Interpretation

Posted by Prem

 

Bandersnatch

 

Whether or not you liked the episode, Bandersnatch has important things to say about the nature of choice, time, and free will. At the beginning of the film, your decisions are trivial. You choose between cereal and between different types of music. Choosing breakfast food has minimal risk, (even though Frosties is the ONLY right answer) but as the episode continues, your decisions have increasing consequences. Bandersnatch slowly makes you aware of the fact that you’re traversing down a single branch of a very large decision tree. This awareness is the mindf-ck. It’s only a small jump to realize that your life is just a single branch on a very large decision tree. The difference is that in Bandersnatch, you can choose a different path and see a whole new set of events. There are definitely some embarrassing moments in my life where I wish a director would put in the option for a redo. 

If you select the scene where you explore the trauma of Stefan’s mother’s death, you realize that he has an obsession with the effects of his choices. This isn’t a groundbreaking analysis, but it explains his fascination with the choose your own adventure structure, found in a book that was conveniently his mother’s. As you continue to watch Bandersnatch, you start to realize that the decisions you make, while becoming increasingly important, also become more and more inconsequential. Some people find that a fault of the episode, but I think it reveals a deeper meaning. Stefan goes mad realizing that he has no control in his life, and the movie mirrors that by taking the meaning of choice away from the viewer. At some point, you have to kill Stefan’s father. Even if you refuse to take LSD, you’re drugged anyway. At one point, Stefan even says that he found that his game was better when players only had the illusion of choice. The bleakness of Bandersnatch, and the reason why it is so addictive is exactly because that illusion asks a question most people don’t want the answer to: Is our life really choice based, or is free will just a myth? 

What a great interpretation! Those five years of college really paid off

That was a load of nonsense