Black Mirror has regularly pushed the limits of science fiction in a variety of narrative ways, with the film Bandersnatch also reimagining the ways in which a viewer interacts with media by giving the audience multiple choices that lead to different results throughout the journey. Some viewers have complained about the experience and how they're turned off by having to make decisions, with series creator Charlie Brooker reminding these critics that there are plenty of other things they could be watching.
"It's been interesting that you get different reactions from different people, partly based on what they're expecting, or what they want," Brooker shared with The Huffington Post. "So some people go, 'Oh, I'm sh-t at this', and you sort of go, 'No no, it's alright, we've built in that you're going to fail'. We're trying to make you fail a couple of times so that you have to go around and do things again, and that's sort of baked into the story."
He continued, "There's also some people that are like, 'I don't wanna make decisions', 'I don't want to do any of it'... well f-ck off, then. Do something else! And then there's some people who think, 'Oh, it's too simple as a game' or 'Games have done this before' – well this isn't on a gaming platform, it's on Netflix. I'm well aware of what a computer game is, thanks."
Keeping in tradition with the ways Black Mirror has explored various elements of the horrors of burgeoning technology, Bandersnatch explores a young programmer in 1984 who begins to question reality as he adapts a sprawling fantasy novel into a video game and soon faces a mind-mangling challenge. The character himself begins to discover that an outside force is controlling him, making the viewer a key part of the storyline which plays out seamlessly.
"Some people just want to be told one story, but this is designed where you're going to experience more than one ending to get a sense of the whole," Brooker noted. "We don't expect you to do all of them, it's just the more you do, hopefully the more fun an experience you'll have."
Some viewers are experiencing a narrative that ends after 15 minutes, based on their choices, while other viewers can enjoy a story that lasts longer than 90 minutes. Brooker and director David Slade have previously hinted that the endeavor featured more than five hours of footage, all chronicling various paths for the characters.
Black Mirror: Bandersnatch is available on Netflix now.
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