A platform filled with food hovers from top to bottom in a vertical cell feeding two prisoners on each floor. Two minutes per day, an endless nightmare trapped in The Hole.
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Directed by Galder Gaztelu-Urrutia, The Platform is an ultimate Spanish thriller movie on Netflix which showcases the level of corruption in Human tendencies.
David Desola and Pedro Rivero’s screenplay focuses on a brutal experiment in social conditioning and blunt Darwinism. In a vast, vertical prison, each floor consists of a single, small room, inhabited by two cellmates. In the middle of each room, down the center of the building, is a giant hole where a descending meal platform — a kind of mass dumbwaiter — stops once a day, for the briefest interval. It is loaded with food and drink at the beginning of its descent, and “if everyone ate only what they needed,” an administrator explains, “the food would reach the lowest levels.” But this is a 200-story prison, so if those on the higher floors stuff their faces (and they all do), things can get more than a little desperate down below.
Into this long vertical Hell Pit comes Goreng (Ivan Massagué), not a prisoner but a volunteer, who has signed on for six months as a guinea pig in exchange for an accredited diploma. But he’s horrified by the notion of the platform, and the violence it precipitates; “It’s fairer to ration out the food,” he reasons with his cellmate, who snarls, “Are you a communist?”
As political metaphors come up, “The Platform” ranks somewhere between “Animal Farm” and a late-period “South Park” episode on the precision scale. Yet timing and circumstances have rendered its directness, the outright obviousness of its expressions and messaging, into its greatest strength. When Netflix acquired the picture at last fall’s Toronto International Film Festival and set its spring streaming date, they couldn’t have imagined the kind of cultural negativity it would tap into. But it does; this is a grim, bleak nightmare, where the only escape hinges on the conscious decision to help, value and share with one’s fellow man.