Like something from American Psycho (Mary Harron, 2000) and the film’s clever opening credits in which we see raspberry coulis dripping on a white dinner plate, looking a lot like blood. The Platform in a similar sense shows decadent cuisine that represents class structures and the violence that will prevail around these tiers. In its opening, e witness a high-class banquet preparation which is then contrasted by the people below, the ones who are imprisoned in a hole.
The hole is a strange high tech concept that is like solitary confinement but with changing inmates. We meet the main newcomer Goreng (Ivan Massagué) and an older grisly man, Trimagasi (Zorion Eguileor) who has nearly completed his journey and is no stranger to this setup. However, this is not a prison system as such, and we learn that Goreng has chosen to be here. As it is explained by the company’s Imoguiri, the familiar Spanish actor Antonia San Juan (All About My Mother), it is a “Vertical Self- Management Center”.
The Platform’s hierarchy is elevated through the holes virtual food table that goes up and down each platform. Designed to adequately feed everyone, there are supposedly 200 levels to the hole. However, the same pattern occurs, towards the middle and at the end of the food line, the table has smashed up dinnerware and has been violently emptied. This has been amplified through the top tiers greed. As the inmates scoff themselves into a frenzy it leaves the others with the belief that they must resort to cannibalism in order to survive.
The Platform has been commended as a film for its brutality and social critiques, many connecting it to the film Snowpiercer (Bong Joon ho 2013) which uses the carriages in a train to represent class and survival. Interests have also flourished recently in connecting The Platform with the foreseeable depiction of COVID-19 and the horrendous amounts of anxiety-driven stock pilling.
But be warned, The Platform is bleak and does hit hard with its social critiques and general ambience. Whilst, I definitely commend Gaztelu-Urrutia for having such a clear visionary direction, I felt like I would have appreciated this narrative more if it had some kind of clearer redemption. For example, when I think of gloom but still enjoyable, I think of auteur director David Lynch. Lynch is able to make darkness fun and rewarding through his characters, music, dialogue and the off-beat narrative itself. It is the blending of the light and dark that make his films and worlds so appealing.
As a horror enthusiast, The Platform did use cannibal themes, which makes me think of the controversial Italian schlock horror film Cannibal Holocaust (Ruggero Deodato). A lowbrow narrative but now considered significant, offering some strong social commentary. You could say Cannibal Holocaust is a different type of brutally, it is honest. It is not a pleasant experience watching the film considering that they really did kill animals for the storyline. Yet somehow, the tranquil nature of the film itself contrasts the imagery. It has a touching way of addressing society through the extreme measures of violence and pack mentality yet shifting lightness towards the film’s major perpetrators. By the end of the film, you are left thinking, but unfortunately, The Platform does not have the same lasting effect, when its over, it’s over.
You just feel that The Platform‘s bleakness is stripped away from any sort of relatability or solace. Having a glimpse of American Psycho‘s bourgeois food satire or having the controversial aspects of a cannibal agenda such as Cannibal Holocaust, The Platform doesn’t give us either.
Yeah, The Platform is highly watchable depending on how much you hate life right now. This film doesn’t show many forms of kindness in the human condition and therefore makes this a pretty unbelievable platform to want to witness and take too serious.
⭐ ⭐ 1/2