Genre : Horror; Sci-fi
Director : Galder Gaztelu-Urrutia
Platform : Netflix
The Platform, a Spanish Sci-fi horror, is about a place called ‘the Hole’. Here the people are served food using a platform which travels through the different floors in this vertical jail. In the story we follow Goreng who wakes up in one of the cells and soon finds out how this place works and discovers the harsh realities present in the Hole.
The movie is dark, unsettling and not easy to sit through, mainly because of the violence, blood and gore. Thirty minutes into the movie, the level of discomfort reaches its peak. The plot is unpredictable and eventually we come across a new information that changes the direction of the plot. However, at this point we start to ponder upon why this horrendous movie exists. The director then starts to bring in elements and explains the message he wants to convey. The message is an important one, but told in the most unpleasant way possible.
The Platform beautifully draws parallels from our society. It throws light on the topics like inequality, poverty, hierarchy and even racism. Moreover, it challenges us to introspect whether we want a society where people are dying due to lack of food or where people are so self-centred that they don’t help the unprivileged.
There are sarcasm and irony embedded throughout the movie. We witness an account of a women who worked for ‘the Hole’ and doesn’t even accurately know how many floors are present in the place. The movie also highlights the chefs and the way they prepare the food. The chefs and maybe the administration is oblivious to the hardships faced by these prisoners. Again this mirrors the self-centred people in our society. In a particular scene, we see the chefs are frustrated over the fact that there is a strand of hair present over the panna cotta. The irony is that the prisoners are mannerless and are consuming food covered with filth.
The message that the creators are telling is perfect. However, the intensity with which it is shown is a little bit questionable. There is an excess of violence employed. While it helps in conveying the message effectively, it backfires the screenplay. Firstly, the hidden meanings attached to specific scenes are lost. The movie is intricate and complex to understand. Thus, the overdo of blood and gore diminishes the portrayal of sarcasm and irony. Secondly, in the latter half the gory scenes are used to pace up the screenplay. However, it makes us wearisome.
On the internet there is an ambiguity related to the genre of this movie. Google states it as horror thriller and Netflix states it as dark, unsettling thriller. But I realised it is a sci-fi horror. Going into this I had certain expectations and as it turns out the movie was a different (uncomfortable) ride completely. The ending made it even more disappointing.
Lastly, the ending is not definite. The director said that he wanted the ending to be loose ended so that the audience decides for themselves what kind of society they want. I would characterise the ending as vague. The movie literary left a million of questions unanswered and didn’t even conclude a single sub plot. After watching those gruesome scenes I wanted at least an ending, even a sad end would suffice.
An Indian reviewer who writes about horror and thriller movies/series. If not movies, he likes to pick up a mystery book to read. Some of his favourite movies/series include Stranger Things, Elite (S1-3), Train to Busan, Andhadhun, Strangers: Prey at Night.