Netflix’s “Black Mirror: Bandersnatch” has broken boundaries that no other movie or television series has been able to even imagine.
The story follows 19-year-old Stefan Butler (Fionn Whitehead) as he tries to program a video game version of the novel “Bandersnatch.” He meets with the head of Tuckersoft, Mohan Thakur (Asim Chaudhry) and renowned video game programmer Colin Ritman (Will Poulter). This is the only part of the program where the story line is the same for every viewer.
Throughout the program, the viewer is presented with choices and is forced to make a decision on behalf the main character. These decisions made throughout the course of the program lead to one of five main endings. Although you will experience one of only five endings, the path one takes to get there is much more unique due to the decisions made along the way.
These decisions vary in importance and intensity. Some choices are as simple as what breakfast cereal Stefan will have for breakfast while other choices involve choosing which character will die or how a character will be murdered.
The program ranges from 40 minutes to 90 minutes depending on the decisions one chooses. After an ending has been reached, the viewer is given the option to go back and change their initial decisions to experience alternate endings.
The show gives you multiple opportunities to go back, but this doesn’t show viewers everything that could have happened. Over five hours of footage was filmed in order to make the interactive experience. The only way to possibly see all of the footage is to watch the episode completely multiple times.
The plot itself is thought-provoking but disappointing when compared to other Black Mirror episodes. The program relies on the interactive aspects to create the mind-boggling experiences of Black Mirror. Without these, the show could not stand alone as a Black Mirror episode.
Interactive television shows are virtually unheard of, but they have been done. What makes Black Mirror: Bandersnatch so revolutionary is how the main character can become aware of someone controlling his every movement.
This program has taken futuristic concepts and made them a reality. Through Black Mirror: Bandersnatch, viewers can interact, communicate and be a crucial part of the show in real time. Streaming content is changing from a passive activity to an active one.
This program will make a huge impact on the way we view and interact with online content. Black Mirror: Bandersnatch contains all of the drama of a film while interactivity gives the program all the captivating elements of a video game. It will force Netflix to reinvent the way it streams media to cater to interactive content on all devices.