Bandersnatch Movie Review


The cover of the Bandersnatch interactive film produced by Black Mirror. This film was released on Netflix on December 28, 2018.

Lilah Nelson

Charlie Brooker and Annabel Jones, the creators of the anthology science fiction series “Black Mirror,” hit Netflix with another mind bending story called “Bandersnatch.” Netflix joined Black Mirror to create an interactive film in which you choose the character’s destination.

“Bandersnatch” is another movie that revolves around the ‘80’s nostalgia movie goers have been eating up these past few years. The movie references popular tropes such as Pac-Man and bands like the Thompson Twins or the Eurythmics, and even lets you choose which music you would rather listen to throughout the movie. Affecting the many endings the movie is said to have.

This film follows the main protagonist Stefan Butler played by Fionn Whitehead through his journey of making a video game based off of a “choose your own adventure book,” called “Bandersnatch.” Stefan often faces mental challenges throughout this interactive film. As a viewer you can find out how his mother passed away when he was a young child. This plot point is one of the main mental strifes Stefan deals with when he begins questioning his reality.

Stefan’s father Peter Butler played by Craig Parkinson sees his sons declining mental state pushing him to see his therapist Dr. Haynes played by Alice Lowe. Often annoying Stefan feeling like his father is another force trying to control him. Character Colin Ritman who is played beaufly by actor Will Poulter, a fellow programmer causes other twists and turns to Stefans beliefs. Sometimes being a voice of inspiration or straight madness depending what is chosen by a viewer Colin affects the stories plot tremendously.    

Quickly realizing that as a viewer controlling what the main character does from simply picking which cereal to eat or spilling a cup of coffee on Stefans life work. You are made to feel as if you control Stefan and that every decision you make leads him down another rabbit hole he has to figure out. Bandersnatch has a creepy way of making you feel like the “bad guy,” and as the story goes on Stefan realizes someone is making these decisions for him.

If the movie is played from the beginning without anyone choosing a path for Stefan a random choice will be picked for the viewer. Ultimately leading to the movie only being an hour and thirty minutes. Black Mirror hinted at the theme to be like Alice and Wonderland, not blatantly stating it throughout the movie just how the viewers feel as they watch the characters “get lost,” or “go insane.”

Overall, the movie is spot on in showing the viewers the different story paths the writers created. Seamlessly bringing the plot points together to give another reality where it makes one question the technology they use. Bandersnatch is definitely a creative way to get people to interact with film and give an experience that is like no other.