- Ivan Massagué, Zorion Eguileor, Antonia San Juan
- David Desola, Pedro Rivero
- Galder Gaztelu-Urrutia
- Running Time
- 94 minutes
- Release Date
- March 20th, 2020 (Netflix)
Do not go into The Platform hungry. The latest horror/thriller from Spain is the latest foreign language film to tackle class warfare in a thrilling though not particular original way (not that the issue isn’t still important today). Meanwhile. foreign language films are already not for everyone but suffice it to say that this film will also not be for those who are faint of heart. Although it takes a little while to get there, for some, it will be too little too late. This slow burn of a story runs at a pretty brisk pace, clocking in at around the 90 minute mark. However, while its great sense of atmosphere will surely keep viewers on the edge of their seats throughout its running time. As the film offers a mere snapshot of the story as a whole. in the end, some will be definitely left wanting more.
The Platform takes place in some dystopian future where resources are sparse and follows a man named Goreng (Massagué) who volunteers to attend a unique vertical jail known as The Pit for 6 months in exchange for a diploma. The Pit was a multi-level prison (where the number of levels was seemingly endless) where pairs of prisoners each shared a level. However, what was truly unique about this prison was a rectangular hole in the middle of the floor going down the other levels. Through this hole, the organization running the Pit known as The Association ran a platform with food for the prisoners running from the top level all the way to the bottom. This would be a contentious issue as prisoners on higher levels had a considerably better chance at eating than those on lower levels. Every month, prisoners would find themselves transferred to another level which could affect their situation for better or for worse and would unsurprisingly lead to some unruly prisoners. This would only be exacerbated over time as some prisoners went hungry.
If anything, The Platform was a story about survival, specifically Goreng. Over the course of the film, we learn the truth lengths in which The Association was willing to go in order to maintain order as well as how the prisoners dealt with this order (spoiler alert: mostly not good). One of the most compelling aspects of the film was watching Goreng devolve under the circumstances just as any other seemingly normal person would. He would have to go to some great lengths in an effort to survive but ultimately, there was only so much abuse he could take and so much he was willing to take. The climax of the film ratcheted up that tension as the tables (or platforms) were turned on The Association in an attempt to have the prisoners get their message across, a message that was greater than any one of them (though it would not go far enough with that message).
The acting across the board was solid with Massagué being the clear standout as Goreng. His likability and relatability made it easy to connect with him as a seemingly ordinary man entering an extraordinary situation. Meanwhile, he was certainly put through the ringer both physically and emotionally but Goreng was up to the challenge and engaging to watch as a man fighting for his life while maintaining his own sanity. However, Goreng was not alone as Eguileor and San Juan both excelled in supporting roles as Trimagasi and Imoguiri respectively.
At the end of the day, The Platform is an original experience that is worth a chance for anyone with a Netflix subscription. It’s not like there’s anything else to do at the moment.
*still courtesy of Netflix*