I felt obligated to write this review after reading a litany of disparaging reviews about Black Mirrors new full length interactive movie Bandersnatch. The movie follows Stefan, a young, ambitious, and unstable programmer whose passion is recreating the choose-your-own-adventure book Bandersnatch into an interactive video game. Stefan is given the opportunity to develop his game under the video game publisher Tuckersoft and work alongside programming prodigy Colin Ritman (Will Poulter, well known for his role in the Maze Runner trilogy), who I must say plays an incredible supporting role. At this point in the film is where things start to go awry. Ritman takes Stefan under his wing to help him get out of the programming black hole that he has found himself in. While doing so Ritman beings to transfer some of his own philosophical beliefs onto Stefan which leads to Stefan feeling as if someone else is in control of his actions (that someone being you the viewer). From this point on the film takes on a fairly meta feel until you end up coming to one of the various endings.
The Black Mirror Franchise focuses on telling short hour length stories on alternate realities similar to our own. They are almost always very well thought out and leave the viewer wanting more of the world they just viewed. It is evidently clear that the diverging story lines in Bandersnatch were very well thought through. Human nature compels us to make sense of things so naturally as you watch this movie you try to make sense of and piece together the different branches of the story line. This is where the movies creators did an incredible job because as you watch the film you find it fairly hard to see the branching organization of the story which leads you to being even more entranced into the movie. The writers accomplished this in a specific way. At times they force you to go back in the story and re-play certain parts. What you would expect is to receive the same options as you did before. This is not at all the case, you will often experience completely new options that will lead down all new paths. The writers did not stop there either, at times when you are forced to go back in the timeline certain characters will remember your previous choices and this fill effect the way they interact with you in this new timeline. long story short the movie felt very thoughtful in its decisions and made it evidently clear that a lot of time went into making the experience feel genuine and not just a simple experience with chooses that did not matter.
All in all this was an incredible film and another exceptional addition to the Black Mirror Franchise. Crazed Hub would recommend.
5 Colin Ritman’s out of 5
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