The year is 1984, and Stefan, a young programmer, is developing an adventure RPG computer game based on a mind-bending novel titled ‘Bandersnatch,’ where the reader gets to make choices for the character in the book; and where the author, after writing the book, lost his own mind, and murdered and chopped up his own wife. The young programmer is given the chance to finish developing his game, and work with a game programmer he idolizes, but as soon as he gets deeper into making the game, Stefan begins to flaws and changes in his own reality, and begins to believe that his life is emulating the game, where he feels that choices being made in his life are out of his control, that his father and therapist may be part of a plot against him, and he becomes more and more unsure of his reality and his sanity.
Okay. Right up front, I will say that Bandersnatch is very entertaining. The acting was great, the cinematography and direction were well executed. The concept is interesting, too. My favorite part within the film was when we had the option to choose that it was the Netflix audience itself controlling Stefan. The way that played out, was funny and cool.
Here comes the but.
BUT. the film comes off like a new toy you get for your birthday or for Christmas, and you have all this anticipation, form all the advertisements, and you open it, play with it, and see everything it has to offer, and then you put it on a shelf or in a box, and never play with it again. Why? Because of how it’s made, once you reach the end of what it does, it doesn’t have the same enjoyment the second or third time. I mean, once you see all it can do, there’s no desire to repeat.
In other words, it’s a neat gimmick, for novelty viewing, but not substantive for repeat viewing.
Still, it’s neat and was fun to watch. The story was interesting, though, in the end, it lacks much fulfillment.
CONCLUSION: Black Mirror: Bandersnatch is a well produced, nicely acted and written piece, that is good for at least one viewing, and gets a solid 7 out of 10 Potatoes.