(Spoilers for Black Mirror: Bandersnatch will be found below, as silly as that sounds in this context.)
The Black Mirror: Bandersnatch movie has arrived as (last-minute) projected, and indeed, Netflix has delivered a choose-your-own-adventure as forecast. Wired reveals that the movie took 18 months of blood, sweat, and tears to pull together, and the end result is inevitably mind-blowing. As the trailer indicated, Fionn Whitehead stars as a video game programmer, Stefan, who’s adapting his favorite fantasy novel. Along the way, viewers select from an endless stream of choices (both seemingly trivial, like selecting cereal or music, and more shattering, like whether to jump out a window). The experience of watching the movie, while novel, is a bit exhausting, which comes together with Variety‘s revelation that over a “trillion” permutations exist to complete Stefan’s story.
The movie should take viewers an average time of 90 minutes to complete, although some routes can take as little as 40 minutes, and one can easily imagine people swallowing up entire days (or weekends) while attempting to circle back and experience every speck of the footage.
Needless to say, people are slightly overcome by all the possibilities while reacting on social media, especially regarding those Sugar Puffs.
Residual Bird Box anxiety didn’t help matters, not at all.
Basically, the anxiety was palpable while people (pretended to) feel awful for ruining Stefan’s life with choices from the future.
In the end, however, it may become apparent that, like Stefan, Netflix was giving viewers “the false sense of control” while engineering the story’s endings.
And doing the same thing over and over, while expecting different outcomes is … possibly the definition of insanity, right?
Yes, Bandersnatch is a gleefully insane adventure. So bleak (see below), but so worth watching (for at least 40 minutes).