Bandersnatch brilliantly breaks expectations


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Fionn Whitehead stars as Stefan in the interactive Netflix film “Black Mirror: Bandersnatch.”

Cassia Ramelb

The highly anticipated Netflix film “Black Mirror: Bandersnatch”  takes an innovative step in interactive content with an undeniably clever reflection of the horror series “Black Mirror.”

The film, released Dec. 28, takes place in 1984 Britain, starring Fionn Whitehead as young video-game programmer Stefan. As the film progresses, a stress-riddled and PTSD-stricken Stefan questions reality and whether he’s being controlled by a more powerful being as he programs a game based off of fictional author Jerome F, Davies’s novelBandersnatch.

Like the novel and game, the movie presents two choices in which viewers have 10 seconds to decide what Stefan does. For instance, viewers choose whether Stefan should eat Sugar Puffs or Kellogg’s Frosties for breakfast. If viewers fail to choose one of the options in the time allotted, one is selected for them.

Rated TV-MA, “Bandersnatch” explores violence, drugs, vulgar language, mental illnesses and conspiracy theories relating to Philip K. Dick’s novels. Recurring symbols appear in scenes like a poster of Dick’s book, “Ubik,” which explains instances where the human mind becomes aware of parallel universes explained by video-game designer Colin Ritman played by Will Poulter, known for his nutty role on the 2013 comedy film “We’re the Millers.

This sci-fi, choose-your-own-adventure movie gives the audience the ability to map their own unique way throughout the plot. Viewers guide Stefan through difficulties in designing his game Bandersnatch and reaching his Christmas deadline. The outcome of the game depends on the viewer’s decisions affecting the final scene. There are trillions of paths to at least one of its five different ending scenes. However, after watching an ending scene, Netflix suggests to rewind rather than exit to the credits.

David Slade brilliantly directs Black Mirror’s most mind-boggling and disturbing production that forcefully argues ‘no human is in control.’ Besides “Bandersnatch,” Slade directed an episode of Black Mirror entitled “ Metalhead” in 2017 and “The Twilight Saga: Eclipse,” the third film of Stephenie Meyer’s popular young adult series, in 2010.

Earlier this week, Netflix released a cheat code on Twitter, “think you’ve seen everything there is to see in bandersnatch? try picking up the family photo, ~twice~.”