REVIEW - BANDERSNATCH IS BRAIN-MELTING ENTERTAINMENT
But then again, isn't most modern entertainment brain-melting? And is that what Black Mirror is trying to prove once again with its new interactive feature-length film on Netflix, Bandersnatch? Either way, it's clear that Black Mirror isn’t just a television show anymore. Invading entertainment in an entirely different way, the addictive anthology series has evolved now allowing us to interact with it making the show's near dystopian themes feel all-the-more closer to reality. It's not just something you watch anymore, it's also a game — something you make decisions on and discuss with your friends and peers. Hell, Mashable even wrote an article titled "What Your Black Mirror: Bandersnatch Ending Says About You." Though lacking an original storyline, the breathtakingly grim Bandersnatch manages to develop originality all of its own through its interactive elements and their execution.
STAR RATING (OUT OF 5) — ★★★★
WATCH IT OR SKIP IT? — PLAY IT
IN A SENTENCE: Though lacking an original storyline, the film's Black Mirror psychological standards combined with the reality of decision-making causes an effective uneasiness fans of the show will enjoy.
At some point Bandersnatch becomes a maze — it will mislead you, disorient you and confuse you. Though we've seen similar storylines before in other film, television and literature, it's an appropriate one for Bandersnatch. The plot intertwines the choose-your-own-path element as a theme of the story — choices and life paths. This only adds to the innovation. By using time-lapsing paired with repeating options for the viewer to choose, Bandersnatch even causes confusion at points, making one feel mentally uneasy. The film even continues for lengthy times after you make the wrong choice — and sometimes allows you to make more decisions — before letting you realize you failed. This stirs about your paranoia, always wondering if your last decision was correct or not, or even the decision before that one. How long is it? Can you win it? When it is it over? Is there more than one real ending? It's those thoughts that prove Bandersnatch — and the world of Black Mirror — is taking on brain-meting new forms and expanding its reach in entertainment — and your reality.
The film clocks in at over 300 minutes long, total — more than five hours. With that said, it's easy to get lost in the Bandersnatch labyrinth. The length isn't the only interesting stat that's been uncovered from the film — IGN reported that there's a hidden ending that's so hard to find that director David Slade can't even access. Not to mention the Netflix easter-eggs throughout make for an incredibly clever marketing scheme.
Bandersnatch is tinged with a superb soundtrack from a filmmaker who obviously cares about music — at points, the viewer even has to choose between specific cassette tapes and records. Though it's not perfect, the film is an impressive addition to an already acclaimed show. By expanding its universe — and technological impact — it makes you excited to see what’s next in the Black Mirror saga.