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REVIEW: Netflix’s ‘The Platform’ Serves Up a Chilling and Timely Allegory for 2020

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It was just another quarantined day in the solitude of my room when I stumbled on a new movie in the “Top 10 in the U.S. Today” category on Netflix. “The Platform” is turning heads and opening eyes for the millions of subscribers who have already watched the mind-boggling film. The movie is a Spanish Netflix Original film which was released on March 20 in the U.S.

Directed by Galder Gaztelu-Urrutia, a lesser-known director in the world of cinematography, the entirety of the movie is in Spanish, played by Spanish actors and actresses. While more and more international movies are becoming more popular recently, such as the recent Oscar-winning movie, “Parasite,” it’s still surprising to see a non-English film in the Top 10 films on Netflix U.S. 

A Relevant Film For These Times

 “The Platform” is a socioeconomic metaphoric film that showcases the political dilemmas that are the topic of conversations, especially today. As one of the most time-relevant films of the year, the movie depicts a prison with rooms stacked on top of each other with levels representing a hierarchy of sorts. The prison metaphorically shows the corrupted political system we have, even in our country. 

The movie’s setting is mainly inside the prison complex with simple concrete walls and floors that never seem to end into the deep abyss. But even through its simplicity, the themes and allegories mirroring a lot of our current social-political climate are sure to leave you breathless. 

Goreng, the main character, played by Iván Massagué, voluntarily puts himself in the confinement of the hell hole for six months in order to get a diploma, with only a sliver of information about this prison. With hundreds of levels all stacked on top of each other, a single platform containing enough food to feed everyone in the prison complex slowly makes its way down to the bottom level, starting from the top every day. As the platform continues to sink, less and less food is on the table, even the disgusting and sickening leftovers diminish until there is not a single speck of edible food.

Goreng survives and learns more about the disturbing truth about this hellish prison, but he quickly realizes that his six months will be more than just a time sentence. 

 

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A Thriller That Claws At Your Skin

The beautiful cinematography of this movie really captures the fear and the transformation of Goreng’s animal-like behavior as he continues to survive in his cell. A single platform slowly descends in to the bottomless-like pit where no one ever truly knows when the levels stop until the end of the movie. The film truly exposes the ruthless system of capitalism as Goreng survives in the prison. I was in disbelief and even cringed as “The Platform” displayed countless gruesome scenes from cannibalism to even suicide. The chilling thriller clawed at my skin as it perfectly paints the truth of the flaws within our society. With the rich indulging in the quality of the foods, the middle class managing to get by with the leftovers, and the poor gripping at each other’s throats just to survive.

More and more international movies are climbing their way to the top of the movie charts, and this is just one of hundreds of breathtaking movies that are non-English films. As Bong Joon-Ho, the award-winning director for “Parasite” said at the 2020 Golden Globes, “Once you overcome the one-inch tall barrier of subtitles, you will be introduced to so many more amazing films.” 

“The Platform” is a prime example of such a film. It’s very eye-opening within the political culture, especially because it is so relevant right now with COVID-19 as people are hoarding stocks of toilet paper, hand sanitizers, and even face masks. This is leading to some people not being able to buy what they need to combat this virus. Even our current 2020 Democratic presidential election, where there’s much discussion surrounding our economic systems, pairs perfectly with this film.

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