‘Bandersnatch’ offers interactive experience

A ‘Black Mirror’ Netflix original with multiple endings

Written By Tia Bailey, Social Media Coordinator

Black Mirror’s interactive film “Bandersnatch” was released on Netflix at the end of December. Many fans of the show had been anticipating its release ever since it was announced last October.

As a longtime fan of the show, I was very excited when I first heard the rumors of an interactive episode. “Black Mirror” satirizes society’s dependence on technology really well, and the thought of being able to control what happens in the over-dramatic world of “Black Mirror” sounded really fun.

“Bandersnatch,” set in 1984 England, is about a young video game programmer, Stefan, who is working on a game based on the choose-your-own-adventure book, “Bandersnatch.” As you go along in the film, you learn, along with Stefan, about the dark past of the author of “Bandersnatch,” and how he descended into madness while writing the book. Throughout the film, you get to watch Stefan go down the same road as he creates the game.

The movie begins by explaining how the interactive parts of the episode work. When it’s time for you to make a choice, your options will appear at the bottom of the screen, and you have 10 seconds to choose one. You are then asked if you understand, and a “Yes” and “No” option pops up and you click “Yes” to continue.

The actual plot begins by introducing Stefan, and showing as he programs a video game based on the choose-your-own-adventure book that the movie is named after.  The very first choice of the movie surprised many viewers, and proved to be more stressful than you would think– Stefan’s choice of cereal. Viewers on Twitter tweeted memes and gifs to showcase their stress over the everyday decision. The movie continues to show Stefan going to a popular video game company to show his idea, and this is where you really begin to progress and make more impactful decisions.

Eventually, Stefan realizes that he is not the one making his decisions and is being controlled by someone else — you.

There are multiple endings you can get achieve in the movie. The ending you get is completely dependent on nearly every choice you make throughout the film, and certain choices will result in different endings. Twitter users have made diagrams showing how each decision affects what ending you get, and what patterns to follow to see every ending. Viewers have found up to 12 endings.

Like many others, I got the quickest ending the first time I watched. Because of the option to go back and redo your decisions, many viewers, including myself, found themselves watching for an exceptionally long time, trying to make the right choices to get a decent ending for Stefan. I eventually gave up after four or five endings, realizing I’d been at it for hours.

Although the movie has over 10 endings, it has the same gut-wrenching theme overall: you do not truly have control over your own actions. All the twists and turns eventually lead you to relate to Stefan in the worst way possible, and you finish the film feeling anxious.

“Black Mirror” is known for making viewers paranoid with their episodes on technology and the future, and the movie is no exception.