Netflix’s track record in terms of original movies has largely been tumultuous, to say the least. The online streaming giant has managed to gather millions of viewers with its content, but the viewers often forget the movies as soon as they finish watching. But not this time. It was a masterstroke by Netflix to acquire the rights of the award-winning Spanish thriller ‘El Hoyo’ as we are certainly going to remember this movie for a long-long time.
Directed by Galder Gaztelu-Urrutia, The Platform (El Hoyo) is a Spanish sci-fi thriller that premiered at the 2019 Toronto Festival and it blew everyone away. This multi-layered movie is exactly what we needed in today’s climate where everything seems to be falling apart.
The Platform is a brutally honest and original movie. It tells the story about a bunch of inmates residing in a vertical prison, with one cell per level and two people per cell. A platform filled with delicious food descends from the top and stays on each level for just about 2 minutes. But the movie is not that simple, it is brutal, dark, and packed with intense violence.
The story mostly revolves around an inmate named Goreng, a man who voluntarily agrees to serve six months in the prison for a diploma. We also meet a lot of other intriguing characters who manage to show us the darkest version of humanity.
If you have not watched the movie yet, then we implore you to get on it immediately because movies like The Platform only come once in a long while (and its hardly over 90 minutes). The rest of this article is filled with detailed spoilers and for those who have not watched this movie yet, we suggest you watch the movie first and then come back here as this movie gives a lot to think about.
Apart from its gripping characters, the best thing about this movie are the metaphors it weaves into its story. It can be viewed as a Social commentary about the darkest and deepest corners of humanity. It highlights the gaps in the entire Societal class structure.
We currently reside in a world where a tiny fraction of the population controls the majority of wealth, and this aspect is highlighted beautifully in this movie. If the people living above only take what they need, all our problems could be solved easily.
The levels of the prison represent the class divide of the society. The ones at the top get everything they desire and the ones below suffer and rot. The ones living above can easily help others if they want to but unfortunately, they succumb to greed, just like what is happening in the world currently.
The prison purposely has 333 levels, as in numerology the number 333 signifies a message from a divine being, which tells that the administration had good intentions about this place at the beginning, but this place has nothing holy about it. Each floor holds 2 people, meaning that it holds 666 people and we all know what 666 signifies.
The movie builds the suspense exceptionally well. It only gives us what is necessary at the moment and it picks up tremendously after the first 30 minutes. It transforms itself from a generic thriller to a traumatic horror movie, full of gore and thought-provoking themes.
It is not made for people with weak stomachs. If you are sensitive towards violence then this movie will haunt you for the rest of your life. It has it all – Murder, Betrayal, Cannibalism, Suicide, and Beheading. It develops into a fantastic social commentary by grabbing our attention with excessive violence.
In its center, it features the idealistic protagonist Goreng. He believes that he can convince others to change this skewed system that only benefits a few, which can be regarded as a critique of capitalism and the promotion of socialism. He learns it the hard way that people won’t change that easily and ultimately becomes a vile person himself (at least for a while). But thankfully he does not gives up and manages to get back on track. Goreng represents the optimist living inside all of us.
The ending is where the magic truly happens. Open-ended climaxes can cause a divide among the fans and that is exactly what happens here. There are two major ways we can interpret the ending of this movie.
The Pessimists believe that Goreng died long before he met the child, in fact, there was no child. The people living on level 0 received the Panna Cotta but failed to understand the message. The administration was so disconnected that they assumed that the Panna Cotta was left untouched because of the hair. Which also highlights the disconnect between the rich and poor of the real world.
Whereas there are a lot of viewers, who believe that the movie ended on a positive note. Goreng did manage to send the child above which would bring about a definitive positive change in the future.
We still cannot wrap our heads around this amazing movie. The Platform achieves something special, making it a must-watch in every aspect. The Platform is undoubtedly one of the best movies to come out in 2020 and it restores our faith in movie-making.