Ever since Netflix made The Platform available for streaming on its site last month, the 2019 Spanish film has since made noise on social media. More than just a gory horror-thriller, it's been hailed for its unapologetically explicit and visceral portrayal of what it's like to suffer beneath a system that favors the fortunate.
In a nuthsell, the movie centers on a man named Goreng who wakes up in a tower-style prison where food is delivered through a platform that travels from top to bottom until it reaches the lowest level. Remaining unreplenished as it goes down, prisoners situated on the lower levels have no choice but to feed on the leftovers haphazardly left by those from the top. Others, however, are met with absolutely nothing once the platform lands on their level, leading them to starve, or otherwise find inhumane ways to live.
Sound familiar? Below, we list down why it's important to watch this eye-opening film right now.
It’s painfully relevant to the present time.
As the coronavirus pandemic continues to sweep the globe, some have resulted to emptying out shelves in supermarkets, taking more than they need for a week and leaving other buyers with no stock to bring home. Thoughts of hoarding or panic-buying will be quelled by watching The Platform, which elucidates repercussions of such actions. One character muses "If everyone ate only what they needed, the food would reach the lowest levels,” referring to the lucky few on top who feast on the food that arrives without leaving so much as a thought for the rest beneath them. This leads those at the bottom to literally starve to death, or worse, take their own lives if only to end their suffering.
It pushes the atrocities of classism and capitalism to the forefront.
It’s practically clear as day that The Platform is a social commentary on the horrid disadvantages of classism and capitalism. In analysis of the film, one Twitter user writes "The ones up there won't listen. The ones below have no choice. It takes solidarity to survive. But not everyone is willing to cooperate."
The stark class divide in today’s society pampers the rich within their comfortable lifestyle so much so that some of them are too anxious to lose it. Those at the bottom, meanwhile, are forced to the extremes, leading them to commit heinous crimes in order to survive.
Upon finding themselves at a level where no food would be left to reach them, Goreng’s first roommate, Trimagosi, ties him up in his sleep and plans on cannibalizing on his flesh. “You’re a murderer,” Goreng spits when he learns of the latter’s ploy. Trimagosi then calmly and matter-of-factly answers him “No. No, I consider myself someone who's afraid, just like you - my tasty little roommate.” It’s not always black and white, and the film teaches us that much.
It might just change the way you behave.
The Platform director Galder Gaztelu-Urrutia, in an interview with Financial Times reiterates that the film isn’t out to change the world. Instead, he hopes that its raw and overt portrayal of the atrocities of inequality will lead more people to change their behavior. “The biggest problem we have today is the sharing of wealth,” he says “It’s a problem we’ve had for 500 years. And it is a problem we will have 500 years in the future. It is not a film against one political or economic system, but more about the behaviour of individuals within that world. The movie is not out to change the world, but to change how you behave as an individual.
If you were in this world, how would you behave? What would you do on level 6? Or what would you do if you were on level 200?” At the end of the film, with all the blood shed, food eaten, and cutlery thrown aside, it leaves its viewers with the challenge to be better people than the characters they encountered.
The Platform is currently streaming on Netflix.
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