The series “Black Mirror” created by Charlie Brooker has captured the attention of Dripping Springs viewers since it’s Netflix premiere in late October of 2016. Before the American release of “Black Mirror” it captivated viewers in The United Kingdom. Brooker’s most recent release, “Bandersnatch” is sweeping the nation, grabbing the attention of people of all ages. If you haven’t heard already, “Bandersnatch” is interactive, meaning the viewer decides what the characters next move is. Let’s try it here.
If you chose this path, you’re not alone. The “Black Mirror” fanbase is almost torn in half with the opinion of “Bandersnatch”. The problem with “Bandersnatch” is that, with the interactive option aside, the story is generic. The achilles heel of this film is that this “Black Mirror” feature doesn’t hold a candle anywhere close to the complex plotlines of the other episodes. The “Black Mirror” series has a reputation of making viewers sit and stay on the edge of their seat with the intricate and obscure plotlines, and this film simply did not have that effect.
“Bandersnatch” was the first of it’s kind bringing choice to the cinematic world. Unfortunately for “Black Mirror” fans this was a swing and a miss from Brooker. The option of choice is a revolutionary for film but in “Bandersnatch” when a wrong choice is made the programming behind “Bandersnatch” makes you restart and watch everything again. The repetitive feature in this film really loses audiences because the same 20 minute segment is repeated with no change over and over again. The choices made only affect the plot in minor ways and sometimes not at all. The first choice presented in “Bandersnatch” is what cereal the character has for breakfast. A super minor decision that, for some reason, falls in the hands of the viewer.
Brooker tried to put a dramatic and confusing spin on “Bandersnatch” like all his previous episodes have. Sadly, the twist he put on this one was not that shocking. When the character becomes aware that he is being controlled by the decisions that the viewer makes, he doesn’t really sell it. No discredit to the actor, all goes to the writer; The moment of self realization is a great idea and possibly could have saved this film, but it was poorly written that it just made everything worse. The spin put in “Bandersnatch” was the make or break and in an unfortunate turn of events, they chose the wrong direction.
If you chose this path, congratulations, you are the majority. With a lot of speculation and buzz around Brooker’s latest film “Bandersnatch” the scales of cinema lean in the direction that this is a solid film. Everything from the story to the actors to the debut of movies with a choice are projecting strong numbers from critics and viewers.
The front runner in the many reasons that “Bandersnatch” was good is the option of choice. Giving viewers a choice not only keeps them engaged throughout the film but also connects them to the characters on screen. With the characters on screen making choices that the viewer thinks are the right ones, the viewer then believes that he or she is a acting part of the film. This revolutionary way to attach audience members to characters is something that a lot of people would like to see again. Not to mention the choice feature is done almost flawlessly. After the viewer makes a choice the film rolls straight into the corresponding path with no bumps or mistakes, as if it was written into the script.
Another reason why “Bandersnatch” was so captivating is the unexpected twists and turns throughout the entire film. The crazy roller coaster that is this film is exactly what one would expect when watching a “Black Mirror” episode. The choices each viewer makes takes them on their own individual path, meaning the viewer has absolutely no idea what will happen next.
Last but not least, the all-star cast and crew and a major reason for the success “Bandersnatch”. With supporting actor, three time MTV Movie Award winner Will Poulter on screen the film was destined to be spectacular. Next to Poulter stood, the lead of “Dunkirk” Fionn Whitehead. With the on screen talent presented in the hands of crew members like David Slade (director of “The Twilight Saga: Eclipse”) and the mad mind of Charlie Brooker this film was, without a doubt, headed straight to the top.
Written by Andrew Spiegel