The Hawk Eye

Who’s in control?

"Black Mirror: Bandersnatch" provides a new interactive experience

Photo credits: IMDb.com

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I don’t really have time to watch films as much as I used to, but when I do, I watch the usual films that get spit out by big studios and always think, “I have watched the same boring plotline before.”

My opinion changed when Netflix’s “Black Mirror: Bandersnatch” came out.

“Black Mirror: Bandersnatch” is an interesting concept. It’s an interactive film with choices that start out simple, like choosing a cereal for breakfast or a song on your music playlist, and steadily moves toward darker decisions. You find yourself choosing who lives and dies, and what to destroy and what to save.

The plot revolves around Stefan (played by Fionn Whitehead), a young programmer who starts designing an interactive video game inspired by an insane writer who wrote an interactive novel.

Stefan slowly starts questioning “who’s in control?” after having a hallucinogenic trip with Colin (played by Will Poulter) who is also a programmer. Colin rambles about reality, comparing life to a video game where choice is an illusion and death just means starting over. He also talks about “Pac-Man theory,” arguing that the character’s name is evidence of a much larger conspiracy.

Colin explains that P.A.C stands for “Program and Control” suggesting that Pac-Man is a metaphor of not being in control. He explains that Pac-Man is mentally ill and all he does is consume while running from the ghosts that are probably in his own head.

This theory absolutely blew my mind, but it was kind of disappointing when I found out the conspiracy is not at all true since Pac-Man’s original name was Puck-Man and was later changed due to vandalism outside Japanese arcades.

If we take a look at today’s society, most people have become desensitized to so many different things. You are either numb to the world or sheltered from it, and I think this is the real point Bandersnatch is getting at.

As the movie progressed, I found myself choosing bad decisions because I was interested to see how it would turn out, and I’m sure others did the same.

Many people on social media talked about the viewer being in control of the movie, but that’s not true. The story stays the same, but the choices do change the ending. Once you reach one of the endings, the movie rewinds a little so you could see another ending.

It was an overall fun watch and I recommend this movie to those who are fans of old-school games.

 

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