Black Mirror: Bandersnatch – Dre’s Review
Netflix definitely does something that somewhat feels like a breath of fresh air. While ‘choose your own adventures’ aren’t a new concept, imagine being in a theater and watching a film the actual audience has control over. This definitely opens up a new possibility and genre of film.
The problem is the story is boring as SHIT for the first 20 minutes. Much of the choices feel meaninglingless, or like they have little effect on the actual story. This is definitely bad to the point where making choices feels like an arduous task, because it doesnt seem like it matters. Why bother? Its like when Hulu wants you to ‘pick your ad experience’ the fuck does it matter.
So the beginning of the story isnt every engaging, nor really interesting. Another ‘retro-story from the 80s made in the 2010s’.
But theres a point when your options where your option are a bit of polar opposites.
“Hit Desk” or “Destroy computer”.
Seems like viable options that help progress the story forward either way…. But its not. The “Destroy computer” option really only serves for a bit of amuse
Overall, you get the same curiosity you would with any game, and the movie curiosity kind of disappears, and you’re more thinking about
Obviously I was supposed to follow colin because I kept getting ‘endings’ that were virtually the same, and then they wanted to me “Follow Colin”, as if it was the ‘ideal path’ to be on.
Ultimately, bandersnatch is an interesting watch. While the story isnt super intriguing, it is interesting to see where the choices you make lead you. While at some point, the choices you make feel like they don’t matter, other times, it feels like theres a ‘right choice’ and a ‘wrong choice’. Very few times does it feel like both choices has equal weight and each are treated with equal opportunity. Either way, the entire control experience is an interesting one. Definitely worth a watch but don’t plan to be blown away.
If I had to give it an honest rating, it would probably give it a 6.
Pros- interesting concept, not new, but interesting execution was interesting
Cons- story isnt that great, some options feel forced and choice seems almost pointless some times. Different options/paths lead to the same ending…. And the story itself is very ‘self-aware’ meta. There are about 20 different instances where the story/plot refers to itself as if the episode wants you to feel like its an episode where you’re in control. Different references and conversation literally revolve around “Paths”, “choices”, and “freewill”. Itll be a conversation that trys its hardest to find its way in the same.
But then I watched it again with someone else.
And I noticed very subtle changed based on the options picked. While some changes are so subtle you wouldnt notice, others were significant enough that, even though it felt like I was on the same path, the results were VERY different leading to very different paths.
THEN I REMEMBERED I WAS WATCHING BLACK MIRROR! So those very different paths lead to very different ending, that were often out of this world.
Ultimately, there are quasi-endings that are very similar (about 6 of them), 3 major endings, and 2 joke endings (give or take).
After a rewatch, I really got into it and probably spent about 4 hours trying to get to the different paths. Whats semifrustrating is there are ‘start over’ paths, but they do not always lead to the same ‘return point’ (the save point if you will) so getting back to a point you want to try a different path on is sometimes hard to get to.
The story is semi dul, but if you get into it and really explore it, it is actually very entertaining. There is still one mystery I am curious about, and that’s a 5 digit number. I’m curious if there are different secret endings I haven’t discovered.
Overall a 9/10 for me.
Definitely a new experience that does not feel too gimmicky, and a lot of open ended takes on the same story. It takes a bit of time getting into it, once I did, I wanted to know all the endings. The story unfortunately does not lend itself to naturally be that interesting, but once you’re in, you’re in. Feels like a movie for gamers who like those “choose your path” games. Reminded me of how I felt playing PT for the first time. Its just something different.