The reason for that bracket in the title, is that it took a while for Bandersnatch to click with me. My first journey through the ‘film’ only lasted 20 minutes and little happened. Luckily my trusted film friend Lucy (lucygoestohollywood.com) told me to give it another go as her experience had been a 65 minute horror adventure. Soooo. I picked up the controller again. And again. And again. Characters began to act differently, the way they reacted to me changed and slowly but surely, my player, Stefan, began to get closer to completing the ultimate tribute to his mother, the video game Bandersnatch, whilst due to my choices, he also came closer to losing his mind.
If this all sounds a little vague, it is. The magic of Bandersnatch is knowing your version is different to mine. There might be a focus on friendship, business, murder, suicide, therapy or just choosing what to have for breakfast or (and this is an important thing in my real life) what music to listen to on the bus.
Playing the film cold is probably enjoyable but those of us who remember the rock star status of Peter Molyneux or Archer Maclean will get more of the little background touches, smile at the reference to old games and dream back to the days that you bought your videogames and your vinyl in WHSmith.
I have travelled through Bandersnatch five or six times now, still managing to avoid spoilers or the flowcharts that people have been making to catch every option. I applaud the dedication, but these seem like the same people who would peel the stickers off of a Rubik’s Cube. Just go with the flow, make your own discoveries and make the most of the neon madness of Bandersnatch. Or don’t. It’s all about choice, after all.
(Bandersnatch is currently showing on Netflix)