Netflix launched Bandersnatch on the 28th of December and people went a little crazy. Rightly so, since it was supposed to be the first ever interactive movie ever. Netflix’s inhouse production is known for its ingenuity and good content, moreover it does all of this with a diverse cast. The kind of representation found on a platform like Netflix, is truly remarkable and something which is very much needed. With shows like Sacred Games, Bird Box, The Crown and many others, Netflix’s production house is doing great. With the launch of Bandersnatch, the viewers had even greater expectations and suffice to it say, Bandersnatch doesn’t disappoint.
As I already said earlier, it is the first interactive adventure movie ever created. The storyline follows the work of a programmer Stefan Butler who tries to adapt a book, Bandersnatch into a game . The entire show, shows the ups and downs of Stefan’s life, as he struggles to programme the game. The thing which attracts the audience is not how Stefan goes about programming the game but how Stefan feels that he is being controlled by some third party. The control is so deeply ingrained in his life that even the choice of his cereal is something we get to pick. Yes, that’s how detailed the entire show is. The moment Stefan realises that he is being controlled is one of the pivotal moments of the entire show. Imagine the experience of you watching a tv show and getting to make mundane choices for the character and then all of a sudden, the character can feel that he is being controlled. The element of twists and surprises is amazing, as is the characteristic of episodes of Black Mirror.
The interesting part of this show is the parallel storyline that runs alongwith Stefan’s story, which is eerily similar to what happens to Stefan himself in one of the endings.The parallel storyline is of the deceased author of the book Bandersnatch, and how he became a little crazy while he programming the game, and ending up decapitating his wife and using her blood to make graphic symbols all over his room. In one of the endings, Stefan ends up doing a similar thing wherein he kills his father, chops his body and uses the blood to make graphic symbols all over his room. Incidentally, this is also one of the endings in which he is seen to get huge appreciation for his work in the game and the episode ends with another programmer trying to program the same game, with us getting to choose options for her again. This in turn implies that whoever programs that game or tries to program it, ends up being controlled by a third party.
The part which needs our heartfelt appreciation is the fact that this is only one of the endings. There are many more different endings which shows Stefan in various other situations.To say that this show is one of its kind , is a huge understatement. Nothing like this has been made or launched ever. To be honest, some of the endings have a sense of unfinished-business to it, and just blatantly don’t make sense, however before the entire thing ends, you get an option of going back and redoing the scene by choosing a completely different option.
The interesting thing about this show is the fact that , when you choose an option , the story doesn’t pause, it transitions into the option you choose very smoothly. This entire choosing the option and the scene playing into it, comes off as a decision that is being made in Stephan’s head, although we are the one making it. The entire fact that there are no pauses in the storyline gives you a feeling that you are in control of the main character. The kind of work that went to making this one episode is mind-blowing. The actors didn’t know which scenes they were shooting, the technology was being developed as and when the show was being shot. It was a sort of a gamble , where everybody was figuring out whether the technology would be able to support it or not.
This show will leave you horrified and amazed at the same time. Black Mirror is known for its riveting content and this show is no different.
Picture Credits : slashfilm.com