EmbrACE Magazine

Berdan's Binge Watching Corner #10


Sugar puffs or Frosties? Come on… You’ve only got 10 seconds!

Actually, you have until forever. With this new interactive Netflix Original film, you will never come to the ending you really wanted to see. Yes, you decide what type of finale the movie will have, like in a ‘Choose your own adventure’ book. Welcome to Black Mirror’s finest piece of insanity, Bandersnatch.

As I said, it’s up to you. You are in control. At least, that’s what Netflix wants you to think. Stefan – the main character – thinks he’s in control of his own life… but it’s us, the viewer… but not really… it’s Netflix… or the government… or North-Korea? We’ll never know. At first hand, there is this whole idea of ‘free will’ which is something Bandersnatch wants you to believe in. However, once you’ve spent a while cracking your brain over watching this film, you’ll soon realize that the concept of ‘free will’ is completely missing. Eventually, we – as the spectators – are being controlled by Netflix to end up where they want us to end up. They just manipulate you by making you believe that you are Netflix and thus in control. Are you still following me?

I thought so. Anyway, the point is: you’re powerless. There is no time stated in the progress bar; you cannot rewind and change any previous decisions until you ‘fail’; you will not get an answer to what is right or wrong; and lastly, it is absolutely impossible to outsmart Charlie Brooker, the creator of this multi-manipulation game.

Caution: do not watch this alone if you are bad at making hard choices under pressure. It really doesn’t just end with choosing what flavor cereal you prefer. There is a lot more at stake. It’s to kill or not to kill; to destroy or not to destroy. It’s mainly to rebel or not to rebel… but against what? Yourself?

Since this film can go many ways (five to be precise), I will not spoil any more information and let you get your own hands dirty. Be prepared to spend a good two to five hours watching Bandersnatch – depending on how much you and I are alike. Enjoy the ride and don’t get sucked into the black mirror in front of you…

*screen cracks*