We watched The Platform on Netflix with a bunch of HMT fans over the Chrome Netflix Party extension and boy, I love this movie! While I am certain that lots of purists will debate whether this is horror or not, I assure you, it’s worth the watch and will definitely find some way to make your skin crawl. The timing of this release makes me wonder if Netflix has a bunch of totally apropos titles just waiting in the wings to be released whenever they are most relevant.
- Intro – (0:36)
- Trailer – (7:17)
- Synopsis – (09:00)
- Review – (11:26)
- Score – (16:26)
- Spoilers – (25:35)
- Final Recommendations – (1:06:56)
- Taglines – (1:09:23)
- It Came From Social Media – (1:12:20)
- Outro – (1:25:57)
The Platform Synopsis
The Platform is about a prison called the pit where there are three kinds of people; the ones above, the ones below, and the ones who fall. This is a twisted place where every cell contains two people and is stacked on top of a seemingly endless column of other cells.
Every day there is a massive banquet comprised of everyone in the prison’s favorite dish. This banquet contains enough calories for everyone in the pit to survive. The catch is the banquet is placed on a platform that stops at every cell for a short time, and it starts at the top and works its way down.
Some prisoners are there by choice, some are there because of a crime, but there seems to be a promise that is made to all of them upon entry into the pit – if you do your time and make it out, you will be granted increased social standing.
Our protagonist is a man called Goreng (Ivan Massagué), who spends time with several of the inmates of the pit. As he learns the ropes, he also seems to take issue with the inherent societal problems that it represents: greed and desperation.
The Platform REVIEW
The minimal but rigid design of the pit echos in the sci-fi dystopian walls of the film itself.
You know the sick and twisted world that lay in the basement of Buffalo Bill in The Silence of the Lambs? That terrifying and perverse reality that we like to forget exists in the real world? That feeling is magnified in The Platform and made the subject of the entire movie.
To make it even more hard-hitting, The Platform is clearly a commentary on humans and society today. While it’s hard to draw many direct analogies with the real world, the standout one seems to be human nature and the greed inherent therein.
The Platform is not without hope, but it is chock-full of extreme violence, imagery, and ideas that make this a real stomach turner.
This movie stays with me, and I wouldn’t mind watching it again. It doesn’t hold your hand, and there is clearly a lot of theorizing that one can do to try and determine the symbology and lessons within.
Score for The Platform
The Platform does a lot of things right. It maintains mystery, drama, tension, and is clearly meant to stand for something. Anything that you might be interested in, this movie probably touches on it. On top of all of that, it doesn’t hold your hand, leaving you free to interpret it’s message or take it at face value.
In favor of spoiling the movie point by point, I will instead share with you a few basic premises of this movie that I find the most relevant and exciting.
The Rules of The Pit
The prison known as “the pit” is a mostly lawless place with a few given rules. They are as follows:
- Some prisoners have opted in, others are being punished, but upon serving your time in the pit, you will be granted elevated social status.
- Everyone is allowed to bring one item with them to the pit.
- The platform contains everyone within the prison’s favorite meal made to perfect standards.
- The platform arrives on each level containing a live person once a day for some short amount of time.
- Each set of prisoners spend one month on the level that they are randomly assigned. If you lose your cellmate, you will be given another upon placement next month.
- At the end of a month, all prisoners are put to sleep by gas and placed, randomly on a new level.
- Anything goes within the pit. There is no law or order that can be broken.
- If you try to hold on to food for later, the temperature of your cell will be raised or lowered until your death.
The Meaning of The Platform
I really enjoy movies that clearly have a purpose or message, and that purpose or message is left somewhat obscured. I won’t tell you what it means because I don’t know for sure. I will tell you what it could mean.
There is an obvious allusion to the pit being hell because there are 333 cells within it, which means there are 666 prisoners. Besides, it’s just about as hellish as you can imagine, especially on the lower levels, which seems like a nod to Dante’s Inferno.
At the very least it’s some sort of purgatory, where people do their time and wait for judgement. At the worst it means torture and death. Even living can mean hellish conditions like someone keeping you alive to feast on you gradually to make sure your flesh doesn’t spoil as quickly.
Goreng decides to bring a book with him to the pit, but not just any book. He brings Don Quixote, a book whose main character is a proponent of equal rights. This is interesting because everyone’s rights within the pit are equal, but that doesn’t mean everyone will be happy about it. Equal rights and equal outcomes are different beasts, and here equal outcomes are not law.
It’s clear that The Platform is meant to be a commentary on capitalism. Capitalism is an interesting beast because it allows you to succeed or fail, but guarantees nothing. Capitalism doesn’t play favorites, so many end up losing.
If you are a fan of psychological horror or Cube, you will enjoy this movie as long as you have a strong stomach. It’s not gore-porn, but there are disturbing concepts throughout. I had a blast watching this, and the dubbing didn’t bother me one bit.