March 27, 2020

The Platform


2019 Spanish Sci-fi thriller "The Platform" or "El Hoyo" chronicles Goreng's life in a quirky-futuristic prison. Directed by Galder Gaztelu- Urrutia, The Platform doesn't shy away from flaunting its convoluted theme which scrutinizes capitalism. Though the movie can be interpreted in more than one way, I'll stick to the one which I prefer the most.

The movie starts with Goreng waking up in cell number-48 of a multi-storied prison that has a huge opening on each floor. He soon learns that this opening is used by the 'administration' to send food using a 'Platform'. As the food descends in the Platform, the prisoners on the lower levels are forced to eat the leftover food from above. The Platform conveniently mirrors the capitalistic muddle, that enables an uneven system.

With mountainous food for the prisoners at the top level, and close to nothing for those on the lowest level, Goreng struggles to adapt under harsh circumstances and his gullible nature almost cost him his life. Throughout the movie, the director employs delicate metaphors to ridicule various ideologies. Theoretically, the platform carries enough food for all the inmates provided each individual eats only what they require. Reason and Empathy are alien in this frenzied prison. Who will teach the prisoners to be kind? Will there be food for everyone or just the ones on the top? Can Goreng survive? are some questions that make the narration interesting in this 94-minute movie.

Cannibalism, murder & suicide reigns over the lower levels as prisoners starve and lose their minds. The director doesn't try to sermonize a solution to the conundrum; but he makes it pretty clear that even if the majority of prisoners decide to ration their food, it takes only one dickhead to break the chain and topple the system. So communism isn't a long term solution either? Was it the emphasis? I'll never know. 

Are Chaos and disorderliness inevitable? If there was a 'just' way, we'd have figured it out already. Tired of everything, Goreng tries to correct the system by sending a message to the administration. He soon goes haywire and becomes dangerous. He is forced to question his own morality. There's no escaping insanity. His actions are not all in vain, though. The surprise ending seems to vindicate Goreng's action. Did he manage to send a message?- builds up the climax.

The movie's end resembles hope during absolutism. Humans have more than enough wealth, food and resources to share. Inequality, overconsumption, racism, bigotry, greed, and insanity are all intricately intertwined. Kindness and empathy are always the need of the hour. Maybe I'm reading into this movie too much or this is exactly what the director intended. Either way, The Platform is a must-watch.
[line]Stream the movie on Netflix

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