Not an Easy Watch
70%Overall Score

Verdict: This gorefest is a stark portrayal of the bloodthirsty capitalistic society we live in.

Available on Netflix.

This coronavirus quarantine has turned our attention to streaming and Netflix has not disappointed with its variety of films in every genre. The latest film to hit the streaming giant is the Spanish science-fiction horror-thriller titled The Platform (or El Hoyo). Directed by Galder Gaztelu-Urrutia, this film premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2019, where it won the People’s Choice Award for Midnight Madness. It was there that the film secured a deal with Netflix, making it available to our television and computer screens today. The movie stars Spanish actor Iván Massagué in the lead role.

What’s The Platform About:

The movie is set in a prison, wherein there are two prisoners on each floor. The cells are square with a large hole in the center that enables the inhabitants of the cell to peek at the floors below and above. The purpose of the hole, however, is to transport food from the top floor to the bottom. A huge feast is laid out on a table, which gradually moves down through the building. While there’s enough for everyone if eaten moderately, cellmates on the top floors consume generous portions of food, leaving nothing for the ones at the bottom. One is not allowed to store food or the prison cell will grow unbearably hot or cold. Each month, the cellmates are moved to a new floor so their privilege of being on the top floors is also short-lived.

What Works:

With its basic set-up, The Platform portrays the reality of our society today. People in the top-tier have access to all of the resources available on the Earth, while those in the bottom are hungry and homeless. While the Earth has enough to feed everyone, there’s a shortage due to inequitable distribution. The issue could be solved with the right kind of education and awareness but people on the top do not want to give up their privilege. The only difference in this movie is that while people on the top floor can enjoy plenty of food for one month, there is no guarantee that they would do so again in the next month. In real life, on the other hand, the rich remain rich and the poor only perish.

Besides its portrayal of the bloodthirsty capitalist system, the movie also shows how people at the bottom are prone to a life of crime to fulfill their basic needs. Cellmates resort to killing each other and feeding on carcasses when no food arrives for them. Hunger drives them mad and their only choice is to take life or give up their own. The film drives its point through two montages – one where people at the top are devouring the food given to them and one where people at the bottom are resorting to murder for survival. Neither of these makes for an easy watch but the film does not aim to please or make you comfortable. It’s a stark portrayal of the society we live in and one that turns us inhumane.

What Could’ve Been Better:

The Platform is rife with gore that makes it hard to digest. There’s plenty of murder and other kinds of animalistic behavior that you would not want to watch alone or right after a meal. Our suggestion would be to watch it late at night, long after you’re done with dinner.

Why You Should Watch:

Netflix could not have chosen a better time to release a movie like The Platform. While normal life has come to a standstill due to the coronavirus outbreak, this is the perfect opportunity for us to introspect on the choices that have led to the degradation of society and aim to be better. Capitalism has suffered a severe setback at the moment and until we find a way to curb its evils, we could be headed towards a serious disaster.