By LAUREN LEE
With all the time in the world and Netflix right at my disposal, I decided to watch the movie “The Platform,” which has been talked about quite a lot nowadays due to its relevance to today’s circumstances. Platform is a Spanish film directed by the ingenious Galder Gaztelu-Urrutia, and may just seem like a vertical version of “Snowpiercer,” but its message goes far deeper. If you’re not particularly interested in watching a movie filled with cannibalism, gluttony, feces, and the occasional wet squishy noises, this movie is not for you. However, if you’re willing to overlook the disturbing images, this movie sheds light on the grim reality of our society.
The premise of “The Platform” is as follows: In a vertical prison with an extensive number of floors, each floor is inhabited by two cellmates who share a small room. In the middle of each floor and down the center of the lengthy building is a large gaping hole where a descending metal platform stops at each floor for two minutes a day loaded with the only food and drink the prisoners get to eat a day. However, because it is a 300+ story prison, there is only so much food to go down, and most of it is consumed by those in the upper levels of the prison, leaving nothing for those on the bottom. The film points out that “if everybody ate what they needed, the food would reach the lowest levels.” The film’s central character, Goreng, has come to this prison as a volunteer, and is appalled by the notion of the platform and the violence it causes. Claiming it’s fairer to ration out the food, he and his cellmate seek to do so and are left with a final message to the administrators of the gruesome system.
The movie’s obvious metaphors to today’s society include a direct connection between the people who stuff their faces with the food knowing others won’t see a crumb, and the people today who have hoarded all the masks, hand sanitizer, and food, leaving little to nothing for anyone else. The movie also acts as a metaphor for capitalism, with every individual indulging at the top while the ones on the bottom literally eat each other alive to survive. The system doesn’t actually benefit anyone, but it is stubborn and resistant to change and encourages the prisoners to take what they can while they can. “The Platform” additionally reminds viewers that none of the depravity they receive is necessary, and at any point in life, you could find yourself at the bottom of the system living in scarcity. Even amid frightening, uncertain circumstances, we all have a responsibility to look out for one another because you never know when you are going to be the one needed help. If there ever was a movie more relevant to our current conditions and state of society, this is it.