Movie Review: Black Mirror – Bandersnatch

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Movie Review: Black Mirror – Bandersnatch

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On Dec 28, 2018, Netflix’s latest movie Black Mirror: Bandersnatch was released right before the New Year. Bandersnatch has a 74 percent rating on Rotten Tomato and a 66 percent on Audience Score. Black Mirror screenplay writer, Charlie Brooker, brought a whole new type of thriller to the world of cinema. Along with director David Slade, who is well-known for The Twilight Saga: Eclipse movie, and some episodes of Breaking Bad. Slade’s directing is always top notch and with Bandersnatch, he really makes the main character Stefan’s mental decline show. Warning there will be spoilers ahead on scenes, endings, and character deaths for Bandersnatch.

In Bandersnatch, you’re allowed to choose your own path throughout scenes of the movie. You begin with Stefan Butler (Fionn Whitehead), a self-made video game creator in 1984 that lives with his father Peter Butler (Craig Parkinson). Stefan has a fascination with the fictional choose-your-own-adventure-book, Bandersnatch by Jerome F. Davies. While developing a video game version of Bandersnatch, Stefan accepts an interview at Tuckersoft gaming company. Stefan meets his inspiration and idol, Colin Ritman (Will Poulter) who is also a talented game creator and becomes a mentor throughout the movie. Tuckersoft owner, Mohan Thakur (Asim Chaudhry) is impressed with Bandersnatch and wants Stefan on the team. This is where you make a crucial choice in accepting a team to finish the game, or rejecting and choosing to stay home and finish Bandersnatch yourself. For my session, I chose to reject the game team, make the game at home, and have it at Tuckersoft before Christmas.

Throughout the movie, Stefan rapidly declines mentally while making Bandersnatch. You see him relive his past and discover that his mother was killed in a train accident. Colin comes to get Stefan out of “the hole”. In other words, Colin gives Stefan some LSD and goes on a long list of conspiracy theories and some deep mind-bending concepts. This is where I believe the movie finally climaxes. Stefan and Colin finally decide that they should go onto the balcony. Colin explains that “we live in a continuous timeline”, one that he believes is “never-ending”. In my opinion, this scene is the most nervous you could ever be while watching a Netflix film. You’re given the choice to have Stefan jump or Colin. I recommend you have Colin jump because after this you’d have to go back and try again.

After asking for more time on his game, Bandersnatch, Colin mails Stefan a video on how the creator of the original Bandersnatch, Jerome went insane creating the book. So much so that he killed his wife. This is truly where the movie gets chaotic from all the choices you’re about to make. No matter what choice you choose Stefan will decline. To get the full experience you really have to watch the movie for yourself.

Seeing the White Bear symbol from Season 2 Episode 2 wasn’t only a cameo – it’s a representation that you have 2 choices which lead to one path, and one path that leads to 2 choices, a point that is emphasized in the episode.

In my opinion, the greatest part of the movie is the illusion that we have power as we watch Bandersnatch. But no matter what, someone is in control even if believe we are. The one thing I would change about Bandersnatch is the amount of screen time that Colin had. He was throwing out so much knowledge and secrets that I wanted to hear, then he jumped off a roof and/or disappeared until the end (if you chose that) I wished to see more of his character.

Overall, I really enjoyed Bandersnatch. Its wittiness and many alternative endings are what I want to see more of from Charlie Brooker. With season 5 of Black Mirror just around the corner, (plus a confirmation of Miley Cyrus guest starring in an episode), I can’t wait to see what Black Mirror has to offer this 2019.

The first chapter books I read as a kid were an alternative ending. Being able to choose my own order in Bandersnatch was very nostalgic. Also seeing Black Mirror cameos from METL HEDD and White Bear was enjoyable. I give Black Mirror: Bandersnatch an A.

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