‘Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt: Kimmy vs. The Reverend’ interactive special compels

Audience involvement keeps the film engaging


Fair use from Netflix. Kimmy Schmidt (Ellie Kemper) talks to Prince Fredrick (Daniel Radcliffe) about what they should do. The choices are shown on the bottom for viewers to decide what happens next.

Maria Perez Barriga

When “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt: Kimmy vs. The Reverend” was set to premiere May 12, I was intrigued to see how the interactive format would work on Netflix. It was my first time doing a Netflix interactive film and I thought it was fun to play around with the interactive format which gives viewers choices to decide as to what happens next in the story.

This movie features Kimmy Schmidt (Ellie Kemper) and her fiancé Prince Fredrick (Daniel Radcliffe) who are getting ready for their wedding. However, Schmidt finds a mysterious book inside her talking imaginative backpack named Jen (Heidi Gardner). While reading the novel, Schmidt discovers a detail inside the book which indicates there might be other girls who were kidnapped and are stuck in a bunker underground in West Virginia by Reverend Richard Wayne Gary Wayne (Jon Hamm). In hopes to save the kidnapped girls, Schmidt sets off on an adventure with her friend Titus Andromedon (Tituss Burgess) to find the missing girls. 

The movie starts off slow with Schmidt trying on wedding dresses with her friends Andromedon and Lillian Kaushtupper (Carol Kane). Then the audience is given its first question, asking what dress Schmidt should wear; fun or fancy. A timer is displayed on the bottom of the screen and it allows viewers 10-15 seconds to make a decision. The options for the audience to choose from are pretty limited. Although Netflix’s decision to offer interactive movies was a smart idea, they should provide more options in the future.

I had fun choosing what the characters should do in the movie. Each choice had different lines characters would say and different storylines to follow. There are unusual moments when the options could be thought of as dumb, but that’s what made the movie fun and unpredictable. There are various endings, and if viewers make the right decisions, they will get an outcome saying “you won” at the end of the movie.

“Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt: Kimmy vs. The Reverend” movie was great to watch since there are many jokes, and I’m sure there would have been even more jokes if I had picked different interactive options. The plot of the movie really didn’t make much sense because a lot of things were going on, but overall it was a bizarre and intriguing movie to watch. I especially enjoyed watching Schmidt and Andromedon have unusual encounters along their journey to find the girls. There was even a scene in which the fourth wall, an imagined wall which separates actors from the audience, was broken making it seem like the character is talking to the viewers.

In the future, Netflix should produce more interactive movies and offer a larger variety of outcomes. Also, Netflix should allow viewers to make more significant decisions in the story to keep the audience engaged. I recommend this film for anyone who’s interested in comedy and wants to try out the interactive format. 

“Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt: Kimmy vs. The Reverend”: ★★★☆☆