The Platform (Spanish: El hoyo, translation: The Hole) is a Spanish science fiction horror-thriller film, directed by Galder Gaztelu-Urrutia.
Goreng (Iván Massagué) awakes in a concrete cell marked with the number 48. His cellmate, Trimagasi (Zorion Eguileor), explains that they are in a tower-style prison in which food is delivered via a platform. It travels from the top down through the large holes in the floors and ceilings. Those on lower levels are only able to eat what those at the top leave them. Each room is fatally heated or cooled if prisoners attempt to hoard food after the platform has left their level. Every month, the prisoners are assigned to a new level. And each prisoner is allowed to bring one item in with them; Goreng chose a copy of Don Quixote, Trimagasi a self-sharpening knife.
One day, a bloodied woman named Miharu (Alexandra Masangkay) rides down on the platform. Trimagasi explains that she descends the pit every month in search of her child. Goreng witnesses her being attacked by the two inmates on the level below and is initially worried for Miharu and debating whether to jump down and help her. However, after a few minutes of overhearing a struggle, it is shown that Miharu has actually killed both inmates and successfully defended herself.
The cellmates tell each other why they are in the Pit: Goreng volunteered to spend six months in the Pit in exchange for a diploma, and Trimagasi is serving a yearlong sentence for manslaughter. They become friends over the course of the month. But on the day of the room shuffle, Goreng wakes up gagged and tied to the bed. They have been reassigned to level 171, where the platform is completely empty of food when it arrives. Trimagasi explains that he plans to eat strips of Goreng’s flesh to sustain himself. On the eighth day, Trimagasi cuts into Goreng’s leg but is attacked by Miharu riding down the platform. She cuts Goreng free and he kills Trimagasi. Miharu eats and feeds him some of Trimagasi’s flesh before continuing down.
The following month, Goreng awakes on level 33 with a woman, Imoguiri (Antonia San Juan), as a cellmate. The only thing she brought with her was her dog. Goreng recognizes her as the official who questioned him before sending him to the Pit. She tells Goreng that she believes there are 200 floors in total. And that she was unaware of the Pit’s horrible conditions and volunteered to try and fix things when she was diagnosed with terminal cancer. Imoguiri rations her food and attempts to convince those below to do so as well. But they ignore her until Goreng threatens to defecate in their food.
Will Goreng get through his sentence? Is there any sense in this madness?
The Platform was a movie I knew I was going to love straight after watching the trailer. A solid concept that most certainly delivers.
First off, our main protagonist was fantastic, the level of acting in this film is up there. Everyone plays their role in an extremely believable fashion. The effects were realistic and so were the shots of the seemingly never ending levels.
The Platform’s entire concept as a whole is fascinating and interesting to discuss. A clear metaphor for our society, and an apt one at that. The Platform shows us how the game of life is rigged from the start. In theory sharing what you have from the top to the bottom sounds easy but it’s not possible. In this scenario there’s simply too many people and communication beyond one level above and below is impossible. Similar to a volunteer contacting a wealthy person for aid for those in need. It’s just not that simple.
An interesting study on the psychology of humans and what people are willing to do to survive in the harshest scenarios. When you’re pushed to the edge mentally and physically, would you be able to share your food after feeding on your roommate for a month to merely survive the level?
Overall, The Platform is a psychologically taxing film. It lingers in the mind long after watching. Filled with both disgusting and disturbing imagery and a message about our society as a whole. I have one criticism but it’s quite a big one, and it’s that we learn absolutely nothing about the what, who or why. I understand that could be the point but I enjoyed the concept so much it’s difficult to not think beyond the message and be curious about the world they’re living in.
The Final Score - 8.5/10
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