Since Friday Netflix has been showing a very special film from the popular Black Mirror series of rather dystopian visions of the future: "Bandersnatch" is an interactive film in which the viewer can decide at various points how the story continues, which leads to each viewer seeing a different film, a different sequence of scenes.
The principle is well known from the book series "Choose Your Own Adventure", early hypertext stories or old computer games: after a piece of action, the protagonist and thus the viewer are asked how he decides (e.g. "Do you accept the offer or not?") - depending on how you decide, the action then continues differently. Some viewers are enthusiastic, disappointed or confused about Bandersnatch - but there is still a chance for a different viewing experience at the next viewing, quasi a second life like in a computer game (which is also what the story is about).
Unlike the classic interactive adventure games, however, Bandersnatch is rather labyrinthine and not like a simple decision tree, i.e. there are not just several completely different parallel strands of action - which can lead to the fact that after a few minutes and a few decisions, you may already be at the end or the beginning of the action. If you find the constant decision every few minutes too exhausting: enjoy Bandersnatch also as a normal movie - if you don&t decide after a few seconds, an answer is automatically taken as default and the movie continues.
Bandersnatch is a Black Mirror extra project that doesn&t belong to the fifth season of Black Mirror that starts in early 2019. All segments are 5 hours long in total - and I&m sure someone will soon put a plan online showing which decisions lead to which scenes and to which end. The interactivity works on many different platforms, but unfortunately not on all of them (like Apple TV, Google Chromecast, Amazon&s Fire TV Stick, the Netflix Windows App and older Smart TVs that don&t use the latest version of the Netflix software), which has provoked the anger of some users. A white star on a red background in the upper right corner of Bandersnatch&s Netflix page indicates that the movie can be viewed interactively.