Image from Netflix. Fair Use.
In 2020, Netflix bought the rights to “The Platform,” a claustrophobic Spanish horror film. The film focuses on a simple, unique premise. The Hole, also known as the vertical self-management center, places 2 people randomly on a small concrete floor. People come to the Hole for many reasons, from receiving a diploma for completion to a sentence for crime. Every day, a large platform of decadent food descends down hundreds of floors, the food growing sparser and sparser as it lowers. Levels 100 and beyond starve, and every month participants are randomly reassigned to a floor, determining their starvation or gluttony.
We follow the protagonist, Gorang, as he discovers the horrors of the hole, meets his fellow inmates, and tries to lead a rebellion. The concept is unique and disturbing, a relevant allegory for capitalism and greed in our society. Higher levels must choose whether to eat more than they need or ration food to allow lower floors to eat. While the allegory is somewhat heavy handed, it reminds one of a thought experiment from an ethics class like the trolley problem, a disturbing “what would you do?” Those on higher levels, despite knowing the suffering experienced on lower levels, gorge themselves on food, spitting on it and ruining it for those below.
This is a gory look at the reality of inequality under a capitalist system. The hatred and apathy for others below is a sad reality of our world. The acting is fantastic, with even the most minor characters having solid motivations. The film weakens near the end, as it escapes its critique on inequality and somewhat transforms into a gory action movie.
The first two-thirds of the movie are incredibly strong, but it loses all momentum in the third act. The protagonist loses his original drive, and unnecessary scenes weaken what was a snappy, intense film. All in all, however, “The Platform” is worth your watch and your consideration for its commentary on inequality, but may leave viewers wanting more.