The movie’s objective is to unveil the evil of the society, with no intention of indoctrinating or lecture anything – that is what the director of ‘The Platform’, Galder Gaztelu-Urrutia, has to say through an email interview with Collider.
Social injustices: They are everywhere – the rich become richer, the poor become poorer. It is a social construct that has been normalized since the days of the old, and there is barely an inch of any development occurring throughout the decades, which makes it all the more difficult for the lower class to even endure the survival-of-the-fittest in this world. The situation became so much worse with the COVID-19 pandemic that has yet to subside its chaos since its first outbreak in Wuhan, China two years ago. That marks the dark times when everything is a competition for food stocks and necessities, therefore, the rich debate their importance over the lesser. With the power they have and misused, the lower ones have no authority to conquer them and prove their significance.
And that is ‘The Platform’ with no subtle but direct approach takes it literally in the form of a film prior to the pandemic. As we go deep down from the top to the bottom (pun intended) of the neverending abyss, we explore the darkness of humanity which depicts the world itself in hopelessness under the name of staying alive.
The Netflix movie revolves around the ‘Vertical Self Management Center’ where 2 people are placed on each floor (spoilers: there are 333 levels in total, therefore making it 666 people trapped in a small cement skyscraper). The place is marketed as a “Vertical Self-Management Hub” by the organization that owns it, but its inhabitants simply refer to it as “The Pit.” The rules are simple: two inmates on each floor are randomly assigned to a new floor together at the beginning of each month, and every 24 hours, they are able to sustain themselves with a huge smorgasbord of food. However, the intake is different for each floor, with the top having the most buffet-like servings of their life until the platform descended below, where there are only leftovers for the others or even nothing at all.
Here are the reasons The Platform is an appetite-losing, graphically uncomfortable yet explicitly good film that can send a chill down your spine more than the typical alien invasion that kidnaps you from Earth:
It Is An Allegory That Is Not Allegorical
“Animal Farm” meets “South Park”. Is that an easy description to comprehend ‘The Platform’ in its entirety?
If an Oscar-winning film like “Parasite” has a gory, grotesque, stomach-churning counterpart, The Platform takes the spot easily.
You Can Witness The Dark Turns Of Humanity During A Desperation
“There are three types of people: those at the top, those at the bottom, and those who fall.” These are the lines from one of the characters, Trimagasi, as he explains to the protagonist, Goreng of how the hierarchy of The Pit works. The world is not as easy as Goreng thinks when he suggests to “ration out the food”, as even those at the top levels do not bother to listen to the bottom ones.
Sure, it is only an acted screenplay portrayed by actors and actresses under a fictional-turned-reality setting of an illogical gravity-defying platform full of foods. But just how long can we simply have the perspective of a blissful ignorant eye to shrug off the real message behind the screen?
The Food Servings Looks Appetizing Until It Is Not
It can be anything that the inmates favor before entering The Pit: cake, seafood, even the unusual escargot Goreng chooses. But not everyone has a consistent craving for one thing. Those on each floor have complete control of how much they consume and how much they leave for those on the hundreds of floors below them. They will starve those below if they gorge themselves. With a limited time only, the inmates eat as much as they can until their leftovers are lowered to the people on the floor below them, whose leftovers are then lowered to the people on the floor below them, and so on. Would you still have the appetite after watching the close-up shots of The turkey leg has been reduced to a filthy tray of silverware after being chewed down to a few errant strips of saliva-covered meat?
There would be enough food for everyone if the prisoners on the upper levels just took what they wanted. But human nature does not work like that, and those condemned to the depths of the Pit are forced to cannibalism.
Imagine being the janitor for janitorial insurance and bonding to clean up the foodie platform and learn the story behind the mess – even they can feel sick with the thought of it all, let alone to eat anything.