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Review: Black Mirror – Bandersnatch (2018)

Black Mirror: Bandersnatch (dir. David Slade, 2018) – A young programmer attempts to adapt a fantasy novel into a choose-your-own-adventure video game, but loses control over the choices in his own life.

Verdict

Bearing the hallmarks of a typical Black Mirror episode, Bandersnatch pulls us into Charlie Brooker’s deeply engaging mind game that yet again flaunts his creative brilliance and dark tendencies.

5/5

Review

Named after the creature of the whimsical Wonderland tale, Bandersnatch is itself a monster of a wildly imaginative story. Black Mirror’s first interactive episode has us live and re-live the multiple lives of Stefan Butler (Fionn Whitehead), whose obsessive creation of his choose-your-own-adventure game soon starts to warp his own reality.

“I feel like I’m not guiding [my decisions],” he tries to explain his building disorientation. “Someone else is.”

And every time we choose whether to have him destroy a computer or hit a desk, he looks down at his own hands fearfully as if they do not belong to him. His conviction that he is being controlled brings about a tinge of guilt – that we may just be responsible for recklessly manipulating the fate of a sentient digital being (see: USS Callister, Hang the DJ).

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