A still shot from "Black Mirror" Bandersnatch shows the viewer's choice to accept or refuse a business offer on behalf of the protagonist. (Image courtesy of Netflix)
Portola High School

Review: ‘Black Mirror: Bandersnatch’ is the gift that keeps giving

Frosties or Sugar Puffs? Thompson Twins or Now 2? Bite nails or pull earlobe?

These are all choices viewers make in the first-ever interactive Netflix movie “Black Mirror: Bandersnatch.” The film, set in the 1980s, follows upcoming video game creator Stefan (Fionn Whitehead) through his journey programming the interactive fantasy game “Bandersnatch.”

What starts out as a seemingly normal storyline, following the emotional ups and downs of Stefan’s video-game creation, turns into a twisted dark tale, true to “Black Mirror” fashion. The film has several instances of fourth-wall breaks and continues to engage its viewers with its exciting but dramatic action.

As the film progresses, options branch out to sculpt different experiences for each viewer. While some options are insignificant to the plot, some choices prompt a “game over” consequence and force the viewer to return to a previous point. Packed with easter eggs and adventure, the film offers a new experience each time it is viewed — there are a multitude of paths and endings.

Depending on the choices viewers make, the film ranges anywhere from roughly 40 to 90 minutes. However, a downside is that once the viewer has made a choice, it is impossible to go back to change any decisions. The entire film must reset all previous choices and start from the beginning, proving to be a challenge for fans that want to explore the ins and outs of the film.

While it is hard to explain without giving any possible spoilers, one thing is for sure: “Bandersnatch” is pioneering the future of interactive entertainment and proves to be a must-watch in 2019.

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