fact that the story was less relatable than other black mirror films. What gives it that edge and that uneasy feeling is what could be. Black Mirror usually explores what could happen and go wrong if the technology we have in present day advanced (which is all very possible). Bandersnatch however didn’t explore this, it just made us feel bloody insane trying to get the outcome we wanted. They focused mainly on the choose your own adventure aspect that they forgot to focus on the story, which was quite bland and didn’t really go anywhere. They also focused too much on the concept which was seamless and impressive, that it took away from the story. However, the interactive part was really great, and is the first of its time in film. It created a spiralling feeling of not having any control (while pretending to give you control), so if you like how Black Mirror creates different atmospheres from other films and crosses lines, you’re gonna love this.